Essendon have moved closer to drawing a line under the futures of the five uncommitted Dons, requiring Michael Hurley and Jobe Watson to let them know of their plans within a week of the AFL season's end.
Bombers coach John Worsfold agreed the club needed to know "absolutely" within "two or three weeks" whether they intended on resuming their playing careers at the club.
"We haven't put an absolute timeframe on it but now that they're back (from holidays) we'll be asking the question 'how much time do you need?' (and) "what is it you need to make your final decisions?'," he said on Thursday.
Hurley, Watson, Michael Hibberd, Ben Howlett and Tayte Pears have yet to confirm they'll be back at the club in 2017 after their season-long anti-doping sanction.