North's Aaron Edwards. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
RICHMOND is strongly considering acquiring out-of-contract North Melbourne forward Aaron Edwards.
The Tigers have already purchased free agents Troy Chaplin and Chris Knights and have signalled their interest in taking Edwards, who could be picked up in exchange for a late draft choice before tomorrow’s 2pm deadline. Richmond’s last pick is No.74.
If Edwards is delisted, which seems likely if he is not traded, the Tigers can pick him as a free agent prior to the national draft. Edwards, 28, has been supplanted in North’s forward line by the improving Robbie Tarrant and Lachie Hansen, the latter having just signed a two-year contract extension.
The Tigers view him as a potential foil for Jack Riewoldt and Tyrone Vickery and also as insurance if either of those players are injured.
Vickery struggled with a shoulder injury this year. Edwards played just nine games in 2012 and has a career tally of 82. He arrived at Arden Street in 2007 as a mature-age recruit from VFL club Frankston, where he made his name as a strong-marking spearhead after an earlier unsuccessful stint at West Coast (four games). He booted 17 goals in his nine games this year.
The Tigers opened up a spot on their list, and some money, by trading ruckman Angus Graham to Adelaide, receiving pick 40 for Graham and their own pick No.50.
The Tigers have been doing their ‘‘due diligence’’ on Edwards, who had some disciplinary issues in his time at North, but is seen to have settled down and matured in his late 20s.
He was fortunate to escape serious injury this week, though hurt a finger, when a driver opened his car door, forcing him to swerve on his bicycle.
North Melbourne also has been talking to Melbourne about a deal for Cameron Pedersen, who is under contract, the Demons as yet unable to provide the draft pick that the Roos want. North is also trying to acquire Port Adelaide’s Ben Jacobs. To date, the Power has been unwilling to sell Jacobs, a Victorian, for North’s pick 38 or 39.
The Pedersen deal in turn, could be influenced by whether the Demons can send forward/ruck Stef Martin to Brisbane, with that compensation used by Melbourne and handed on to North for Pedersen.