Despite being contracted until the end of next season, reports emerged that the Magpies have put the 24-year old on the trade table.
It begs the question – which clubs would be a good fit for the elite runner?
“Just looking at his numbers from 2018, he played every game, he averaged 25.5 disposals, with 15.5 kicks, 15 goals, a high inside 50 player and talk about metres gained and what Jayden Short did in the Grand Final, he’s a high metres gained player,” Cornes told AFL Trade Radio.
“Now he’s lost his spot through the midfield and they’re trying to play him as a forward, but I think at 24 years of age for him to come in for Melbourne and play that role they had slotted for Isaac Smith. I think there is a good fit there for Phillips.
“Equally, if Hawthorn lost Smith, I’d be having a chat to Phillips as well.
“So there should be a couple of clubs who are really interested in Tom Phillips.
“He is contracted (with Collingwood), but a little bit out of favour at the Pies.”
Phillips was one of Collingwood’s best players in their 2018 grand final season, averaging 25.5 disposals and and 5.7 marks per game while booting 15 goals.
His form dipped slightly in 2019, going at 23.8 disposals, 5.3 marks and booting 12 goals. He finished sixth and seventh respectively in both of those years.
The wingman fell out of favour slightly this season, getting pushed out to a half forward flank following the emergence of Josh Daicos. Phillips averaged 16.3 disposals and 3.1 marks in 2020, albeit in reduced quarters.
Essendon legend Matthew Lloyd believes Phillips will be best utilised on a wing in 2021.
“With Tom, it was one of the biggest fall from grace that I’ve seen,” he said.
“He just feels at home on a wing … he lost all confidence (playing out of position) to me.
“I reckon it’s a golden opportunity for any club who is looking for that hard running wingman.”