According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on ‘The Pat McAfee Show,’ the NFL insider speculates that “it’s more likely than not” that Indianapolis Colts disgruntled star running back Jonathan Taylor gets traded by Tuesday’s deadline:
“There is a real interest,” Rapoport said on ‘The Pat McAfee show’ on Monday. “I know there were a lot teams that called in, and you’re right, a lot of those calls are (preliminary). . . . People ask me, ‘Who’s in the mix?’ I don’t even say the Eagles anymore because they really do call on everyone. I think the Jets are kind of like that. The Bills are kind of like that. There’s plenty of teams just calling everyone.”
“There is real interest. To me, I would say at this point, it’s probably more likely he gets traded than he stays.”
“As long as the offer is good enough, I would say yes. So what does that mean, Christian McCaffrey got traded for a two and a bunch of other picks. I don’t know, we’ll see if they get that. It’s all about market and need and at that point, the 49ers were very motivated to deal for Christian McCaffrey. So that’s what they were willing to pay. If Chris Ballard gets that, then I think a trade probably gets done.”
While there’s some good value there, the Colts accepting a ‘Christian McCaffrey’ like trade package for Jonathan Taylor would fall a little short of the sticks of the first round value that the franchise was ideally seeking in order to move the league’s former leading rusher.
That being said, the relationship between the franchise and player is clearly fractured—and perhaps in the eyes of Taylor and his camp, already well beyond repairing. While the Colts maintain all the leverage contractually, there’s also the risk of keeping a malcontent star player around the team’s locker room and facilities—especially when looking to build a new identity and culture under a new head coach and top rookie quarterback.
The Colts were looking towards Taylor to help aid Richardson’s initial growth and development, instead they’re wondering whether having him around unhappily may do more harm than good bigger picture—and may look to recoup as much value as possible.
It’s going to be a critical decision from the Colts’ top brass—which includes team owner Jim Irsay, general manager Chris Ballard, and head coach Shane Steichen.