The 32-year-old played his 194th and final game in the red sash on Saturday night, an unfortunate 66-point loss to Richmond that has only compounded a difficult week for the Victorian club.
One highlight that had arisen in a tumultuous past few days was Hurley's farewell at the club, which was capped off with one last goal for the Bombers at the MCG to be swarmed by teammates.
The game was Hurley's first since September 2020 due to ongoing setbacks, including a life-threatening hip infection.
With the dust now settling, Hurley is already looking at life beyond his playing career and may not leave Tullamarine for 2023.
Michael Hurley kicks a goal in his final game of AFL ❤️
— Fox Footy (@FOXFOOTY) August 20, 2022
Speaking on AFL Nation, Hurley revealed he and Essendon have discussed a potential role with the club for 2023.
“I’ve had some initial discussions about sticking around next year,” Hurley revealed.
“It could be potentially in a coaching or player welfare role, so we’re talking through that at the moment."
Hurley joined the Bombers through the 2008 National Draft out of Macleod in Melbourne's northeast, selected with the fifth overall pick in the draft.
After spending 14 years with the Dons, Hurley hasn't given much thought about returning to the field at the local level.
“In terms of playing football, I haven’t really thought too far," he said.
"I have a few little things to tidy up body-wise like my ankle and finger, but I’ll get that sorted and see how I’m feeling physically.”
Essendon's football department is expected to face mass changes between now and next season, with an external review to take place over the off-season.
The Bombers could cut ties with senior coach Ben Rutten as early as Sunday following their 15th-placed finish to the season.