Currently, Jonathan Taylor is the top running back for the Indianapolis Colts, he’s coming off an elite game, his future with the franchise is clear, and everyone is happy. Things are normal for one of the league’s best running backs and the franchise he plays for. However, that wasn’t the case just a month ago.
At the end of August, Colts general manager Chris Ballard was telling the media how the Jonathan Taylor situation sucked. Taylor was seeking a new contract and the team didn’t immediately give him what he was asking for. So all throughout training camp, Indianapolis had to navigate a messy situation.
Taylor requested a trade, the Colts were temporarily listening to offers, Taylor’s agent was in social media battles with Jim Irsay and the fan base, and Taylor was on the PUP list the entire time. It seemed like a serious possibility that Taylor’s time in Indy was done. However, Taylor knew he wasn’t going anywhere.
The All-Pro running back recently sat down with The Trenches Show, a podcast where Taylor’s teammates, Zaire Franklin and EJ Speed, are the host. Taylor had an incredibly honest conversation about the offseason saga that he had with the team, opening up far more than he did during his media availability with NFL press. One of the biggest takeaways from the interview is that Taylor never wanted to actually leave Indy, and he never believed it would come to that.
Jonathan Taylor’s goal was always to remain in with Colts
Taylor explained that if anyone asked his agent or his wife, they would be able to explain that Taylor said from the beginning that he wasn’t leaving the Colts. Sure, things got dramatic and messy, but it was all just a means to an end. In the end, Taylor became the third-highest paid running back in the league, getting a deal that should help the running back market, while also tying him to the franchise for several more years.
Leaving the Colts never crossed Taylor’s mind because he has felt like the organization and the city has been a perfect fit for him since he arrived as a rookie. Taylor compared the franchise to his college Wisconsin, saying that things are so similar from scheme to culture that it wouldn’t make any sense for him to leave.
As for all the mess that ensued, and the hit that his reputation took, Taylor wasn’t a fan of it, but he understood everyone had a job to do. He believes the media painted an inaccurate, negative picture of him throughout the process, and Taylor also hit back a people questioning the legitimacy of his injury, explaining that running backs have enough injuries to even attempt faking any.
As far as his agent, Malki Kawa, who gained a lot of enemies throughout the process, Taylor gave him a ton of credit and thanks. The running back talked about how much trust he had with Kawa, and how Kawa frequently communicated everything back to Taylor. Kawa knew that Taylor’s goal was to get paid and stay in Indy, and that’s what he and the franchise ultimately got done. Although it was messy, everyone is relieved to have arrived at the right destination.