The Indianapolis Colts are hoping to use this offseason to get back on track after a disastrous 2022 season, which included running back Jonathan Taylor underperforming while dealing with a nagging ankle injury.
Entering the final year of his rookie contract, the Colts have a big decision to make with Taylor. He’s eligible for a contract extension this offseason, and general manager Chris Ballard stated he has no qualms in paying the uber-talented running back.
But Marcus Mosher of Pro Football Focus proposed another idea. What would it look like if the Colts trade traded the star runner?
RB JONATHAN TAYLOR TO LOS ANGELES RAMS
The Rams were reportedly in the Christian McCaffrey sweepstakes before the San Francisco 49ers landed him ahead of the trade deadline. Could this be the offseason where the Rams try to upgrade their running back position once and for all? The Rams are notoriously aggressive, and it seems like Sean McVay would like to make one more run with Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald.
So what about a Taylor trade? Taylor is entering the final year of his contract, so the Indianapolis Colts might want to avoid making him the league’s highest-paid running back, as they are set to begin a rebuild. Could the Rams flip the No. 37 pick in this year’s draft, along with some other filler picks, to get the best pure running back in the league?
This isn’t the wisest move for the Rams, but given their history and the fact that they tried to acquire McCaffrey last year, it makes some sense. Putting Taylor on this offense with the rest of their weapons would be a ton of fun to watch.
It should be noted that the article written for Pro Football Focus is meant to be a bit out there. It’s supposed to be somewhat of a bold suggestion.
We shouldn’t expect the Colts to trade Taylor this offseason unless something significantly changes within the organization. There have been no reports, rumors or inklings of the Colts even wanting to deal the star asset away.
It’s more likely the Colts will sign him to an extension this offseason than it would to trade him to the Rams.
There is an argument, though. Running backs on their second contracts have historically been rough. Even some of the elite talents simply hit a wall. The running back position is so physical that the shelf life is shorter than any other position in football.
Taylor isn’t near that wall yet. He still probably has a solid three or four years left of elite production, but there have been others in his situation. Todd Gurley is an extreme case that comes to mind. The Dallas Cowboys are a cautionary tale of paying a running back elite money with Ezekiel Elliott. Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon have been fine on their second contracts, but they haven’t produced to the level of expectation.
Few players take care of their bodies as Taylor does. He underwent surgery this offseason to clean up the ankle injury and is expected to be ready for training camp.
In an offseason with several massive decisions to make, Taylor will be on that list. But we should expect an extension before a blockbuster trade goes down.