After public jabs between ownership and player, the Indianapolis Colts have granted star running back Jonathan Taylor an opportunity to seek out a trade.
Where will Taylor find greener pastures? How’d we get here? And can the Colts survive a JT trade? Let’s break it all down:
Where Will Jonathan Taylor Get Traded?
At +250 odds, Miami is favored to land Taylor. The odds imply a 28.57% shot that Taylor's next team will be in South Florida.
Dolphins Best Fit For JT
Last year, the Dolphins finished eighth in total rushing yards with a running back room of Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson, and Chase Edmonds. Adding a star like Taylor to that group could take a good rushing team to the next level and provide Tua with yet another elite weapon.
The Dolphins also have their first- and second-round picks this year, leaving them with enough ammo to trade for Taylor if they want.
Imagine The Bills' Offense With Taylor...
The Bills have one of the NFL’s most dynamic offenses, with Josh Allen at QB and Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis at receiver. If they have an offensive weakness, though, it’s at the running back position, where Damien Harris and James Cook are expected to carry the load.
With no big names at RB, the Bills should be in the mix for a star like Taylor, but the issue is Buffalo has survived without running backs before. Allen is basically QB and RB1 for the Bills, allowing the team to survive with b-list rushers like Cook and Damien Harris.
But, we’ve seen that lack of consistent RB production hurt the Bills in big games. So, if Buffalo is serious about contending for a Super Bowl, maybe going all in for Taylor is the right move.
Why Is Jonathan Taylor Even On The Block?
If Taylor's such a good fit for the best teams in football, why are the Colts even considering trading him?
It's a bit complicated, but it basically boils down to a messy contract dispute gone wrong. Like many young star running backs, Taylor is looking to get paid in an NFL world that just isn't handing out cash to RBs. That alone is enough for Taylor to want traded, but Colts owner Jim Irsay made it worse by roasting Taylor's value to the press:
"If I die tonight and Jonathan Taylor is out of the league, no one's gonna miss us," Irsay told the The Athletic. "The league goes on. We know that."
After a few more public jabs back and forth and some one-on-one meetings, the Colts have finally allowed Taylor to seek his own trade.
Can Colts Compete Without Their RB?
So, if the relationship between Indy and JT is broken, the Colts are going to have to survive without their offensive engine. It won't be easy.
This is a guy who's single handily carried the Colts' offense over the past few years. Despite only playing 11 games last year, Taylor had 500 more rushing yards than any other Colt while also adding 28 receptions. The year before, he accounted for over 35% of all yards Indy picked up.
Throwback to when Jonathan Taylor racked up 204 yards and FIVE touchdowns in a single game vs the Bills🔥 pic.twitter.com/UIudSYcKgM— King of Phinland🐬👑 (@KingOfPhinland) August 22, 2023
If the Colts trade Taylor without getting some serious talent back, they’re going to have a tough time in 2023.
Sure Anthony Richardson could be dynamic at QB (I’m skeptical) and Michael Pittman Jr. is alright. But, they basically have no solid skill position players after that.