Adelaide captain Taylor Walker has revealed that Patrick Dangerfield told him on Tuesday that he was leaving the AFL club.
The phone call was made a day before Dangerfield confirmed he wants to join Geelong as a restricted free agent.
The Crows will play hard ball, saying they know what compensation they want for the star onballer.
"He made a phone call to me as an individual and I think he tried to do that to the whole playing group," Walker told Channel Nine's The Footy Show.
"I got mine on Tuesday and he told me that he was going home for family reasons.
"I respect his decision, although I'm disappointed about it."
Walker said it was up to Dangerfield how he broke the news to his teammates.
Walker added it was pointless for the Crows to dwell on Dangerfield's departure, which followed speculation all year about what he would do at the end of this season.
"It's very disappointing that Danger is going to explore free agency and head home," he said.
"But we wish him all the best and as a footy club we have to move on.
"We can't sit around and dwell on it."
Walker revealed he had a couple of conversations with Dangerfield about his future before the confirmation that he wanted to move to Geelong.
"He just explained that he (hadn't) made his decision," Walker said.
Walker added he would leave it to the club to decide what would be proper compensation for losing Dangerfield.
But he jokingly suggested a pricey wish list.
"We'll take Joel Selwood, Tom Hawkins, all the above," Walker said.
"We'd like a few of those guys.
"I'm sure the club will sort that out."