In demand: Collingwood’s Heath Shaw will meet with rival clubs. Photo: Sebastian CostanzoHeath Shaw will meet at least six other clubs at both ends of the ladder as he considers vastly different financial offers and vastly different futures.
Top four clubs in contention for the Collingwood defender include Geelong and premier Hawthorn. The Hawks’ interest in Shaw, and capacity to afford him, is likely to hinge on whether Lance Franklin stays or goes.
Shaw has a connection with the Cats football department through former teammates Shane O’Bree and Blake Caracella, who are assistant coaches.
Geelong on Monday delisted dual premiership defender Josh Hunt who as a free agent will explore possibilities of playing on somewhere else next year.
Paul Chapman is unlikely to be re-contracted and Joel Corey’s future remains uncertain.
If all three were to leave, Geelong would free up some space in the salary cap to accommodate a player such as Shaw, who is understood to be on about $400,000 a year for the next two years of his contract. The Cats’ first-round draft pick would be likely to be required for any trade.
Essendon has had preliminary discussions with Shaw and would consider an exchange of a draft pick the Dons would likely receive as part of a Stuart Crameri trade to the Western Bulldogs as a potential part of any trade.
Carlton has some interest in Shaw, while Melbourne and Greater Western Sydney are keen to explore a possible deal.
Shaw has to weigh up the choice of move to a top club in contention for a flag in his remaining playing years against the idea of working with young players and helping foster his ambition to become a development coach after football.
Shaw will this summer work with TAC Cup team the Oakleigh Chargers in a development role.
The choice of top or bottom club would also come at significantly different terms, with the two bottom sides likely to have to offer a longer contract.
GWS was believed to be prepared to do a straight swap of Shaw for homecoming midfielder Taylor Adams, who Collingwood is keen to secure during the trade period, as part of the Shaw exchange or not.
Given Shaw is a contracted player, any trade needs to be suitable to both player and club, so while Collingwood might have a preference for where he goes based on the best trade it can get, Shaw would have to agree. Similarly Collingwood is under no obligation to trade Shaw to the club he chooses if the deal is not right for the club.
Collingwood key defender Nathan Brown has agreed to a three-year deal, although the details have not been officially released.
Recruiting manager Derek Hine said the club could not confirm the contract until the situations surrounding Dale Thomas and Shaw were sorted out.
Meanwhile, Sydney has announced it has delisted defender Alex Brown.
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