Carlton are understood to be ramping up contract talks with star defender Sam Docherty, who is now expected to sign on the dotted line before their Round 1 clash.

The off-contract Docherty is amongst a number of players the Blues are awaiting the signature of, with the 29-year-old due to be the first cab off the rank, hopefully paving the way for others to follow suit.

After a testing 12 months, the former Lion defied the odds in 2022 when faced with immeasurable adversity in the pre-season lead-up, before registering arguably a career-best year in the blue and white.

Rightly so, the running half-back was presented with the Spirit of Carlton Award, coupled with a runners up finish in the John Nicholls' Medal, both honours recognising his efforts on and off the field.

With the news of Docherty re-signing an imminent possibility, according to The Herald Sun,  fans are anxiously awaiting a host of others in the same boat to put pen to paper.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 21: Sam Docherty of the Blues celebrates a goal during the 2022 AFL Round 23 match between the Carlton Blues and the Collingwood Magpies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 21, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

That catalogue of talent includes Jack Silvagni, Tom De Koning, Caleb Marchbank, Mitch McGovern, Nic Newman and Lewis Young, just to name a few of the regular starters yet to sort out an extension deal.

As the season nears, concerns will grow with this being an unwanted burden hanging over the list management staff, and equally the fans, whilst the search for an elusive finals berth continues.

In a busy holiday period towards the backend of last year, the Blues re-signed twin towers Harry Mckay and Charlie Curnow, both on long-term deals, as well as utility Zac Fisher and midfielder Matthew Kennedy.

With March 16 marking the start date to open their 2023 account against traditional rivals Richmond, the Blues will look to get on the front foot early in terms of securing the services of some key names.