Essendon coach Brad Scott believes gun Bomber Jake Stringer isn't the only player in the competition who might gain motivation from "extrinsic" factors like a looming contract call, as the in-form forward continues his strong start to the season.

Following a pre-season which Stringer labelled as the 'best he's had so far', the Bombers livewire featured in Essendon's first game of the season for the first time since 2020.

A cautious approach with the 29-year-old - who dealt with a troublesome foot injury in 2023 - over the summer has placed Stringer on the path to potentially return to his best football in the red and black.

The veteran forward has booted a team-high 13 goals - including at least one in each game - to start the new season, assisting a further three majors in a predominantly attacking role under Scott.

Stringer's rise back to form comes in a year where the former Bulldogs star's contract nears its expiry, with a call on the premiership player's future unlikely to come until the second half of the season.

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Some of Stringer's best seasons have come amid a period of uncertainty for the midfield-forward, who is again having a timely influence ahead of his next contract call.

Scott believes Stringer isn't alone in potentially finding extra motivation from "football mortality".

"It's a pretty common view for a lot of players. In the age of free agency these days it's interesting how much better some players play as pre-agents and free agents," Scott told 3AW. 

"I don't think he's alone in that. This is the intangible thing about effort, something you can think you're giving great effort, but sometimes it can take something extrinsic to motivate you.

"When you see your football mortality flash before your eyes it can certainly spark your effort."

Scott went on to laud Stringer's season to date, stating the impactful half-forward is in "the best physical shape" he's been in for some time.

"He's holding up his end of the bargain. He's had a lot of things to sort through, both in the mental space and the physical space," Scott said.

"Our focus on him is getting his mental space right. If you haven't got that in good order, then it's really hard to get the physical part right.

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"He's in the best physical shape he's been in for a long time, and he's getting the rewards for that.

Stringer is part of the long list of off-contract players at Essendon, with Jye Caldwell, Dyson Heppell, Matt Guelfi, Dylan Shiel, Archie Perkins, Harrison Jones and Will Setterfield also among those without deals for 2025.

The Bombers do have key figures Kyle Langford, Sam Durham, Nic MartinZach MerrettXavier DuursmaBen McKayPeter WrightMason Redman and Darcy Parish al signed until 2027 or longer.