Jim Irsay clears up RB comments and opens up about Colts future with Jonathan Taylor

• After sending out a tweet criticizing running backs, Colts owner Jim Irsay is making it clear what he meant.

• Irsay also sheded some light on the team’s contract negotiations with Jonathan Taylor.

Miami Dolphins v Indianapolis Colts
Miami Dolphins v Indianapolis Colts / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

On Wednesday, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay sent out a tweet that caused a stir in the NFL world. Irsay called running backs’ desire for another negotiation to the CBA inappropriate. Considering that Colts running back Jonathan Taylor is entering the last season of his contract, and has been pretty vocal about his disappointment with the running back market, everyone took Irsay’s tweet as him taking a public stand against his team’s running back.

This led to Taylor‘s agent responding to Irsay, criticizing teams for not paying their top offensive players. The exchange snowballed into a big thing that led to everyone wondering about Taylor’s future in Indianapolis. Well, on Thursday evening, Irsay provided more context to his tweet, and also spoke on Taylor’s future with the team.

In a phone interview with ESPN’s Stephen Holder, Irsay explained that his tweet wasn’t about Taylor. Instead, Irsay’s comment was a response to a statement Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris made in an interview. Harris revealed that the league’s running backs considered ways they could restructure things in the CBA so that running backs could earn more money, and that’s what inspired the tweet.

As far as Taylor, Irsay made a shocking admission, revealing that the Colts haven’t made an offer to Jonathan Taylor yet. In this conversation with Holder, Indy’s owner also went on to say the team doesn’t plan on extending Taylor this offseason.

Colts haven’t made a contract offer to Jonathan Taylor

Despite not offering a second contract yet, Irsay expained that Taylor is apart of Indy’s plans, telling Holder, “we're really depending on Jonathan to team up with Anthony Richardson to try and pull together to have a great year.” As for when the team plans to start actually negotiating a new contract? When the current contract ends, according to Irsay.

"We love Jonathan, we need Jonathan. Our hope is Jonathan has an outstanding year and that we have a good year as a team and then we get his next contract done. That's the hope. We think the world of him as a person, as a player. It's just timing. When your time comes to get paid, then you get paid."

Jim Irsay via Stephen Holder

This is a reasonable team approach, but it’s also understandable how this approach could frustrate Taylor. Irsay said that when your time comes, you get paid, insinuating that time is when your contract ends. However, as Holder pointed out, in recent years, the Colts have extended guys like Braden Smith, Shaquille Leonard, and Quenton Nelson, all with one or more years remaining on their contract.

Seeing that protocol isn’t the same for you is reason to be frustrated. Unfortunately, Taylor will have to play the 2023 season frustrated. While he doesn’t have any security beyond this year, if Taylor can bounce back and have a season more reminiscent of his 2021 year than his 2022 season, he should set himself up for an even bigger contract than he would’ve received this offseason. That could be with the Colts or another team in the league.