Colts RB Jonathan Taylor requests trade after meeting with owner Jim Irsay

By Adam Burke  ( 

July 29, 2023 08:53 PM

Taylor and Irsay met on Saturday on the owner’s bus after practice

The Indianapolis Colts were expected to be in something of a transition phase with No. 4 overall pick Anthony Richardson starting at quarterback, but now the team’s most proven and polished offensive player has requested a trade. Running back Jonathan Taylor was not offered a contract extension heading into his final season with the Colts and he will now hope to be sent to another team.

Taylor’s meeting and demand came as running backs around the league have voiced their concerns and displeasure with how the position is viewed in today’s game, given that it has had significant impacts on their current and future earning potential. Saquon Barkley recently staged a short “holdout” of sorts before eventually going back to the Giants for just a little bit more than he was originally offered. Raiders RB Josh Jacobs is still holding his ground regarding his contract talks.

Taylor, who missed six games last season and ran for 861 yards, led the league in rushing attempts, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns in 2021 when he finished second in the Offensive Player of the Year voting to Cooper Kupp.

The third-year running back out of Wisconsin is on the final year of his rookie deal and will make just over $4.3 million this season. He is an impending free agent who does not want to get caught up in the tagging process. A tenuous situation seemed to take another turn when Taylor’s agent, Malki Kawa, quote-tweeted owner Jim Irsay regarding the running back situation around the league.

Jonathan Taylor stats

Taylor did miss part of last season with an ankle injury, but has rushed for 3,741 yards and 33 touchdowns over his first three seasons as a pro. He’s also caught 104 passes for 802 yards.

Despite the strong numbers, here’s what Irsay had to say about Taylor per The Athletic Colts beat writer James Boyd:

Well, then.

However, there's also this from NFL reporter Albert Breer.

So, I guess we'll just wait and see.

2023 Indianapolis Colts betting odds

The Colts are +10000 at DraftKings Sportsbook to win the Super Bowl and +600 to win the AFC North, so the odds of this season playing out in spectacular fashion were slim, but would seem to be even slimmer without Taylor. He’s coming off of a big surgery, but would be a tremendous help to Richardson and the rest of the offense.

The Colts win total is 6.5 with the Over at -120, but we would certainly see an adjustment if Taylor’s request is fulfilled and may even see one with the ongoing animosity within the organization.

Potential Jonathan Taylor trade destinations

If the Colts are going to consider Taylor's request, which they do not have to do since he is under contract for this season, which teams could be good fits?

A lot of teams could be potential suitors since Taylor's contract is low and his cap hit is only around $5.2 million.

The Buffalo Bills (+900 to win the Super Bowl) seem like a logical fit, as they look to enter the season with James Cook, Damien Harris, and Latavius Murray on the roster.

The Chicago Bears (+5000) may not be eager to give up future assets, but they could conceivably sign Taylor to an extension and give Justin Fields a top-five running back next to him. Given the current views about RBs, maybe hitting the open market isn't the best strategy right now.

It will be interesting to follow this saga as the season draws near.

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