Former Collingwood vice captain Taylor Adams first reached out to Sydney before the AFL Grand Final, the Swans say.
The hard-edged midfielder dropped a bomb on the Magpies last week when news dropped that he had officially requested a trade to the Swans.
It has now come to light that Adams first approached the Swans after the preliminary final as his teammates were preparing to face Brisbane in the Grand Final.
Adams was injured during a training session following the team’s qualifying final win and missed the preliminary final before being ruled out of the Grand Final early in the week.
Adams was signed with Collingwood until the end of the 2024 season and has now joined the Swans on a three-year deal.
The 30-year-old was spotted in tears at the MCG while walking around the ground and congratulating his teammates after their win over the Lions.
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The Swans’ account of how the trade went down shows a major twist.
Sydney list manager Kinnear Beatson on Wednesday said Adams approached the club “really late in the finals series” about a possible deal.
“The interest (from Taylor Adams) came really late in the finals series – it came between prelim and Grand Final week where he got his injury,” he said on SEN.
“We were then approached by his manager to see if it was something we’d look at.”
The Swans pulled off the deal without much fuss, coughing up Pick 33 in exchange.
It was a huge day for the Swans, who moved on former No. 5 draft pick Dylan Stephens to the Roos, while landing Adams and All-Australian ruckman Brodie Grundy.
The revelation that Adams first approached the Swans has raised eyebrows — and footy journalist Jon Ralph believes Adams may have seen “the writing on the wall” after being pushed out of the starting midfield and being moved to the half-back line.
“I think there was a fair element of him saying to his good mate Brodie Grundy, ‘look you’re going to Sydney; I can see what’s going to happen the next couple of years for me, I’d love to go to Sydney as well’,” he said on Fox Footy’s Trading Day.
“(Sydney) don’t need these guys forever. I get the feeling after the last couple of days, Taylor could see the writing on the wall. Play one more year, and be surplus to (Collingwood’s) requirements.”
Adams on Wednesday night dropped an emotional video thanking teammates, staff, mentors and fans.
“Hey everyone. Crazy morning this morning. Emotions running high,” he said in a video shared by Collingwood on Instagram.
“Clearly mixed emotions at the moment. I just want to send a message out just to thank everyone involved in the Collingwood Football Club for what has been an incredible journey.
“Ten years ago, I walked into the doors as a 20-year-old kid with no real purpose or direction. I’ve just been supported through the ups and the downs. I’ve been given the opportunity to thrive in an environment where giving your best was always appreciated and supported and encouraged.”
Adams singled out former president Eddie McGuire, former captain Nick Maxwell, former coach Nathan Buckley, teammates Steele Sidebottom and Jeremy Howe as well as premiership coach Craig McRae, Magpies footy boss Graham Wright and captain Darcy Moore.
“There’s just so many people that this organisation have made my life so much more enjoyable and I’ll get to those individually,” he said.
“A few shout outs. Obviously, Eddie McGuire for everything that he did for our football club and for the friendship that I’ve still got with him today.
“To Maxy and Bucks for their leadership and support through the early years to Pendles for outlasting everyone and just being a great mate.
“Steele and Howie, still two of the best friends that I’ve made through football and two guys that I have ultimate respect for and I’m going to miss you guys both so much.
“To Fly, Wrighty and Darce. What a journey the last couple of years have been. Darce, our friendship has just gone stronger and stronger and stronger over the last six years and to see you hold that cup up this year is one of my proudest moments in my career. To all my current teammates, I absolutely love our playing group. The last couple years have been some of the most enjoyable times I’ve had in my football career.
“Making this decision is one of the hardest decisions I’ve made and it’s purely because of the people I get to work with day in day out.”
He also addressed his devastation at missing out on playing in the club’s Grand Final win.
“Clearly I would have rather been out there, but the next best thing was sitting amongst you all and being able to see the emotion that this football club brings to you and that’s certainly reciprocated to us as players on the field,” he said to fans.
“I’ll see you at the SCG next year.”
The Swans have been the most active team in the Trade Period so far, already securing James Jordon and Joel Hamling.
Swans footy boss Charlie Gardiner said he was surprised both deals for Adams and Grundy got done so early, but had no doubt the duo would help keep the club in finals contention.
“Things moved quicker than we might have expected overnight and today,” he said on Trading Day.
“Terrific outcome for the club to bring in two experienced and high quality players. We’re always trying to get better and compete at the pointy end.
“We want to compete every year and be as strong as we can.”