ST KILDA said it put the team ahead of the individual in allowing 205-gamer Brendon Goddard to move to Essendon under the AFL's new free agency rules.
As expected, the Bombers wasted no time when the free agency period opened yesterday, lodging a four-year offer for Goddard with the AFL, reportedly worth $800,000-a-season.
And just hours later St Kilda's head of football Chris Pelchen said the club would not exercise its right to match Essendon's offer, despite an outcry from a large number of fans.
"Essendon offered a four-year deal ... we at St Kilda chose to offer a three-year deal," Pelchen said. "We've put a team first philosophy in place at this club and that's how we conduct all our negotiations.
"There's no doubt we're disappointed with Brendon's decision, but we respect his right to exercise his options under free agency."
Just last month the 27-year-old was feted at the Saints' best-and-fairest count after being made a life member of the club.
In other free agency developments yesterday, Richmond secured the services of Adelaide midfielder Chris Knights and also tabled an offer for Port Adelaide defender Troy Chaplin. The 26-year-old is a restricted free agent which means Port had 72 hours from lodgement of the offer to match the Tigers' deal, or lose him.
Port may also lose utility Danyle Pearce after Fremantle lodged an offer for the 26-year-old who is also a restricted free agent.
No news was forthcoming on offers for West Coast forward Quinten Lynch who announced late last week he was leaving the club and wanted to test his options under free agency.
Disgruntled Melbourne forward Brent Moloney and Port utility Steven Salopek are others in a long list of players looking for new homes under the system.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.