After being told his services are no longer needed at the club, Essendon defender-forward James Stewart is looking at other options.

The 29-year-old has played 60 games for the Bombers since moving from the Giants at the end of 2016.

Injuries have plagued the utility player during his time at the Dons after managing only six games in 2022 and none in 2023. The club informed Stewart of their decision to delist him despite still having one year left in his contract, according to AFL.com.au. 

Stewart was initially brought in as a key forward for the Bombers. His best goalkicking efforts came in his first year at Essendon in 2017, booting 22 in 16 games. He played consistently in the backline throughout 2021 and managed a career-high 17 games.

Speaking to AFL.com.au, Stewart's agent Peter Jess discussed the opportunity for his client to continue his career elsewhere.

"He sees this as a chapter to unfold and he's looking forward to finding a team that can support him for next year," his agent Peter Jess told AFL.com.au.

"Given a club's going to be able to get him for nothing as a free agent and the Bombers paying his [remaining] contract, it would make sense for someone to get him in."

The Bombers have a plethora of players to re-sign at the end of the season, most notably Darcy Parish and Brandon Zerk-Thatcher.

Despite Essendon's early season hopes for finals, the club slipped in a big way towards the pointy end of the year. After a 126-point mauling at the hands of the Giants in Round 23, the Bombers would need a miracle to make the finals.

The Dons will take on the Pies on Friday night at the MCG at 7:50 PM AEST.