The Indianapolis Colts and star running back Jonathan Taylor have had a serious falling out this offseason, and now the 24-year-old Pro Bowler is looking for a new home.
Following a private meeting between Taylor and Colts owner Jim Irsay, news quickly came out that the All-Pro running back had officially requested a trade from the team. Irsay publicly stated that the team didn't plan on discussing a contract extension with Taylor heading into the 2023 season, and that didn't seem to sit well with the star running back.
Running backs are struggling to get paid in today's NFL, and Taylor is hoping to find a team willing to give him long-term financial security while also being willing to forfeit assets to acquire his services. It's a brutal market for Taylor, but there are still a few potential landing spots for him as we go into the 2023 season.
Despite Taylor wanting out of Indianapolis, there'a very real chance that he will be playing for the Colts this season.
With rumors that Taylor's asking price is too high for the Colts, it's unlikely that any other team will be willing to shell out the kind of money that would make him a top-paid running back in the NFL. The Colts are projected to have the fifth-most cap space in the league for 2024, while the teams with more are unlikely to pay a top-tier running back given how they've operated in the past.
This situation is likely going to keep getting messier as training camp rolls on. There are now even conflicting reports that Taylor had a back injury that could put him on the non-football injury list, preventing him from being paid until he returns to the field.
Despite all of this, the Colts remain the most likely team for Taylor to play for in 2023, simply because of the current market for NFL running backs.
The Miami Dolphins already have a ton of offensive firepower thanks to their dynamic wide receiver duo of Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill. However, adding a superstar running back like Taylor would give head coach Mike McDaniel yet another weapon to take some of the pressure off of Tua Tagovailoa.
Even with the addition of speedy rookie Devon Achane, the Dolphins lack a true workhorse running back that they can rely on. Raheem Mostert has also displayed impressive burst in the past, but only carried the ball 181 times this past season.
Taylor would provide the Dolphins with the full-time running back option that they need, allowing Mostert and Achane to serve as change-of-pace backs. The Dolphins had previously been linked to free agent running back Dalvin Cook, while Taylor's agent, Malki Kawa, has been spotted liking tweets of Taylor to Miami. There's enough smoke there to suggest a logical fit between the two sides.
Of all of the teams in the NFL looking to make a huge leap in 2023, the Chicago Bears are one of the top contenders for a real turnaround.
After having the worst record in the NFL last season, the Bears reloaded on offense, trading for star wide receiver D.J. Moore and drafting dominant offensive tackle Darnell Wright out of Tennessee. However, the main thing that the Bears now lack offensively is a full-time running back, with D'Onta Foreman and Khalil Herbert expected to work in a by-committee backfield.
Not only do the Bears still have $27 million in cap space to work with this season, but they also have significant long-term assets following their trade back from the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. There's plenty of resources for the Bears to be a contender for Taylor, and his presence in Chicago's offense would take some of the pressure off of Justin Fields, allowing him to focus more on passing downfield instead of having to rely on his legs to help the offense move down the field.
If the Bears were able to land Taylor, they would quickly become one of the most intriguing teams to watch in the NFL this season.
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