The Sydney Swans tried to land Kurt Tippett in last year's trade period
THE MARATHON free agency and trade period of last year has been scaled back, with the AFL shortening it by almost a week.
AFL.com.au understands the free agency period will open on Friday, October 4, four days later than last year, when it began on the Monday following the Grand Final.
The free agency period will again overlap with the trade period, which starts the following Monday, October 7.
The full exchange period is still scheduled to finish on Friday, October 25, after a total of three weeks.
It's believed the League made the change to give teams participating in the Grand Final more time to focus on the free agency window rather than rushing into it after the premiership decider.
The delayed start to the free agency period will also allow clubs to concentrate on the NAB AFL Draft Combine, which runs from October 1-4 at Etihad Stadium and is a vital part of the drafting process for recruiting departments.
The opening day of last year's free agency period – the first in AFL history – saw some activity, including restricted free agent Brendon Goddard crossing from St Kilda to Essendon.
A number of free agents found new homes through the early stages of the period, but many believed going for nearly a month was too long.
AFL.com.au has previously revealed free agency compensation picks for clubs who lose players will stay for this year, but will again be reviewed in 2014.
There is a likelihood that compensation for unrestricted agents will be scrapped, but picks for restricted agents will remain.
Hawthorn spearhead Lance Franklin, Collingwood star Dale Thomas and Western Bulldogs Brownlow medallist Adam Cooney head this year's list of free agents, along with Carlton forward Eddie Betts.