It's already been a huge off-season for Essendon and it's going to get even bigger with a $3 million budget ready to be splashed.
The Herald Sun has reported that due to recent retirements and exits over the last three years - and not one player being on over $800,000 per year - the club has a $3 million budget to spend on the trade period and free agency window.
In that period, the only player they have brought to the club through free agency is Jake Kelly during last year's window.
With a budget this large, and the potential for more exits, Essendon have the potential to have one of the biggest off-seasons we have seen, with plenty of quality possibly becoming available to them.
With the retirement of McDonald-Tipungwuti, a small forward is a must for Essendon to bring in, and there are a few names that can definitely play an important role in the Bombers' forward line.
Toby Bedford is a name that has been thrown around a lot, with the 22-year-old struggling to get regular game time at the reigning premiers.
Bedford possesses a lot of qualities that Mcdonald-Tipungwuti had, which includes pace and pressure as well as an eye for goal. He will be available to the Dons if he does not sign a new contract with Melbourne.
With Dyson Heppell possibly on the way out, the Bombers could also possibly look at former player Conor McKenna to replace him as the Irishman is reportedly returning to the AFL in 2023.
McKenna was a key player for the Bombers during the 2018 and 2019 seasons but departed at the end of 2020 to return to Ireland.
A wingman could also be on the watchlist for the Bombers, and there are a few big names up for grabs.
Brad Hill could be a target, but his reported $900,000 wage would be a massive turnoff for the club.
A more suitable option for the club would be Fremantle's Blake Acres, who may be on the way out. Acres has had a terrific season for the Dockers and Essendon would only have to pay around $300,000-400,000 per season for him, less than half of Hill's wage.
McKay is a little more farfetched but not out of the question, and with only a year left on his contract with intentions unclear the Bombers could be open to a surprise move for the Coleman Medal winner.
The big name that will inevitably arise over time after the Bombers missed out on him two years ago is Josh Dunkley
Dunkley is yet to sign a new contract and is out of contract at the end of the year. He would be a huge name for the Bombers to land but would come at a hefty price.
The trade period begins on Monday, October 3 and lasts until Wednesday, October 12.