On Monday, the Indianapolis Colts changed their tune, as it was reported that the team has granted All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor permission to seek a trade. This comes after the team denied Taylor a contract extension, and after initially saying that he wouldn’t be traded. Now, Indianapolis is open for business.
Despite not wanting to extend Taylor with a year left on his deal, something the Colts typically do for their players, the team recognizes his value, making it clear that Indy’s asking price for Taylor is a first round pick or a package of picks with similar value. Now, it’s just a matter of waiting to see if any team is willing to send a package that would satisfy Indy, and also offer Taylor an extension that would satisfy him.
If the trade actually happens, life will go on for both parties, Jim Irsay already made that clear when speaking on the tension between Taylor and the franchise. Taylor will likely thrive in the immediate future, depending on what team he lands with, and the Colts will likely regress, since they would be losing one of the best players in the league, and they aren’t a stacked unit. However, Indy would still have a nice combination of young players, cap space, and draft picks for the future to be bright.
While that’s true, there will be a loser in the situation. That loser would be rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson.
Colts should keep Jonathan Taylor for Anthony Richardson
Anthony Richardson should be enough motivation for the Colts to keep, and pay Jonathan Taylor. Everyone who’s opted for Richardson to start from day one has said the same thing, allow him to lean on an elite running back and strong run game while he develops and gets adjusted to the NFL. Putting Anthony Richardson next to JT would make the offense dangerous, and it would also make things easier for Richardson.
Without Taylor, that won’t be the case. The Colts will still have a ton of running backs, but with respect to them, none of them are on Jonathan Taylor’s level. Additionally, the offensive line hasn’t proved to be a unit that could make Indy’s committee of running backs elite. Taylor is a special player, and the best way to help quarterbacks is to surround them with special players.
Moving the team’s best offensive player isn’t the way to support a rookie quarterback. That isn’t to say that Anthony Richardson can’t be successful without Jonathan Taylor, but having Taylor would certainly make Richardson’s transition to the league easier.