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Contenders for Brodie Grundy, trade rumours, whispers, landing spots, contract, Port Adelaide Power, Geelong Cats, GWS Giants, Sydney Swans, Carlton Blues, West Coast Eagles

Is it Grundy?

The memorable words once uttered by commentating great Bruce McAvaney after Grundy’s game-winning goal against Richmond in 2016 will be on the mind of several clubs — for different reasons — amid speculation he could be traded to a third team for 2024.

Grundy has fallen out of favour at Melbourne less than 12 months after his much publicised trade from Collingwood — left out of the Demons side in its big win over Brisbane on the weekend — a game dominated by Max Gawn in his customary ruck role.

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Grudy was traded to Melbourne at the end of last year (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)Source: FOX SPORTS

The dual All-Australian has now been left to ply his trade in the VFL playing as a key forward — a position he’s had little impact in over his 11-season career.

Of course, Grundy was once one of the game’s most dominant ruckman though when he played that position full-time at the Magpies. Even earlier this year, he flourished in the role — rated the second-highest rated ruck in the AFL behind only Tim English while Gawn was sidelined.

Don’t discount what Grundy, 29, can still provide at the top level as a pure ruckman, it just might not be at Melbourne, nor make sense with incumbent Gawn still at the peak of his powers.

While there’s no indication yet Grundy or the Demons would entertain a move, with the big man contracted until 2027 on a reported $650,000-per-season deal — and the Magpies paying the rest — Fox Footy pundits believes it could be heading in that direction.

Labelled an “alpha,” by former Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley, you’ve got to think Grundy would only be open to leaving the Dees to become the man again with the keys to the ruck at another side.

With that in mind, foxfooty.com.au runs through the most obvious contenders for the gun ruckman’s services should he get put on the market again.

CARLTON

The Blues’ ruck situation is fluid. Out-of-contract tall Tom De Koning’s future at the club is uncertain amid links to rival clubs, and the longer he remains unsigned, the more likely it feels like he’ll depart. Marc Pittonet’s four-year extension signed two months ago potentially signals as much, too. Should De Koning depart, it’d leave Pittonet as the lone ruck at the club for 2024 and also theoretically free up some funds for the Blues to make a play for Grundy. As solid as Pittonet as been as the No. 1 ruck at Ikon Park in recent times, an up-and-running Grundy would be a fair upgrade and perfectly compliment the rest of the Blues’ contested, bash-and-crash midfield. He could really help take Michael Voss’ side to another level, and you’ve got to think the Blues would appeal to the 29-year old. Imagine the added juice it’d provide to the Collingwood-Carlton rivalry, too.

Grundy celebrates a goal (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Photos via Getty Images)Source: FOX SPORTS

GEELONG CATS

Seen as Melbourne’s biggest competitor for Grundy when the Magpies dangled him on the trade table last year, this one makes sense for both parties. The Cats have long courted an upgrade at the ruck position despite great service from premiership incumbent Rhys Stanley. But with Stanley set turn 33 at the end of the year and struggling with injury in 2023, Grundy would be an ideal candidate to take over the No. 1 ruck mantle for Chris Scott’s side in 2024 and lead it for the next several years. Geelong has done such a good job over the past decade of retooling on the run with shrewd pick-ups for budget price. Adding Grundy in such a ‘buy-low’ window would continue that trend, while the 193-gamer could also escape Melbourne bubble limelight.

Gulden represents changing of the guard? | 02:00

GWS GIANTS

Another club in the market for Grundy’s services last year, but this one comes with a key caveat in the form of a 201cm breakout gun — Kieren Briggs. Briggs, 23, has announced himself as a genuine long-term ruckman for the Giants in an impressive emergence since replacing Matt Flynn midway through the season. GWS now faces the question of whether it genuinely sees Briggs as the club’s No. 1 ruck moving forward or if it could instead seek out a more established player to fill the role like Grundy, who’d clearly stunt Briggs’ development. The Giants could also look to do something like the Western Bulldogs did when they added Stefan Martin to help chop out Tim English while he was still maturing, although Briggs is probably more physically advanced.

PORT ADELAIDE

They’d have to be the short-priced favourites to land Grundy if Grundy, who’s from South Australia, and the Demons pursued a trade. Foxfooty.com.au reported the Power, who were among the suitors for the dual All-Australian last year, would again be interested if Grundy was to be made available. It comes with the club’s premiership window wide open — sitting second on the ladder in an exciting rise behind its new-age stars. Yet Port’s ruck stocks remain questionable, with the injury-riddled Scott Lycett the only established ruckman on the list. While Grundy wanted to stay in Victoria last year, if he were to depart the Dees, a return to SA could be on the cards this time round.

‘Port would be keen on Grundy’ | 01:13

SYDNEY SWANS

The Swans do appear to have a fair bit on their plate already amid links to Harry Himmelberg and Tom Doning, and such names would likely be the priorities come the trade and free agency period. But Sydney’s ruck situation is precarious, with Tom Hickey in the twilight of his career and Peter Ladhams struggling to have a significant impact since crossing from the Power. Grundy could therefore be the ideal pick-up to help the Swans bounce back from a disappointing 2023 and massive fall from grace from their 2022 Grand Final season. Sydney’s midfield has really struggled this year — particularly against the top sides — getting well beaten by Melbourne (-34), Adelaide (-9), Geelong (-20), Collingwood (-9), Fremantle (-15), Brisbane (-29), Richmond (-9), and most recently, the Western Bulldogs (-21). Grundy’s inside game and contest has largely been his greatest strength over his 11-year career, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if Sydney made a play for the big man.

WEST COAST EAGLES

Finding a long-term replacement for Nic Naitanui is clearly a pressing matter for the embattled Eagles. Bailey Williams is clearly ahead of Callum Jamieson and has had some bright moments throughout 2023, but is still a few years off being ready. Western Australian Tim English would be a dream target, but if that doesn’t work out and the Eagles are in the market for a more established ruckman, Grundy would fit the bill, assuming they could afford him. It’d however be a case of Grundy needing to accept he’d be playing for a club that’ll likely feature well down the ladder for the rest of his career.

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