Trade buzz: Cap squeeze could push Pie out
COLLINGWOOD forward Jamie Elliott could become a victim of the club's salary cap squeeze.
The injury-hit goal kicker is an unrestricted free agent after signing a one-year deal last year but will consider his options at season's end.
Collingwood would love to keep Elliott, but are tight on cash as the club tries to plan a way to keep stars Brodie Grundy, Jordan De Goey and Darcy Moore.
All three are set for considerable pay increases when their contracts expire at the end of next season.
Rivals are expected to target Grundy and De Goey, in particular, with seven-figure offers, while Moore was having a career-best season before his latest hamstring setback.
Elliott, 26, is only on a modest deal and could weigh up a move to another club for a better or longer-term offer as he continues to battle injuries.
The two-time leading goal kicker was left out of the team to play Greater Western Sydney because of another bout of soreness.
HAWKS LOOK TO LOCK IN ON SICILY
HAWTHORN has begun early talks on a new deal for James Sicily.
The gun intercepting defender is on track to become one of the highest-paid players at Hawthorn after establishing himself over the past two seasons as one of their most important players.
Sicily was once considered for a trade to Gold Coast as part of the Jaeger O'Meara deal but has since blossomed into one of the league's most damaging rebounding backmen.
While Sicily, 24, is not out of contract until the end of next season, the Hawks are keen to lock away the Keilor product early.
He is expected to sign a new deal worth in the vicinity of $750,000 a season and is in strong contention for his first All-Australian guernsey.
Sicily had a brief and unsuccessful stint forward last month but returned to his best form with an outstanding game against Collingwood a fortnight ago.
RIVAL clubs have made inquiries about out-of-favour North Melbourne midfielder
.Ahern has played only four games as part of a head-scratching season and was dumped again for the clash against Brisbane.
The midfielder, who was originally taken pick No. 7 by GWS Giants in 2015, was expected to be a lock in the Kangaroos' senior team this season.
But the ball-winner has been leapfrogged by Jy Simpkin in the engine room and lost his place on Thursday night to Shaun Higgins.
He remains contracted for one more season and will have talks with the next senior coach about his place in the team.
RYDER COULD MAKE GIANT MOVE
PADDY Ryder could help solve Greater Western Sydney's ruck dilemma.
Ryder is out of contract at Port Adelaide and could secure a longer-term deal at the Giants to replace Shane Mumford next season.
Port is happy with Scott Lycett as its number one ruckman and Charlie Dixon as the spearhead.
Ryder will have to take a pay cut to stay in South Australia next season.
PATTON MAY ONLY COST HAWKS 3RD ROUND PICK
GEELONG coach Chris Scott already labelled the Tom Scully deal the 'trade of the century' for Hawthorn.
But the Hawks could land a similar bargain when they zero in on Jon Patton at season's end.
Scully arrived for a future-fourth round pick and Patton could make a similar move for a third-round pick or thereabouts in October.
Patton, a three-time knee reconstruction victim, could join Mitch Lewis as key forward twin towers at Waverley and help freshen up the attacking setup.
Scully hasn't missed a game since his first outing in brown and gold in Round 2. After a horror ankle injury last year, the wingman has averaged 19 possessions and is tipped to finish top-10 in the best and fairest.
SAINTS SET RUCK PLAN
ST KILDA has confirmed it is chasing ruckmen Todd Goldstein and Sam Draper.
The Saints have tabled a three-year deal for Goldstein to try and blow North Melbourne out of the water, but the Roos have recently upped the ante to two years and a trigger for a third.
St Kilda chief executive Matt Finnis said the Saints need to find another big man to help lighten the load on star tall Rowan Marshall.