Fremantle ruckman Sean Darcy is expected to re-sign with the Dockers in the coming weeks on a new deal that will be "life-changing" for the 2024 free agent.
Darcy looms as one of the players of focus for the next year given his contract with the Western Australian club is set to expire at the cessation of next season and the anticipated interest from Victorian clubs.
A product out of country Victoria, Darcy has thrived in the purple since joining the club in 2016, claiming a best and fairest two seasons ago and ranking among the AFL's best ruckman.
Negotiations between the Dockers and Darcy, his management and his family have continued throughout the year, with the Cockburn club keen to retain the 25-year-old for the long haul.
Rival clubs are expected to place lucrative offers on their own to the Cobden junior, with a decision potentially coming as early as this year.
According to Triple M's Ryan Daniels, Darcy could recommit to Fremantle in "the next six weeks" after an increased bid from the Dockers saw talks paused as the star ruckman considered his future.
The deal is said to be close to seven years, likely making Darcy a Dockers player for the rest of his career.
"The reason it has taken so long is that Fremantle has come back to him and said: 'Hey, we will do a long deal. We'll do a six to seven-year extension'. So we're talking about a contract that will take him through to the 2030s," Daniels told Triple M
"I would expect him to take that and sign it in the next six weeks. But if you're signing for that long you're staying for your whole career. I think it was a lot for him, it's a long time. The relationship is very strong, he loves the footy club and they love him.
"But that's why it's taken so long, it's a life-changing choice... it's a big deal."
The 202cm big man shared the ruck duties this year with new recruit Luke Jackson, with the tall tandem off to a slow start before the duo managed to find a balance.
Darcy suffered setbacks in Rounds 11 and 18 that would keep him off the field for most of the second half of the 2023 season, with his absence allowing Jackson to reach new heights as the first-string ruckman.
That outcome led some to believe the Dockers could be better placed with one ruckman at the helm, with Jackson the ideal man to take the club forward given his potential and long-term ties to Fremantle.
The Dockers are keen to make the Darcy-Jackson pairing work, with the latter also a formidable presence in the forward half of the field.