Posted on: August 22, 2023, 10:25h.
Last updated on: August 22, 2023, 12:25h.
The Miami Dolphins are the leading contender to acquire running back Jonathan Taylor in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts.
Taylor led the NFL in rushing in 2021 and set franchise records with 1,811 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.
During the 2022 season, Taylor missed six games because of injuries. He had ankle surgery in the off-season, and he's currently on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
Taylor, 24, enters this season in the final year of his original rookie contract. The Colts and Taylor were unable to work out a contract extension in the off-season, which led both parties down their current path.
Taylor requested a trade when he reported to training camp in July. But the Colts publicly denied that his request occurred. After a three-week standoff, the Colts made a decision on Monday to grant the disgruntled Taylor permission to seek a trade.
Taylor finds himself in a tough spot. The Colts didn't want to bust the bank to retain him. But he'll have a difficult time finding a team to pay him a hefty raise and provide him with a multiyear contract with guaranteed money.
Running backs have seen a diminished role in the modern, pass-happy NFL. As a result, running backs are no longer fetching lucrative contracts. Josh Jacobs is currently holding out after contract talks with the Las Vegas Raiders reached an impasse. Saquon Barkley was under a franchise tag and had no choice but to settle on a tender offer with the New York Giants.
Taylor Rumors: Dolphins, Bears, Commanders
The Colts selected Taylor out of Wisconsin with a late second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. He made a huge impact as a rookie in 2020, and rushed for 1,169 yards in 15 games with 12 total touchdowns. He contributed 2,171 yards from scrimmage in his second season and scored 20 total touchdowns.
The Colts are seeking at least one first-round draft pick in any trade involving Taylor. Several teams need a running back, but they either lack the draft capital to make the deal happen or they don't have enough financial flexibility to sign Taylor to a new contract.
If you're a fantasy football player who completed a draft, then you're aware that teams like the Dolphins, Chicago Bears, and Washington Commanders lack a legitimate top running back this season.
The Commanders recently named Sam Howell as their starting quarterback, but it looks like they'll use a running back by committee with Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson.
The Dolphins were one of the favorites to add All-Pro running back Dalvin Cook in free agency. But the former Minnesota Vikings star signed instead with the New York Jets. Raheem Mostert is slated to start for the Dolphins, with Jeff Wilson as his backup.
The Bears have Khalil Herbert and D'Onta Foreman on their roster, but would also like to upgrade their backfield with Taylor.
Kareem Hunt is the most notable free agent running back on the market, and the Colts and New Orleans Saints are on his list of potential suitors. The Saints lack running back depth with Alvin Kamara's suspension and injuries to their backups.
The Colts on the Futures Market
The Colts recently named rookie Anthony Richardson as their starting quarterback. Richardson, the fourth-overall pick from the 2023 NFL Draft out of Florida, edged out veteran Gardner Minshew as the Week 1 starter.
The Colts are +600 odds to win the AFC South as the third favorite on the futures board. The Jacksonville Jaguars are the betting favorite to win the division at -155 odds. The Tennessee Titans are +350 odds, and the Houston Texans are +800 odds to win the AFC South.
The Colts won just four games last year. Oddsmakers expect them to have a better season than they did in 2022, but don't think they'll post a winning season. The Colts have a win total of 6.5 over/under victories.
The Colts are +350 odds to make the playoffs this season, and a betting favorite to miss the playoffs at -425 odds. The Colts have struggled ever since quarterback Andrew Luck prematurely retired in the summer of 2019. The Luck-less Colts secured a trip to the postseason only once in the last four seasons.
The Colts started last season 3-5-1 and fired Frank Reich prior to their bye week. Interim coach Jeff Saturday finished the season, but he won only one game.
Rookie head coach Shane Steichen is +2500 odds to win the NFL Coach of the Year, according to DraftKings' awards board. The Colts poached Steichen from the Philadelphia Eagles, where he led them to a Super Bowl appearance in his second season as their offensive coordinator.
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