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Report: Colts RB Jonathan Taylor ‘still doesn’t want to play’ for Indianapolis

Despite nearing a return off of PUP, disgruntled RB Jonathan Taylor still isn’t happy with playing for the Colts given his unsettled contract situation.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts Minicamp IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor, who’s nearing his eligibility to first return following Week 4 off of PUP, “still doesn’t to play for the Colts”:

“From what I understand, he still doesn’t want to play for the Colts, and they still don’t want to give him a long-term contract,” writes Graziano regarding Taylor’s unhappiness with his current contract situation and the Colts.

None of this should be all that surprising, as there hasn’t been any progress on a new contract between Taylor and the Colts—as Indianapolis appears unwilling to negotiate at this time given: A) Taylor is still under the last year of his rookie contract, B) has to prove that the ankle is fully healthy again, and C) show that he’s a natural fit in new head coach Shane Steichen’s offense.

There was an earlier national report that Taylor’s ankle is fully healthy and he could’ve played weeks ago—if he was actually eligible off of PUP.

To his credit, Colts running back Zack Moss has done a commendable job in Taylor’s absence since the opener, with his reliable, hard-nosed running style—even if he lacks some of the ‘take it to the house, home run hitting’ potential that #28 offers on any given carry.

For what it’s worth, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler chimed in that he expects Taylor to stay put—given that the acquiring team would have to surrender a ‘Day 2’ draft pick (*plus likely a lucrative multi-year contract). It also looks like Taylor would now be a luxury to the high-scoring Miami Dolphins offense right now—who at one time, looked like potentially his biggest suitor with a clear need in their backfield.

Taylor has to play at least 8 games this season for the last year of his rookie contract to toll and become a free agent—which even then, the Colts can still franchise tag him for 2024.

While Taylor wants a new contract now (especially in light of what just happened with the Cleveland Browns’ Nick Chubb injury-wise), the Colts maintain all the contract leverage, and it may be his best bet to simply play it out in Indy, be highly productive, and get paid thereafter.