Star running back Jonathan Taylor hasn’t suited up for the Indianapolis Colts since the team returned for training camp. The main reason why is that he’s been on the PUP list with an ankle injury. However, that’s all been muddied by his messy contract dispute with the team.
Entering the final season of his rookie contract, Taylor was hoping to get an extension this offseason. Once the Colts made it clear that they want him to play out his contract before offering him a new deal, Taylor requested a trade. Team owner Jim Irsay said that’s not happening, and now the expectation is that Taylor will play out his deal whenever he gets healthy.
During Saturday’s preseason game against the Chicago Bears, Jim Irsay joined the broadcast and spent time talking about Taylor. Despite not meeting Taylor’s demands, Irsay admitted that he understands where Taylor is coming from, saying, “I respect any time people are, they're trying to fight for their position for their families and all those things.”
Jim Irsay respects Jonathan Taylor’s stance
Although Irsay respects and understands where Taylor is coming from, he made it clear that Indy’s stance remains the same, immediately following up that statement by saying “timing is everything.” Irsay wants Taylor to return to the field, re-establish himself as a top running back in the league, and figure things out next offseason.
That may not be the path that Jonathan Taylor wants to take, but it seems like his best option. He can’t hold out, unless he’s willing to lose a lot of money, and the Colts seem pretty settled in on their position. That means Taylor has to heal up and return to the field, and remind everyone how good he is.
Since Jim Irsay is so understanding of Taylor’s position, and wants to do whatever the organization can do to support and embrace him, maybe the organization could come to a compromise with Taylor. Instead of waiting until next offseason, pencil in a mid-season negotiation date. Allow Taylor time to get healthy and be productive on the field, then start talking an extension.
It’s not an extension right now, which is what Taylor wants, and it’s not waiting until spring, which is what the organization wants. It’s meeting in the middle. The Colts will have the opportunity to see Taylor back on the field, and Taylor won’t have to play an entire season with his future uncertain.