KURT TIPPETT is facing up to half a season out of the game after negotiations with the AFL neared completion on the eve of the commission's special hearing into Adelaide's salary cap misdemeanours.
Tippett is understood to have agreed to settle for a substantial suspension for his part in the draft and salary cap breaches that will also result in Adelaide being heavily punished.
Tippett had initially wanted to contest two charges, and plead not guilty, but he is understood to have warmed in the past day to the idea of acknowledging guilt and in doing so reducing his likely sentence.
The Crows appear certain to be ruled out of the first two rounds of next year's draft, with the pressing question whether they are also banned from the 2014 national draft. The club removed itself from the first two rounds of last week's national draft.
Adelaide indicated earlier this week that the club, chief executive Steven Trigg, football manager Phil Harper and former football boss John Reid would also plead guilty to all charges.
Trigg and Harper are facing suspensions of several months. It is unclear whether the Adelaide board will retain the pair, as is the AFL's attitude to whether they should be allowed to remain in their positions.
Tippett is facing a ban of between eight and 12 matches. There is also a possibility the 25-year-old could receive a ban of double that, with half of it suspended. He could also be fined.
Although the AFL Commission can set its own penalty for the club and its former player, disregarding the recommendations of the league's executive, this is highly unlikely.
Tippett trained at Southport on Wednesday night and observers said he looked in very good shape. Sydney is still highly likely to draft the key forward in next month's pre-season draft, having offered him a $3.55 million four-year deal to join the club.
Greater Western Sydney is at long odds to draft him with the first choice, because of his high price tag and the Giants' wish to re-sign their plethora of talented youngsters, including top-three draft picks Jon Patton and Dom Tyson.
The AFL granted Tippett permission to delist himself at Adelaide this week and enter the pre-season draft. However, he can not nominate his financial terms until after the penalties have been determined.
The commission hearing starts at 8am on Friday at AFL House and is expected to be concluded on the day.