While a portion of trade and free agency deals are often finalised in the dying seconds of the exchange window's deadline day, the wheels can often be in motion before the AFL home and away season is even underway.
Last year's trade window saw 36 players find a new club ahead of the 2023 season, some deals being brokered within hours and others landing after months in the making.
Between contracted players and free agents, AFL clubs and their list managers will often be putting the wheels in motion to scout targets right from their first appearance of the season, or could very well enter the new year with priority signings in mind.
"It was still six months in the making, though. There was Brisbane's offer. Then came Collingwood's meeting. It then went back to Brisbane to think about whether to keep him. It eventually got to a stage where Daniel decided, ‘nup, I want to come home'."
With the new season just over a month away, each club is sure to have their list of targets slowly coming together as they plan to scout out-of-contract names across the course of the year.
With this list, we name the one off-contract player your club should be keeping a close eye on in 2023.
The Blues' list team are sure to have their attention placed firmly within their own four walls this year, with emerging tall Tom De Koning their biggest fish off-contract in 2023.
But while Carlton continues their push to have De Koning sign on the dotted line, a portion of their focus will still need to be on who they can bring into the club should the 23-year-old look to move on from Ikon Park.
Wanting to bolster their ruck stops to aid the workload of Marc Pittonet, who has faced extended periods on the sidelines through injury, then the Blues could have Bulldogs ruckman Jordon Sweet in mind.
Sweet has shown glimpses he can compete at the highest level, averaging over 21 hit-outs and four tackles across his 11 appearances under Luke Beveridge.