MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 23: Nat Fyfe of the Dockers is seen after his shirt was ripped during the round 21 AFL match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Fremantle Dockers at Etihad Stadium on August 23, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Fremantle’s Nat Fyfe and Richmond’s Dustin Martin are undoubtedly the two biggest fish in the 2017 free agency pond.

The pair were both drafted in 2009 (Fyfe at pick 20, Martin with pick three), and as it stands their current contracts expire at the end of the season.

With teams sure to be hot on the tails of both Fyfe and Martin, we’ve decided to break down the reasons as to why they will or won’t stay at their respective clubs beyond this season.

Nat Fyfe

The Dockers midfielder is one of the best players in the game today, even after playing just five games in 2016 after suffering a broken leg early in the season.

He’s a Brownlow Medallist, two-time AFLPA MVP, two-time best and fairest winner, and has been named in the All-Australian side twice.

Why he’ll sign: After former captain Matthew Pavlich retired at the end of last season, Fyfe was chosen as Pav’s successor.

Captaining an AFL side is certainly no easy task, and the midfielder will surely be proud to have that honour.

It also looms as the major reason as to why Fyfe will stay in Perth, with the club clearly having faith in him to be the man to lead them forward in the future.

If Fyfe chose to leave Fremantle he almost certainly wouldn’t be the captain of his new club in the first season, meaning he would have to give up his tag as captain, and that may just be too big a price to pay.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 25: Nathan Fyfe of the Dockers stands on the mark during the AFL First Preliminary Final match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Hawthorn Hawks at Domain Stadium on September 25, 2015 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Why he won’t: Simply put, Fremantle are no good this season.

The Dockers were also shade of their former selves in 2016, winning just four games after finishing as minor premiers and winning 17 in the season prior.

The past off-season for Fremantle was an important one, as fans were hoping the club could bounce back after a poor year, although instead it looks like it was the first season in a long rebuild for the club.

Most clubs circling the 25-year-old will be closer to a premiership than Fremantle currently are, and with Fyfe entering his prime over the next few years, no one could blame him for heading to a side that’s likely to soon challenge for a flag.

Prediction: With the lure of money and a chance to go to a premiership-calibre side, we believe Fyfe will depart Fremantle at the end of the season, but the decision is still touch-and-go in our eyes.

Dustin Martin

The Tiger continues to elevate his game each season, and after brilliant performances to start 2017, there’s no disputing he’s currently one of the best in the game.

Martin won Richmond’s best and fairest and was named to the All-Australian side in 2016, and is one of, if not the best one-on-one player in the competition.

Why he’ll sign: The Tigers have invested a lot of time and effort into Martin, probably more than any other play at the club.

Port Adelaide premiership coach Mark ‘Choco’ Williams joined Richmond in 2013 and worked with a troubled Martin quite closely, with the pair developing a strong friendship.

Williams has been a major part of Martin’s rise to stardom over the past few seasons, and still keeps in close contact with the 25-year-old despite not working for the club anymore.

With loyal players seemingly harder and harder to find nowadays, Richmond have done enough right by Martin that it seems as though he may reciprocate the favour and stay at Tigerland.

MOE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 11: Dustin Martin of the Tigers celebrates after kicking a goal during the 2017 JLT Community Series AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the Collingwood Magpies at Ted Summerton Reserve on March 11, 2017 in Moe, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Why he won’t: The Tigers aren’t as bad as Fremantle, but it still remains to be seen how much better than them they are.

A 2-0 start to the season will give Richmond confidence that a finals berth isn’t out of the question in 2017, but a lot of things still need to go right for the Tigers to succeed this season.

Martin will surely command over $1 million on his next deal, and with Richmond reportedly tabling an $800,000 a year deal to the superstar, money may talk in the favour of most other clubs.

Premiership teams would love Martin in their side and there are plenty of clubs out there closer to a flag than Richmond are, so his options surely won’t be limited.

If the Tigers fail to make the finals this season, Martin will no doubt have a tough decision on his hands.

Prediction: This one is an easier choice in our eyes, as we believe the relationship between the Tigers and Martin is too strong, and he’ll stay at Richmond beyond 2017.