Kelly quits Crows, set to join Bombers

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Experienced defender Jake Kelly has quit Adelaide and is set to join AFL rivals Essendon.

Melbourne-born Kelly, who fell off-contract after playing 110 games for the Crows, is an unrestricted free agent meaning he can sign with a club of his choice.

The 26-year-old is understood to have agreed to join Essendon, with a deal to be ratified when the AFL's free agency period opens on October 1.

Kelly told the Crows of his decision to leave at a meeting with coach Matthew Nicks on Friday morning.

The son of Collingwood premiership player and now renowned player agent Craig Kelly had been linked with two clubs in his native Victoria, the Bombers and North Melbourne.

Essendon's coach Ben Rutten was a teammate of Kelly when he was selected with pick 40 in the 2014 rookie draft.

And despite links with North coach David Noble, who was Adelaide's list manager and head of football when Kelly was recruited, the backman is believed to have opted for Essendon.

Adelaide's current head of football Adam Kelly, no relation to the backman, says the Crows respect his reasoning for wanting to return to his home city of Melbourne.

"Jake has made a great contribution to our club over the past eight seasons," Adam Kelly said in a statement.

"He has consistently set high standards on and off the field with his training and preparation."

Kelly is the latest player to depart the Crows, who did not offer new contracts to veterans Daniel Talia and Tom Lynch.

Dual All Australian full-back Talia, 29, is rumoured to be on the verge of signing with Richmond.

And Lynch, 30, is weighing up whether to continue his playing career elsewhere or pursue any coaching opportunities.

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