Welcome to the 2022 Free Agency & Trade Period analysis series. Over the next fortnight, the plan is to look at every player heading to a new club. It’s not going to be a ‘who won the trade’ series, but rather a look at how players fit into existing setups, or what changes they may force.
Collingwood’s list refresh continues to roll along, welcoming Billy Frampton from Adelaide for a future third round pick.
After eight years in the AFL system and 24 games, floating in a variety of key position roles, Frampton has settled as a defender over the last 18 months.
After Jordan Roughead’s retirement, Frampton projects as a like for like replacement but likely as a fringe/matchup dependent resource.
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Frampton filled the stat sheet at SANFL level this year, averaging 21 disposals and nearly eight marks a game.
He was a key part of the Adelaide defence in their run to a preliminary final, but wasn’t able to crack the AFL outfit after Round 8. The Crows preferred to roll with Jordon Butts and Nick Murray as their two genuine keys for most of the year.
But Collingwood obviously saw something they liked in Frampton’s SANFL performances, and coupled with their thin key defender depth were able to swing a move for relative peanuts.
After Roughead’s mid-season retirement, Darcy Moore was forced into taking the biggest key forward more often than not. For the most part it went swimmingly, but it’s clear Collingwood prefer Moore in a roaming, intercept role wherever possible.
It’s why the outline of this move for Frampton makes sense – he takes the biggest forward, Moore slots into a secondary role, and Jeremy Howe the third.
The question is whether Frampton is capable enough to improve Collingwood’s defence on what we saw this year.
In their Finals Dossier, I highlighted how the defensive quintet of Moore, Howe, Murphy, Maynard and Quaynor formed an intercepting unit which gave the Pies a base to work from with their rapid ball movement.
For Frampton to make Collingwood better, he’ll (likely) be replacing Murphy. Then he’ll have to do a good enough job on the best key forward, allowing Moore to find another level with his intercepting nous.
On paper, and in theory, it makes sense. Yet on exposed form, there isn’t a whole lot of evidence that Frampton will be able to slot into the best 22 week after week. If there was, Adelaide would have put up more of a fight to keep him, or Collingwood would have been forced to cough up more draft capital.
The most realistic situation looms as one where Frampton comes in to counter a specific matchup – taller forward lines with multiple marking options – and is first cab off the rank as a depth option if an injury forces Collingwood’s hand.
If you’ve missed any of the Free Agency & Trade Analysis posts, here’s where to catch up:
Karl Amon, Hawthorn
Josh Corbett, Fremantle
Tanner Bruhn, Geelong