It’s rare an out-of-contract member of the 40-man All-Australian squad generates almost no discussion, but that’s what’s happened with Sydney’s Jake Lloyd.
Lloyd has averaged 28 disposals across half-back for the Swans, number one in the competition for kicks, second for rebound 50s and averages nearly seven marks per game.
He is an elite level rebounder coming out of defence and is one of Sydney’s most important cogs with his brilliant ball use from the back half into the midfield.
All this points to him being one of the key targets of the trade period and one club in particular has certainly valued him as such.
It was reported in June that Gold Coast are set to offer Lloyd a massive $1 million deal to head north.
Suns coach Stuart Dew spent a great deal of time at Sydney and would know more about Lloyd than most.
If the report is accurate and Dew wants the defender back in his system, the Swans would struggle greatly to offer anything in that ballpark to keep him at the SCG.
Gold Coast has multiple second round picks they could trade for Lloyd and could even offer West Coast’s first round pick should the Swans want more.
On top of that, Sydney just re-signed veteran Jarrad McVeigh, when coach John Longmire previously said the plan was for him to retire, which may be in part because they know Lloyd is out the door.
Lloyd put contract talks on hold in May.
“I’m in no rush (to get a new deal done) — I’m focusing on my footy,” Lloyd told the Daily Telegraph in May.
“If I keep playing good footy, it will sort itself out. My manager, Alex McDonald, has had a chat to the club and we will take things as they go.”
If the Gold Coast connection isn’t the case, other clubs would certainly also be in the mix.
North Melbourne is in the market for classy players on the outside and has been strongly linked to Jared Polec and Andrew Gaff.
Should something go wrong there, Lloyd is a player who likely could adapt to a role on a wing or even free up someone like Marley Williams by becoming North’s playmaker down back.
Gold Coast’s crosstown rivals, Brisbane, could also target Lloyd with the aim of moving Hugh McCluggage and Alex Witherden into more permanent midfield roles.
The Demons could benefit from Lloyd’s services as well, given Jordan Lewis and Bernie Vince are both in the twilight of their respective careers.
Whether those other teams have the salary cap space and deals good enough to tempt Sydney is the big question.
Lloyd would be taking significantly less to stay at Sydney, but the Bloods have a habit of retaining their important players within their renowned culture.