Jonathan Taylor Trade Quest Falters for Colts, PUP List Start Confirmed

Jonathan Taylor
Trade Efforts for Colts' RB Jonathan Taylor Unsuccessful | Image credit: Google

Running back Jonathan Taylor could not be traded by the Indianapolis Colts. Despite their efforts, they were unable to find Jonathan Taylor a good offer before the deadline on Tuesday. Taylor is therefore expected to start the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, which will keep him out of at least the first four games for Indianapolis.

Taylor has been absent from team practices since his arrival at training camp on July 25. On that same day, he requested a trade after negotiations for extending his rookie contract fell through. Initially, team owner Jim Irsay was strongly opposed to such a move, but later this month, he granted Jonathan Taylor permission to explore potential trade opportunities.

Taylor was given a deadline by the Colts to find a trade, which coincided with the league’s deadline for reducing the roster to 53 players. Six teams reportedly showed interest in Taylor, and two of them reportedly made bids. Jonathan Taylor was reportedly wanted by the Colts in exchange for either a first-round draught choice or a trade package of equal value. Evidently, in this area, they did not obtain the promised reimbursement.

In his three seasons with the Colts, Jonathan Taylor has racked up 3,841 yards on the ground and 35 touchdowns overall. In the final year of his four-year, $7.8 million rookie contract, the 24-year-old is expected to make $4.3 million this season. He had ankle surgery in the offseason, which put him on the PUP list to start training camp.

It’s currently uncertain who will assume the starting running back role for the Colts this season, especially with rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson leading the offense. The backup, Zack Moss, is sidelined due to a fractured arm, leaving Evan Hull and Deon Jackson as the only options on the roster. As of Tuesday afternoon, Jackson, who was third on the depth chart, had accumulated 236 rushing yards last season.

The Colts struggled mightily in 2017, going 4-12-1 and missing the playoffs for the sixth time in eight years.
Although Taylor’s presence in the backfield wouldn’t have resolved all of their problems, the team could have undoubtedly benefited greatly from his addition.

On September 10, the Colts will play the Jacksonville Jaguars in the season opener. At best, if he’s willing, Taylor won’t be able to play for the Colts until their game against the Los Angeles Rams on October 1, precisely one month before the league’s trade deadline.

Whether the Colts can secure a suitable trade for Taylor before that deadline, however, remains uncertain.

Early-season games involving the Colts are unpredictable due to the ambiguity surrounding the running back situation. With a rookie quarterback leading the charge, a dependable running game takes on even greater importance.

As the Colts gear up for their season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 10, they must devise a game plan tailored to their available running backs, Evan Hull and Deon Jackson. Jackson, despite holding the third spot on the depth chart, has demonstrated promise with his 236 rushing yards from the previous season.

The absence of Jonathan Taylor, a significant contributor over the past three seasons, will unquestionably leave a void in the team. His knack for gaining ground and scoring touchdowns has been a cornerstone of their offensive strategy.

Looking ahead, the Colts face a race against the clock to potentially trade Taylor before the league’s deadline. Finding a suitable partner willing to meet their demands for a first-round pick or equivalent value won’t be a straightforward task, but it remains a plausible scenario.

In the interim, the Colts must maximize the talent at their disposal and adjust to the environment in order to improve upon their dismal performance from last season and push for the playoffs.

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