Trade whispers, Essendon Bombers, Dyson Heppell, North Melbourne, Fremantle Dockers, Nat Fyfe, Rory Lobb, Griffin Logue, Izak Rankine, Gold Coast Suns, Adelaide Crows, contract, latest news, deal

Could the Bombers lose their skipper over a reportedly underwhelming offer?

And are Fremantle getting bang for buck for dual Brownlow Medalist Nat Fyfe?

Get the latest player movement news and updates in AFL Trade Whispers!

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HEPPELL DEAL ‘NOT NEAR HIS LIKING’ FOR 2023 AND BEYOND

Essendon skipper Dyson Heppell remains only a “50-50” chance to remain at the club for 2023, according to AFL journalist Damian Barrett.

Barrett told Triple M radio that Heppell had been offered a one-year deal that was deemed underwhelming.

“It’s a strange one. His form has been OK,” Barrett said.

“He’s stayed with Essendon throughout the entire problems they’ve had. And he’s been well imbursed to do so beyond the drugs saga.

“There’s an offer to him to play in 2023 as a Bomber. But it’s not from what I’ve been told to his near liking.

“What we have now established is other interest from other clubs.

“As we speak with four games to go of this season, there is a chance. I’d say it’s a 50-50 chance that he will be exploring options outside of Essendon, unless they improve the offer.”

Fellow panellist Leigh Montagna said Heppell, who is out of contract beyond this season, now fell into the category where loyalty or career extension would win over his new deal.

Ricky Nixon lashes out at journos | 00:33

“It might be if he wants to extend his career two or three more years,” he said on Triple M.

“It does become a situation where you do turn 30 where you start going: ‘OK well clubs are now (saying) we are not going to give you a lot of money and a lot of contract because we’ve got others we need to play’.

“It’s up to the player whether he wants to stay at the one club, be loyal and know that maybe he’ll be a fringe player.”

Wayne Carey said if Heppell decided to leave Essendon, North Melbourne should be the first club to come calling.

“He’s a quality guy; I think he’s a quality player. I still think he’s in their best 22,” Carey said.

“If I were North Melbourne, he’d be one I’d go and get purely because of the person and the leadership he’d bring to that footy club. I think he’d be a great get.

“I know that they were thinking about a Luke Hodge style player and were they out there? I think he half fits that bill for North Melbourne.”

Heppell has played 209 games for the club since his debut in 2011.

The 30-year-old was snapped up by the Bombers with pick 8 in the 2010 draft.

Essendon coach Ben Rutten has previously stated he wants Heppell to play on at the club in 2023.

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BUSY TRADE PERIOD LOOMS FOR DOCKERS

Fremantle could be in for a raft of list changes at season’s end.

Foxfooty.com.au understands several Fremantle players have been offered what can be considered below market-value deals to stay at the club.

Many of Fremantle’s key pillars remain signed to the club for at least another season, including Andrew Brayshaw (contracted until 2025), Brennan Cox (2024), Sean Darcy (2024) and Matthew Taberner (2024).

Rory Lobb is widely expected to be playing in Victoria in 2023, with 7NewsMelbourne reporting the key position player has told the club he wants a trade.

The Dockers are also what many believe to be the key suitor for the services of Luke Jackson, who remains unsigned at Melbourne beyond this year.

Some industry sources have still not ruled West Coast completely out of the race for Jackson’s services should he seek a trade, which many believe remains likely.

A raft of players at the Eagles remain uncontracted beyond 2022.

IS FYFE WORTH THE WEIGHT IN GOLD?

Nat Fyfe is sidelined once again by injury in 2022, after earlier issues with his shoulder, knee and back.

He’s been restricted to just six games this year as Fremantle push towards a top four finish.

The dual Brownlow Medalist has endured injury-interrupted campaigns in five of his past seven seasons, and is now out of the Dockers line up with a hamstring strain.

Given he still has one year to run on his mammoth deal, worth an estimated $1.3 million per season, Dockers great Paul Hasleby questioned if Fremantle were really getting bang for their buck.

“He’s now injured again; two things will happen from here – the Dockers will continue with their up and down form … or the second thing that can happen is Fremantle go well without him, like they did for the first 12 weeks of the season,” he said on SEN WA .

“Then you’ve got this massive elephant in the room that will continue to grow.

“Justin Longmuir has a big decision to make – does he keep going with what works for him or take the risk and bring Fyfe back into that team?

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“I’ve always been pro-Fyfe to stay here.

“On the back of that hamstring injury, you’ve got shoulder, he had back surgery – that’s a lot for Nathan Fyfe to deal with.

“Given they have been going very well with him out of the side, you do look at your outgoings.

“In any business, you’re looking at your biggest expenses. The biggest expense that the Dockers have is Nathan Fyfe. He’s on the biggest contract.

“Now, do they believe he will get back to being at that value as a player?

“I don’t think he’ll ever get back to playing that way because I don’t ever see him going back into the midfield full time.

“He could play in the forward line, but I don’t think he’s going to have the same impact as he did as a midfielder in the front helped.

“But he can still, be very good for Fremantle if his body allows him.”

Hasleby urged the club to consider their potential losses if Fyfe continued to command such a large pay.

“When you’ve got players like Rory Lobb who could leave the club, Griffin Logue … then you start to look at that trade potential for Nathan Fyfe,” he said.

Jamarra starting to believe he belongs | 01:01

Fyfe has consistently been one of Fremantle’s best players since making his debut back in 2010.

The kid from Lake Grace went on to claim two Brownlows in 2015 and 2019, is a three-time All Australian and a three-time club best and fairest.

But he’s been shifted to play a more forward role in 2022, as the younger Fremantle brigade of Andy Brayshaw, Caleb Serong and Will Brodie have been given preference in the midfield.

Last season former Eagle-now AFL commentator Andrew Embley came under fire for suggesting the Dockers trade Fyfe.

“If he moves on, he’s still got great currency. He’s still probably the best player in the game almost,” he said at the time.

“There’s got to be a conversation around it.”

WHY ADELAIDE WOULDN’T GET RANKINE DEAL DONE

Gold Coast Suns coach Stuart Dew remains confident forward Izak Rankine will stay with the club, despite offers from rival clubs.

It’s been reported the Bombers put forward a “mammoth” offer to the 22-year-old to head to Victoria.

According to Sam McClure, the Essendon deal was worth around $800,000 per season – but that is something the Bombers have denied.

Gaff backs WCE to rebound ahead of 250th | 00:56

South Australian footy journalist Michelangelo Rucci says he couldn’t see how Crows could entice Rankine back home to Adelaide.

“The gettable one is the real point – who is gettable and who wants to come to Adelaide,” he said on SEN SA.

“I wouldn’t be putting more than $700,000 on the table and more than three years (for Rankine).

“And I’m not sure that gets the job done.”

Should Rankine turn his back on a SA return and Victorian interest, the deal would be another huge coup for Dew and his team at the Suns.

They’ve already resigned rising forward Ben King and utility Jack Lukosius.

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