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Colts’ RB Jonathan Taylor Won’t Let Contract Negotiations ‘Be a Distraction’ Ahead of 2023 Season

Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor isn’t worried about when a contract extension may get done.

Indianapolis Colts v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor is focused on the upcoming season, not a potential contract extension. Taylor, who’s headed into his fourth season with Indianapolis, said as much when he met with local media members on Wednesday.

“It wouldn’t be a distraction to me,” Taylor said when asked about contract negotiations taking place. “I’m under contract here for four years. I put the pen to the paper, so that’s where I’m at right now. I made an obligation to them, they made an obligation to me.”

Since entering the league as a rookie in 2020, Taylor quickly ascended into one of the NFL’s young rising stars. In his first two seasons, Taylor rushed for a combined 2,980 yards, which included a league-leading 1,811 yards to go along with 18 touchdowns on the ground in 2021. The star back is widely considered one of the best at his respective position, and despite a down year from the offense, Taylor still managed to rush for 861 and four touchdowns through 11 games in 2022.

When it comes to negotiating a new deal for the All-Pro running back, Taylor’s position could play a factor into the kind of extension he could receive. In the past, NFL teams have typically shied away from handing out lengthy contract extensions to their running backs, but that narrative has changed in recent years. The Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings are recent examples of teams who have opted to extend their star backs long-term.

Taylor’s played such a critical role within Indianapolis’ offense over the last couple of seasons, and his abilities as a rusher are hard to replace when he’s not on the field. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where the Colts aren’t able to lock up their star back for the future, and the conversation of extending Taylor is one the Colts’ brass will likely need to have at some point in the near future.

As the 2023 season inches closer, Taylor’s focus remains on being ready to go and learning a new offense with head coach Shane Steichen leading the way. The contract negotiations will eventually take place, and Taylor plans to just let those play out naturally.