Jack Watts has joined Port Adelaide in exchange for pick No.31.
Watts opted to join the Power over rival suitors, Geelong and Sydney, who had also shown interest in the 26-year-old.
The Demons are initially understood to have wanted a pick in the 20s, however, settled for the Power’s late second round pick.
Despite being pushed out by the club, Melbourne football operations manager, Josh Mahoney, said Watts would be warmly welcomed back to the club.
“I would first like to thank Jack for his contribution to the Melbourne Football Club,” he told melbournefc.com.au.
“He will always be welcomed back to the club as a Melbourne person and we wish him the very best for the future.
“At the end of the year, we had a conversation with Jack regarding his future at Melbourne where we spoke openly about what is best for him and the club.
“We agreed that we would look at our options and we feel this outcome is the best thing for Jack as an individual and that’s why both parties have agreed to the deal.
“There is no doubt that this has been a difficult decision for the club to make but the list management group felt that Jack’s consistency of performance while at Melbourne hasn’t been at the level expected of a player with his experience.”
Watts said he held no hard feelings towards the Demons.
“I want to thank all of the supporters and everyone at the Melbourne Football Club. The supporters have been tremendous to me over the years and I can’t thank them enough,” Watts said.
“I have no hard feelings towards the club. I know it’s difficult to leave as I have always enjoyed playing for Melbourne but I think a clean break is the best thing for me and I’m looking forward to the next stage of my career.
“I also want to acknowledge and thank all of my teammates who have been awesome to play with. I know the club is on the right path and I wish the boys nothing but success in the future.”
Watts has played a total of 153 matches for Melbourne since making his debut in Round 11, 2009 against Collingwood.
He played 16 games in 2017, averaging 15.7 disposals and kicking 22 goals.
He missed rounds 14 – 17 due to a hamstring injury and was dropped from the senior side after the Demons’ loss to GWS in Round 20, missing the next two weeks, before returning to the team in Round 23.