This offseason, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said he wouldn’t entertain a trade for Pro Bowl running back Jonathan Taylor, who has been holding out from training camp due to a contract dispute.
Now, according to multiple reports, Irsay and the Colts are walking back that thought process, allowing Taylor permission to seek a trade.
NFL Network reported that “several GMs and talent evaluators were informed earlier today that Taylor is available,” which creates a large twist in the NFL as Week 1 is a couple of weeks away.
ESPN reported that Indy is looking for a first-round pick or a “package of picks that equates to as much” for Taylor, which shows that they will not be shipping him away easy.
Taylor has publicly shown his displeasure with the Colts this offseason amid a contract dispute with the club as he enters the final year of his rookie contract.
Taylor believes he is deserving of a new contract, but Irsay has been stern with his belief that Taylor shouldn’t get one at the moment. The running back market has taken a large dip, with players like Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs – two elite backs like Taylor – not getting extensions from their respective teams.
Taylor and Irsay met in late July on a team bus that was parked near the Colts’ practice field. Following the meeting, Taylor wished to be traded, but Irsay wouldn’t consider it, per NFL Network.
Taylor recently left the Colts to undergo additional rehab on his ankle that required offseason surgery to repair, but he returned last Monday. However, he left the team again, and now he’s allowed to look for trades.
Two seasons ago, Taylor led the NFL in rushing yards with 1,811 and rushing touchdowns with 18. The ankle injury he suffered last season hindered his rushing numbers as he collected 861 yards on 192 attempts with four touchdowns in 11 games.
Production like that will make Taylor’s price tag high as the Colts seem to be telling those interested.
The most notable recent running back trade was the Carolina Panthers dealing away All-Pro Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers for 2023 second-, third- and fourth-round picks as well as a 2024 fifth-round pick in October of last year.
Week 1 officially kicks off Sept. 7 with the Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs playing on Thursday night.
We’ll see if the Colts will face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 10 with or without Jonathan Taylor on their sideline.
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