Collingwood sign Daniel Wells as an unrestricted free agent.
North Melbourne lose Daniel Wells; North Melbourne receive a second-round compensation pick, currently pick 32.
Daniel Wells has reacted somewhat as expected in the wake of his club’s delisting of four veteran players earlier this year. Reportedly offered a two-year contract by North Melbourne, Wells wanted more security, fearing he may suffer the same fate as Brent Harvey, Nick Dal Santo, Drew Petrie and Michael Firrito. A reported three-year deal from Collingwood on a competitive salary is exactly what the 31-year-old needs. He’ll now join Scott Pendlebury, Adam Treloar and Steele Sidebottom in what will be a very silky midfield for Collingwood in 2017.
Collingwood – the Magpies should be very happy to receive a player of such high class and not have to give up a player or draft pick for him. While the club will have to pay Wells a decent wage, they have a young enough list that they can afford to do so, particularly once they free up some salary cap space in the Travis Cloke trade.
Rating: +2. – Anytime a club can sign a player and not lose anything the other way, they are doing well.
North Melbourne – the Kangaroos had no choice but to let Wells go but it’s hard not to believe Wells’ decision is more the fall out from the club’s choice to delist four veterans before the season had even ended.
Rating: +1. – A round-two selection is a good outcome for North Melbourne, an early third-round draft pick would not have been out of the realm of possibility so they’ll be reasonably happy with what they’ve got.
Collingwood – Wells will slot into the Collingwood midfield nicely, but he’ll no longer be the only smooth mover in the team like he was at North Melbourne with Shaun Higgins injured for much of the year. His age, coupled with his sharing of the load in a highly talented team, should see a slight decline in his fantasy output.
North Melbourne – The club is now well and truly going down the path of a rebuild. Young players will get a greater opportunity to play senior football and spend more time with the ball in their hands. We should see a greater impact and greater consistency from the likes of Ryan Clarke, Jed Anderson and Trent Dumont.