Retired Richmond triple premiership hero Jack Riewoldt has opened up on the "unequivocal" trade interest from Essendon prior to his role in the Tigers' recent dynasty.

Following a 2016 season where the Tigers amassed just the eight wins, the club decided to keep contracted senior coach Damien Hardwick at the helm despite a disappointing campaign, with a mass restructure of the coaching group implemented around him instead.

Mark Williams, Ross Smith, Brendon Lade, Mark P. Williams and Greg Mellor all departed Punt Road at the end of 2016, with the likes of Justin Leppitsch, Craig McRae, Blake Caracella, Andrew McQualter and Xavier Clarke all earning new roles at Richmond.

The off-season of off-field change left Riewoldt to consider his options at Tigerland, opening discussions with manager Liam Pickering to assess his future amid murmurs his time in the yellow and black could be up after a decade.

Riewoldt's name had been floated as a potential trade piece, however the Tigers spearhead sought clarity from the club's list management team to learn Richmond weren't shipping his services.

The then-27-year-old had recommitted to the Tigers a year prior ahead of a potential free agency season, but strong levels of interest from Brisbane and Essendon still arose amid a time of turbulence at the Tigers.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MAY 21: Trent Cotchin, Jack Riewoldt celebrate a goal by Steven Morris of the Tigers during the round nine AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Richmond Tigers at Domain Stadium on May 21, 2016 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

In an edited extract supplied by The Herald Sun from Riewoldt's upcoming book The Bright SideRiewoldt revealed he held conversations with former Essendon coach John Worsfold and midfielder Brendon Goddard in the off-season of 2016.

After feeling "dirty" and "as if I were cheating" from his conversations with arch rivals, Riewoldt opted to remain with the Tigers.

"Handed down on September 12, the key outcome was that Dimma kept his job, which was a massive relief, but several of his assistants were let go," he wrote.

"I asked my manager, Liam Pickering, what my options were, and he told me exactly what he was hearing: I was being thrown up as a trade option. I asked Richmond list manager, Blair Hartley, about it, and he said I wasn't.

"That same game of ducks and drakes plays out every year at every club, and it does make for a strange working life, with an odd kind of conditional trust. Regardless, the media had dubbed me as potential ‘trade bait', and that has its own effect – plenty of clubs made inquiries based solely on the perception that I was gettable.

"The Brisbane Lions came hard again. And the Bombers were unequivocal about their interest. One day, I was in the bedding section of Myer at Southland when my phone rang, and Essendon coach John Worsfold was on the other end. There I was, lying back on a nice new mattress, chatting to the coach of an arch-rival.

"Brendon Goddard called later to give me a feeling for what was happening at the Bombers, doing his level best to see me swap a yellow sash for a red one.

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"Throughout it all I felt dirty – There's just no way; I couldn't, could I? – almost as if I were cheating. It was such a strange and disorientating period, and yet at the same time, I was by now mature enough to manage myself and have those grown-up conversations."

Riewoldt's decision to remain with the Tigers, coupled with the club's call not to sack Hardwick, helped Richmond snap their 37-year premiership drought just a year later.

The Victorian club would return to powerhouse status and would go on to claim two more flags by the end of 2020 - with Riewoldt and Hardwick playing integral roles in the dynasty.

The pair both departed Punt Road this year, with Hardwick resigning from his post in May before Riewoldt called time on his decorated career in August.

A 12-time leading club goalkicker with Richmond, Riewoldt left the game with three All-Australian selections, two Coleman Medals, two Jack Dyer Medals and three premierships.