Collingwood delisted Jack Madgen and Caleb Poulter to leave the Magpies with up to five pre-draft list vacancies and ruled out free agency periods in November.
In that regard, they also cut 2021 draft pick Cooper Morley, who is under contract for next season, but intend to select him in the rookie draft if a rival club doesn’t go first.
Collingwood was one of three clubs to announce delistings on Tuesday, with Essendon letting go of Cody Brand, Braden Hamm and Alec Waterman, while St Kilda did not offer Jarrod Lienert another contract.
Magen, a former NBL Cairns Taipans and American college team Delta State University, joined Collingwood as a Grade B rookie in 2017.
The 29-year-old quarterback has played in 49 games over five seasons but only nine this year, in large part due to two setbacks — a dislocated shoulder in May and a broken thumb two months later.
Poulter, 20, made a bright start to his AFL career, playing 11 games last year in his debut season, but has fallen out of favor and added another in 2022.
Collingwood head of football Graham Wright thanked Maggen and Poulter for their contributions.
“Madge has struggled with injuries this year and his positive attitude and resilience are to be commended,” Wright said.
“Caleb has shown potential at AFL level over the past two seasons. He is still in the formative stages of his career and has worked hard to develop his skills in the VFL.
“We wish Madge and Caleb all the best in their future endeavors.”
The delisting comes after the Pies raided the trade period when they signed Dan McStay as an unrestricted free agent and traded for Bobby Hill, Billy Frampton and Brownlow medalist Tom Mitchell.
They also sent Brodie Grundy to Melbourne as part of the salary cap and granted Ollie Henry’s wish to join his brother Jack in Geelong.
If Murley is retained, Collingwood still has four A-grade rookie spots and could also sign one B-grade rookie.
Clubs can have up to 44 players, including 36 to 38 on the main roster, four to six A rookies and up to two B rookies.
The Bombers were also active in the trade period, bringing in Sam Weidemann and Will Satterfield and trading Aaron Francis to Sydney.
Hamm looks the most likely of Essendon’s delisted players to make a fresh start after playing 11 of 45 games this year.