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Jobe considering AFL future as Dons settle

AAP logoAAP 22/11/2016 Michael Ramsey and Roger Vaughan

Essendon star Jobe Watson is considering his AFL future after being stripped of the 2012 Brownlow Medal.

Watson was one of 34 past and present Essendon players banned this season for anti-doping code violations arising from the club's 2012 supplements program.

The veteran was last week stripped of the 2012 Brownlow by the AFL Commission, having already decided to hand back the medal.

Bombers coach John Worsfold on Tuesday raised doubts about Watson's future after the furore surrounding the medal.

"The timing of the Brownlow announcement and things like that, just as he was about to run back out on the training track ... challenged him again," Worsfold said.

"He's really been the spokesman for the 34 players for a few years - those players have all pretty much moved on.

"Then this hits Jobe in an individual way.

"There's no doubt it's again got Jobe to that point where he says 'do I really have the passion for the game and playing the game?'

"I can't say what his mood is but it's challenged him more than where he was at six weeks ago.

"We will support him taking his time with that decision, if and when that passion comes back. I am confident it will and I have told Jobe I will assist him and hopefully he can find that."

Watson trained at an open session on Tuesday and later took a group of fans on a tour of the club's Tullarmarine facilities.

Worsfold said the club would give Watson extra time off during the pre-season if he felt he needed it.

The renewed uncertainty surrounding Watson's future comes as Essendon agreed to pay settlements to 18 past and present players who lost earnings as a result of the supplements saga.

Law firm Slater and Gordon on Tuesday confirmed the Bombers had reached an in-principle agreement with the players but said the amount of money each would receive was confidential.

"They were given assurances that all supplements they were receiving had been approved from people who they thought they could trust," class action lawyer Patrick Gordon said.

"No player at any time intended to breach their obligations under the AFL Anti-Doping Code and any such breach that occurred was due to the players being misled about the nature of the supplements they received."

Gordon said paperwork had been lodged in regards to the settlements, which were expected to be formally resolved in coming days.

Stewart Crameri, who now plays for the Western Bulldogs, is among the 18 players set to receive a settlement.

It's understood some of the remaining 16 players have sought independent advice and may still be seeking to reach settlements.

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