As we get closer to the start of the 2023 season, the Indianapolis Colts may look to give a few of their key players contract extensions.
One of those players is star running back Jonathan Taylor, who recently offered a bit of insight into what he thinks of how the running back position is valued in today’s NFL as well as where he and the Colts stand on a possible long-term extension.
“We definitely have approached (contract talks),” Taylor said. “Hopefully (the Colts) can see the value. Hopefully we can explain the value, and not that it needs explanation, but we just want to be here, like I said, to help the team. To help the community and uplift the community.”
Despite a down season in 2022, Taylor is still widely considered one of the league’s best all-around running backs. In 2021, Taylor not only led the entire league in rushing yards with 1,811 and total touchdowns with 20, but he set the Colts’ franchise record in both rushing yards and touchdowns that same season, surpassing Hall of Fame running back Edgerrin James.
While we have seen some recent examples of NFL teams opting to either not pay their top running backs or move off long-term deals with a few years remaining on the players’ contract, a case can be made that Taylor’s on-field production alone is worth some form of a contract extension from Indianapolis.
Just like many of his running back peers around the league, one of the more important things to Taylor is being valued and appreciated for his work both on and off the field.
“Specifically speaking for the running back position, I can just speak firsthand we do do a lot and you just want to be treated fairly,” Taylor said. “And not even treated fairly, you just want to be appreciated for what you bring to the team. It’s never about yourself, it’s about the team, so, ‘What do you bring to the team?’”
Since entering the league as a second-round pick in 2020, there’s no question that Taylor has been an extremely crucial piece to the Colts’ success offensively, and it’ll be interesting to monitor Indianapolis’ approach on extending one of their best players.
GM Chris Ballard has been known for rewarding the players he’s drafted that have performed well with second contracts.
Taylor, who’s entering the final year of his rookie deal in 2023, doesn’t appear to be in a rush to get an extension done with Indianapolis, but the star running back would like to be with the Colts for the entirety of his career.
“We’ll see where things go, but it’s kind of on them right now,” Taylor said. “My goal, first season after I got drafted, I’m like, ‘I want to retire a Colt.’ So, hopefully the organization sees that the same because I do.”