Irsay later clarifying to the media afterwards that his franchise is not currently planning on a contract extension for its star running back (via ESPN’s Stephen Holder):
Jim Irsay, after meeting w Jonathan Taylor, says a contract extension is still not something the team is planning on.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) July 29, 2023
Given Irsay’s callous social media comments, which weren’t actually directed at Taylor, but nevertheless struck a nerve with Taylor’s representation, it seemed like this would be a good initial step in trying to help clear the air and smooth things over in contract negotiations.
That being said, it doesn’t appear that the Colts have much interest in extending Taylor right now. Not only has Indianapolis not reportedly made an offer yet, but they seemingly have no plans to do so at the present time:
More Irsay:— Kevin Bowen (@KBowen1070) July 30, 2023
-Talked mainly about this year (“we expect JT to have a great year”) nothing about a future relationship
-Mentioned several times how his job is to rep every player get fair piece of cap
-Irsay very defensive of how organization treats their players, present/past https://t.co/gEnCIyfqsw
It’s a little peculiar that the Colts—and Irsay in particular, are being so transparent with the ongoing negotiations, or as we know now, the clear lack thereof on the Colts’ side of things.
In fairness to the Colts though, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense as to why they would extend Taylor right now given: A) He’s coming off an injury limited season with a surgically repaired ankle, B) He’s in the last year of his rookie contract, and C) The elite running back market is clearly deflated, so they would be essentially bidding against themselves.
This is a little different than the recent tumultuous Saquon Barkley negotiations with the New York Giants because Taylor is still under team contract for at least another year.
The Colts don’t have to do anything, and while yes, you have to understand the major concern for Taylor—namely putting his body on the line for the franchise and risking a potential significant injury in the process, Indianapolis did not make the rules, they’re just playing within the confines of them and looking out for their best interests long-term.
It would still be surprising if a deal with the Colts doesn’t ultimately get done—likely next offseason, especially since Indy has the cap space flexibility and a young quarterback that Taylor can assuredly help aid in his initial development. After all, look what Marshall Faulk and Edgerrin James did for a young Peyton Manning.
However, both sides need to take the ‘personal’ out of it and recognize it’s just business—and unfortunately from Taylor’s perspective, sometimes an even cold, calculated one.