Update: Rumours emerging now saying that Saints Jason Gram and Justin Koschitzke have used their player options and will play out the final year of their deals at the club meaning they will no longer be free agents.
Often during the 2012 season the biggest story surrounding the Collingwood Magpies wasn’t the football being played; instead it was the contract negotiations with star forward Travis Cloke.
Both parties ended what has been the most longwinded and controversial signing in recent memory when Cloke agreed to a five-year deal with the club on Thursday. While just about every other player around the league receiving just one or two year deals, Cloke managed a full four years (fifth year is allegedly non-guaranteed) for an undisclosed amount.
It is not sure if Collingwood handed over the full $1 million per season Cloke was asking for earlier in the season, but surely the big man's poor play in 2012 reduced the original asking price somewhat.
Cloke had a turbulent season in the eyes of the media, but his performance wasn’t as awful as you may think. He went just four games without kicking a goal and kicked just one in four others leaving his season total at 59 (kicked nine goals in three finals games).
The 25-year-old Cloke has played 174 senior games for the Pies, won one premiership and kicked 283 goals.
Collingwood running defender Harry O’Brien also reached a contract and that will see him at the club for another two years.
Out of contract teammate Sharrod Wellingham is on the way home to Perth for a bit of break after contract negotiations stalled and is rumoured to be meeting with one or both of the AFL clubs there. One rumour has Wellingham requesting a trade to West Coast’s already stacked midfield.
Another West Australian, Andrew Krakouer, has been offer just a one year deal by the Pies which still remains on the bargaining table. Krakouer made an amazing recovery from a serious knee injury to play the final few games of the season and had a number of impressive moments.
Finally, West Coast midfielder Koby Stevens is on the way out of the club. The 21-year-old has requested a trade after not seeing much playing time this season.
Crave has Australian sport covered.
Follow Robert White on Twitter @RobertWhitebrrr.