Essendon's list management department is reportedly freezing negotiations on new contracts for its group of rookie-listed players as it continues its push to cement the futures of unsigned star duo, Darcy Parish and Mason Redman.
According to AFL.com.au's Callum Twomey, a number of contract extensions for young Bombers have been put on hold as the club prioritises its key pair of retentions.
Forward Jye Menzie and defender Massimo D'Ambrosio, both 20 years of age and both snapped up by Essendon at the 2022 Mid-Season Draft, present as a pair of first-team-regular Bombers whose extension negotiations have been halted in favour of Parish and Redman, per Twomey's report.
That duo joins the likes of fellow young Dons Kaine Baldwin, Patrick Voss, and Cian McBride, as well as 2022 draftees Anthony Munkara and Rhett Montgomerie, and Mid-Season Draft choice Jaiden Hunter, whose 2023 season may be cut short due to a recently-uncovered back fracture.
Baldwin, who is capable of playing as a key-position forward or defender, recently broke back into coach Brad Scott's side after debuting in 2022, while Voss, a 2021 rookie draftee, is uncapped but thought to be edging closer to an AFL debut.
Twomey reported that negotiations are underway between the Bombers and Parish on a new deal for the midfielder, while an offer from Essendon to Redman has been tabled, however, the intercepting defender is said to be weighing his future in red and black.
The Bombers are pulling out all the stops to persuade Redman, in particular, to re-commit, as he is reportedly receiving significant interest from his hometown Adelaide Crows.
According to SEN's Garry Lyon, Essendon went as far as rolling out club legend Simon Madden as part of a recent "full-on" presentation to the off-contract Redman.
The stellar defender remains non-committal, however, as his Crow suitors continue to circle.