According to The MMQB’s Albert Breer, Indianapolis Colts team owner Jim Irsay has responded to Jonathan Taylor and his representation’s recent request for a trade—with an emphatic ‘not going to happen’:
Obviously, this contentious contract negotiation (and now we know, clear lack thereof) between the two sides is fluid—and could even still get worse? (*If that’s remotely possible):
So now the #Colts and owner Jim Irsay can watch the impact and possible spiral of having a disgruntled star lingering on the roster subsequent to Jonathan Taylor's trade demand....— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) July 30, 2023
From the Colts perspective, the franchise has little to gain from actually trading Taylor at this time—aside from improving locker room morale in the short-term by moving on from a seemingly disgruntled star player.
When fully healthy, Taylor’s one of the league’s best running backs and while the position is still devalued contractually, he has a significant impact on the team’s success offensively—as the unit’s undisputed top playmaker and a rare workhorse in the ground game.
Let’s not forget his 2021 regular season Week 15 performance when the Colts upset the New England Patriots (9-5) at home, and Taylor absolutely carried the Colts offensively with 29 carries for 170 total rushing yards—including the game-clinching, electric 67 yard touchdown run late in the game.
The Colts would also not get fair draft pick compensation from a running back needy suitor for Taylor given: A) NFL trades are rarely equal for a player (i.e., look at the recent A.J. Brown trade), especially for a running back, and B) That same suitor would then likely be compelled to fork over big money for a lucrative contract extension which diminishes Taylor’s apparent value in such a deal.
It’s also in the Colts best interests to retain Taylor given that they have a top rookie quarterback, Anthony Richardson, under center—who could really lean heavily on Taylor’s legs to ease his initial transition into the NFL. (After all, look at how instrumental Marshall Faulk and Edgerrin James were to a young Peyton Manning early on in his illustrious career).
It really is a shame that what was set to already be a tough contract negotiation, given the league’s current valuation of elite running backs, had to become so public and personal.
Honestly, both sides share some blame here for not sticking to business, and it may take a miracle to patch things up—despite Irsay’s posturing, and with Taylor’s clear unhappiness.