Essendon have found a gem for the future in defender Jordan Ridley, but with Bombers set to offer their prized youngster with a new contract, the pressure begins to overwhelm a number of out-of-contract stars at Windy Hill.
Ridley’s rise has warranted a long-term contract, as the All-Australian contender is reportedly set to be offered a four-year deal with the Bombers, per afl.com.au.
The 21-year-old has thrived under pressure in 2020, with his composure and elite use of the ball amassing as a bid for the Essendon best and fairest.
However, with Ridley now one of the Bombers’ top priorities to lock down, it adds plenty of pressure to their list managers as almost half their list remain without a contract for 2021.
Andrew McGrath has shown he could be the Bombers’ next skipper, but with no deal past 2020, Essendon fans are beginning to worry.
Martin Gleeson, Will Snelling, Jayden Laverde, Shaun McKernan, Mitch Hibberd, Jacob Townsend and James Stewart are all yet to pen new deals in the red sash, while Tom Bellchambers will also be considering his future with the Bombers.
Kobe Mutch, Noah Gown and Josh Begley also remain without deals past this season.
Ben Rutten will hoping to be lock in plenty of his current squad before looking into the trade window, with a tough task ahead for the incoming coach.