The Indianapolis Colts’ efforts to secure a trade for running back Jonathan Taylor have fallen short.
Prior to the Tuesday deadline, the Colts were unable to secure an offer they deemed “fair value” for Taylor, as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Consequently, Taylor is now anticipated to commence the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, which means he will be sidelined for at least the initial four games of the Indianapolis season.
Taylor has been absent from team practices since his arrival at training camp on July 25, which coincided with his trade request following the failure to reach a contract extension agreement. Initially resistant to a trade, team owner Jim Irsay eventually granted Taylor permission to explore trade options earlier this month.
Setting a Tuesday deadline for Taylor to secure a trade, the Colts aligned this with the league’s roster cutdown date to 53 players. Six teams reportedly expressed interest in Taylor, with two presenting offers. The Colts, however, were adamant about receiving either a first-round draft pick or an equivalent trade package in return for Taylor, a condition that evidently went unmet.
Over three seasons with the Colts, Taylor has amassed 3,841 rushing yards and 35 total touchdowns. At 24 years old, he is slated to earn $4.3 million in the final year of his four-year, $7.8 million rookie contract, but he initiated training camp on the PUP list after undergoing ankle surgery during the offseason.
The running back situation for the Colts this season is now uncertain, with rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson leading the offense. Backup Zack Moss is sidelined with a fractured arm, leaving Evan Hull and Deon Jackson as the only running backs on the roster. Jackson, who was listed third on the depth chart as of Tuesday, managed 236 rushing yards last season.
Last season, the Colts posted a 4-12-1 record and missed the playoffs for the sixth time in eight years. Although Taylor’s presence in the backfield wouldn’t have resolved all their issues, it undoubtedly could have made a significant impact on the franchise.
The Colts’ season opener is scheduled for September 10 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. In the best-case scenario, assuming Taylor is ready and willing to play, he cannot join the Colts until their game against the Los Angeles Rams on October 1—precisely one month before the league’s trade deadline.
Whether the Colts can secure a suitable trade partner for Taylor before that date remains uncertain.