This isn’t the Jonathan Taylor I know.
The Jonathan Taylor I have seen over the last three years is quiet and humble. He doesn’t seek attention. He goes about his business in an unassuming way. He punishes linebackers, not Colts fans.
The Jonathan Taylor that showed up at training camp last week? That man is broody and has a perpetual scowl on his face. He roams the sideline like a ghost with unfinished business who can’t find peace until he gets the contract he believes he deserves.
NFL careers are short. NFL careers for running backs are even shorter. Taylor wants to be paid and deserves to be, but the current climate for running backs is dire. Dalvin Cook and Ezekiel Elliot are still on the market as free agents. Big time names aren’t finding immediate homes.
Yes, Taylor wants to be paid, but that doesn’t explain the about face he made over the last week. Just in June, Taylor was all about the team.
Jonathan Taylor on a potential contract: "We just want to be here, like I said, to help the team, help uplift the community. We’ll see where things go. It’s kind of on them right now, but we’ll continue to work each and every single day."— Joel A. Erickson (@JoelAErickson) June 14, 2023
What changed between now and then? There are two possible explanations.
Explanation 1: Jonathan Taylor and Victor Oladipo have the same agent.
Oladipo was the face of the Pacers and was in line for a lucrative contract extension. All of that suddenly changed as he went from pointing two fingers down at the court stating this was his city to asking if he could play for y’all in the bubble. The state of Indiana loved Oladipo, just like they loved Taylor. The advice both men received from their representation was harmful.
Both Taylor and Oladipo must be receiving career damaging advice from the same agent who told them they could get more money than was available, correct? That would be the easy explanation, but it isn’t correct. Instead, Taylor is represented by Malki Kawa who is becoming quickly notorious over the last week for his contentious tweets.
Bad faith is not paying your top offensive player https://t.co/ZYvrLhxygG— malki kawa (@malkikawa) July 27, 2023
Oladipo finally woke up and changed his representation, but it was too little too late. Hopefully, Taylor doesn’t make the same mistake.
Explanation 2: Jonathan Taylor has been body snatched.
This is the most plausible explanation for what is happening. Taylor must have been body snatched. It is the only thing that makes sense. Taylor must have joined the running back Zoom call, drew the short straw, and had one of the Space Jam Monstar creatures take over his body. What else would make him pull his hood up, shuffle along the sideline, refuse to join his team on the field, and create a dramatic scene?
The relationship between him and the Colts is becoming incredibly strained and is approaching a point of no return. He still has a year left on his rookie contract. You know who else has one year left on his rookie deal? Michael Pittman. You know who has been on the field for training camp? Michael Pittman. You know who is still in the good graces of Colts fans? Michael Pittman. The way Taylor is approaching a new contract has been completely different. It has been bizarre and unsettling. Those two words have never been used to describe him as a player during his Colts tenure.
I don’t know if we need to call the Ghostbusters or Bugs Bunny, but someone needs to get Jonathan Taylor back to his old self. Taylor used to run on the field like a man possessed. Now, he just looks like a possessed man.