Triple M's Damian Barrett says Hawthorn had told Ty Vickery months ago that "ideally" he would not be on their list for 2018.
Vickery announced his retirement last week, despite having a year to run on his contract at Hawthorn.
But Barrett, on his podcast The Sounding Board, said the decision may have come from the club and the coach.
"He (Vickery) was made aware of this situation via Alastair Clarkson’s thoughts on it anyway," he said.
"He was made aware of this either late-August or early-September that ideally in Hawthorn’s world he would not be on their list for 2018. Despite the contract he signed to be there for that period."
"So he had an awareness of it."
Barrett said the decision does tie into Vickery's relation with the court case surrounding Jake King.
King appeared in court last week over allegations he threatened to kill and seriously injure a former business partner of the two, which led to them being arrested in July.
"It does relate back to - partially, at least - the Jake King situation which had police involvement and is still being played out through the courts," Barrett said.
"It wasn’t the absolute reason - but it was part of the reasoning Hawthorn had.
"The lack of form, the lack of performance and the fact it just hasn’t worked from the day he got to the footy club."