WE'RE not yet finished with 2020, but it seems the silly season is in full swing.
Essendon's state - compounded by a disappointing home and away season - has deteriorated dramatically in the past 48 hours.
It started when Irishman Conor McKenna retired. It wasn't entirely unexpected, after a tumultuous season in which he returned to the Emerald Isle with homesickness and was diagnosed with COVID-19. It started to feel worse for Bombers fans when Adam Saad nominated Carlton as his preferred choice of club and demanded a trade.
Joe Daniher became the latest headache for both Ben Rutten and Adrian Dodoro when told the Bombers he was leaving for Brisbane as a restricted free agent.
Essendon reserves the right to match any offer to Daniher and could tie him to more years at the club.
It's worth mentioning Essendon reserve the right to match any offer to Daniher and could tie him to more years at the club if it so chooses. Essendon is in a bit of a state but perhaps the significance of these players is being overstated.
Daniher has barely played in recent seasons due to injury problems. Saad, on the other hand, is probably in the top five of his position in the competition and has arguably improved since crossing from Gold Coast in 2017.
The question remains - does Essendon need to rebuild and reset? It has the bones of a quality outfit.
Andrew McGrath was a positive in an otherwise dreary season and finally appears to be growing into the player Essendon hoped for when it drafted him first overall in 2016.
Cobden export Zach Merrett is as reliable as ever and Jordan Ridley is undoubtedly the find of the season.
How the Bombers respond could make or break their future.
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