Essendon's Paddy Ryder in action
Essendon's Paddy Ryder in action Scott Barbour

Brisbane Lions set to secure ruckman Paddy Ryder

THE Brisbane Lions are in the box seat to secure outstanding Essendon ruckman Paddy Ryder.

The 26-year-old, who signed a four-contract with the Bombers in 2012, reportedly wants to leave after being caught up in the club's 2012 supplements program that led to the ASADA and AFL investigation.

That issue led to the AFL creating an escape clause that allows players to leave a club mid-contract in the event of a breach of duty of care.

Ryder has been linked to the Lions and GWS, with Fairfax Media reporting Brisbane could potentially secure a trade with a second-round draft pick. Essendon would receive no other compensation for the trade.

Meanwhile Lions midfielder Tom Rockliff is a hot favourite to win his second club best-and-fairest tonight.

The vice-captain missed four games through suspension and illness, but racked up career-best averages in disposals (32.7 per game), tackles (9.1) and clearances (6.2).

Against Rockcliff's chances is that no Brisbane player who missed more than two games in a season has gone to win the Merrett-Murray Medal.

Other contenders include Irishman Pearce Hanley, defender and two-time winner Joel Patfull, midfielder Dayne Zorko and captain Jed Adcock.

A win for Hanley would continue his recent progression in the count, having finished fourth in 2011, third in 2012 and runner-up last year.

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