Steven May and Adam Tomlinson during the 2022 AFL Round 1 match between Melbourne and Western Bulldogs (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

Demons defender Adam Tomlinson has been mooted to test the trade market this off-season after tasting minimal senior action in 2022.

Tomlinson, 29, commenced the second chapter of his career with Melbourne during 2020, swiftly earning a place in Simon Goodwin's defensive unit.

However, since his 2021 campaign came to a close in Round 7 after sustaining an ACL injury, Tomlinson has largely been left plying his trade in the reserves.

With just the eight AFL appearances to his name in 2022, Tomlinson lost the stranglehold on his defensive post, with Harrison Petty stepping up, stepping out in the grand final and securing himself a contract extension at season's end.

Across the course of his 14 outings with Melbourne's VFL affiliate, Casey, Tomlinson recorded means of 21.9 disposals and 5.6 marks each week, proving that his wares were too strong for the seconds' competition.

Speaking on Sportsday, journalist Sam McClure claimed with these numbers in mind and Tomlinson's fitness evident, it would 'surprise' him to see the former first-round draftee at the Dees next season.

“They got their own issues, Melbourne at the moment, heading into the trade period,” McClure said.

“Depending on what happens with Brodie Grundy, but they’ve got some players they’ve got to make decisions about.

“(Adam) Tomlinson’s got a year left on his deal. Has been injured and then couldn’t break back into the team.

“I would be surprised if Adam is still there next year.”

Having signed on with Melbourne as a free agent ahead of the COVID-shortened season, Tomlinson still has a season to run on his agreement with the club, one that is reported to be worth $500,000 a season, per reports from SEN.

Yet, with the AFL set to sign off on clubs legally dumping players' salaries during the upcoming exchange period, the scene has been set for the Oakleigh Chargers product to make his way to a third club.

Tomlinson's league life began in 2012 after the Giants selected the Victorian with the 9th pick of the 2011 National Draft.

The winger-cum-key defender has laced the boots on 168 occasions across the course of his 11 seasons at the level.