On Monday, the Indianapolis Colts granted star running back Jonathan Taylor permission to seek a trade. While this has a chance to end Taylor’s time with Indianapolis, it’s also possible that Taylor isn’t traded. Fans were quick to point out that both Lamar Jackson and Austin Ekeler requested trades this offseason but are currently still with their respective teams: Jackson with the Baltimore Ravens and Ekeler with the Los Angeles Chargers.
While it’s true that all trade requests don’t always end in trades, it’s important to note that Taylor’s situation is not like Lamar Jackson’s or Austin Ekeler’s. The similarities are trade requests stemming from contract disputes, but, the specifics are different.
Jonathan Taylor’s situation with the Colts is unique
Prior to submitting their trade requests, Jackson had been negotiating with the Ravens about a new contract, and Ekeler had been negotiating with the Chargers. However, neither Jackson nor Ekeler were receiving the kind of offers they wanted from their franchises, so then they requested the trade.
The key difference between those two situations and what’s going on with Taylor is that they both were negotiating with their teams before requesting a trade. They had an idea of what the team was willing to offer and the team knew what the player wanted. That’s not the case in Indianapolis, because the Colts have refused to negotiate with Taylor, making it clear that they aren’t even interested in offering a new contract until next offseason.
Because of that fact, the Colts granting Jonathan Taylor permission to seek a trade can’t be a go-see-what-your-value-actually-is situation, because the dispute between Indianapolis and Taylor isn’t about contract numbers. It’s about the refusal to offer or negotiate a contract at all.
So sure, Lamar Jackson and Austin Ekeler can be highlighted as two recent examples of players requesting trades and still remaining with their teams. But, those situations are different than Taylor’s. Both of those situations started wth contract negotiations and ended with new contracts. Taylor and the Colts haven’t had any negotiations, and Indy doesn’t seem like it plans to offer Taylor a contract anytime soon.