Essendon are yet to hold discussions with skipper Dyson Heppell in regard to the Bombers' captaincy for 2023 as the club plans to see a significant change to its "leadership capabilities" across the park.
Heppell has held the role since 2017, succeeding former midfielder Brendon Goddard as captain of the Dons.
While seen as the standout option to lead the Bombers, Heppell's tenure at Tullamarine hasn't been a successful one, adding to a tough trend that has hampered Essendon since their strong start to the 21st century.
The Bombers have amassed three finals appearances in the last six years, all of which saw the club exit in the first week of the post-season.
A tough 2022 campaign has seen the club undergo mass changes to its hierarchy, with a new CEO still needed following a major board revamp and the sacking of senior coach Ben Rutten.
Following an off-season that also saw Heppell weigh up his future before recommitting to Essendon, the Bombers are in no rush to make a decision on extending the veteran's rein as skipper.
“It's probably something we will look at through the pre-season period," Essendon football boss Josh Mahoney told News Corp.
"We haven't had any discussions with Dyson about it. He is our captain.
"We have a good group of players around him that help out, but it will be a focus for us across our playing group to improve our leadership capabilities, and it's not just going to fall on our captain."
Heppell is among a number of senior skippers seen as no certainties to retain their respective roles as captain.
Adelaide's Rory Soane and Brisbane's Dayne Zorko have both stuck their hands up to continue to their posts despite questions over their positions, while Hawthorn and Geelong will look to name successors for the retired Ben McEvoy and Joel Selwood respectively.
The Bombers will see their first to fourth-year players begin training in the coming weeks, while the likes of Heppell, Merrett and McGrath are scheduled to return for pre-season early next month.
The Herald Sun has revealed that midfielder Jye Caldwell won't be part of the pre-season program until closer to the new year, with the former Giant still recovering from shoulder surgery.