The Indianapolis Colts have given Taylor permission to seek a trade, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Monday. Conversations regarding potential landing spots are ongoing, with the Colts informing several player personnel executives of Taylor's availability via trade, per Rapoport.
Taylor initially requested a trade following a meeting with Colts owner Jim Irsay, and has spent the entirety of the preseason on the physically unable to perform list after having offseason ankle surgery. Once he returned to camp after a brief absence, the running back remained on the team's physically unable to perform list. He was later excused from camp for a second time due to a personal matter. But the crux of the matter relates to Taylor's contract situation.
The former second-round pick is entering the final year of his four-year rookie deal, and with the ongoing devaluation of the running back position in today's pass-first NFL, a lucrative future isn't certain. Taylor is set to make $4.3 million this season. Add in the fact he's coming off an injury-hampered 2022 season, and Taylor's earning power isn't quite as strong as it was a year ago.
Indianapolis had not yet engaged Taylor in contract extension talks when he requested a trade. With no movement on that front and no resolution in sight, the Colts appear ready to move on from Taylor -- provided they receive significant compensation.
Here are four teams that could be potential Taylor suitors:
Miami is in win-now mode, and after Dalvin Cook signed with the Jets, the Dolphins still have a place to add a lead back in what would become a rather deep position group. It's currently a little thinner than expected after rookie De'Von Achane suffered a shoulder injury in Saturday's preseason game, but Miami still has quality options in Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson. Adding Taylor, though, would elevate this group and round out an offense that's already expected to be explosive. As a city, Miami already oozes luxury -- why not create some at running back?
Thanks to their decision to trade out of the No. 1 pick, the Bears have ample draft capital to get a deal done. They lack a bell cow of a runner following David Montgomery's move to Detroit. Oh, and they also have a ton of cap space to work with in 2024 and beyond. Taylor would only have to move one state to the west, where he'd join a team looking toward the future and bestow them with a running back who is in his prime -- provided he can stay healthy. I see no issues here.
Instead of giving up significant draft capital to get a deal done, why not solve two problems at once? Josh Jacobs -- the reigning NFL rushing champ -- still hasn't signed his franchise tag and hasn't yet reported to the team's facility to start preparing for the 2023 season. Because the deadline for long-term deals has already passed, the most Jacobs can get at this point is the franchise tag rate or a renegotiated one-year deal, a la Saquon Barkley with the Giants. But a fresh start for both Taylor and Jacobs might be exactly what they need -- even if the Raiders end up being similarly reluctant to signing Taylor to a long-term deal.
A future without Tom Brady pales in comparison to the past three years, and even if Baker Mayfield (who hasn't yet won the job, but all signs indicate he will) plays above expectation, it's still not going to be as good as it was with Brady. The best way to counter such a drop-off is improving the running game. Rachaad White has plenty of folks hoping for future success, but he's far from a guaranteed thing. Adding Taylor into the mix would significantly improve the offense and balance its strengths, giving the Buccaneers more than a fighting chance to compete in a wide-open NFC South. It will require some immediate cap gymnastics, though: Tampa Bay currently has the least amount of cap space right now, per Over The Cap.