Will 2023 be Jonathan Taylor’s last season with the Colts or can things be repaired?

Things have gotten bad between Jonathan Taylor and the Indianapolis Colts, but he’s still under contract. What happens next offseason when his contract expires?
Jul 28, 2023; Westfield, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) makes
Jul 28, 2023; Westfield, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) makes / The Indianapolis Star-USA TODAY NETWORK

The 2023 NFL season is quickly approaching and Jonathan Taylor is still a member of the Indianapolis Colts, but he hasn’t suited up for the team yet in practice. Not only is he on the PUP list for an ankle injury, but he’s entrenched in a battle with the front office. Entering the final year of his rookie deal, Taylor wants an extension but the team isn’t interested in negotiating until the deal expires next offseason.

This has led to Taylor requesting a trade, but team owner Jim Irsay was quick to declare that the Colts aren’t trading Jonathan Taylor now or at the trade deadline. So, all signs point to Taylor playing out his contract with the Colts once he’s healthy. That’s what Indianapolis is expecting, and that’s what Taylor is reportedly ready to do. Since he is under contract, he doesn’t have much of a choice.

However, that only addresses the 2023 season. What happens next offseason when Taylor’s contract expires? Will he leave Indianapolis and sign with another team? Will the Colts extend him to a massive contact or will they franchise tag him?

What is Jonathan Taylor’s future with the Colts?

If Taylor gets back to full health soon, and plays the majority of the season, it’s fair to assume he’ll have a great season. When healthy, he shines on the field. Additionally, the offensive line seems to be improved from last year, so a healthy Taylor should look more like his 2021 version than his 2022 version. If that happens, several teams would want to sign Taylor, including the Colts.

However, things seem bad between Taylor and the organization right now, so he could easily refuse to negotiate with Indy and enter free agency. However, the Colts could use the franchise tag, though, that’s something the franchise hasn’t done since 2013. If Indy isn’t willing to use the franchise tag, there seems to be only two ways the team can retain Taylor, maybe one.

The Colts could admit their faults in things going sour with Taylor, commit to the running back, and negotiate an extension in good faith. Or, Indy could forgo the apologizing and just offer Taylor a really nice contract. Even if Indianapolis does rebuild the relationship with Jonathan Taylor, things will still likely come down to money.

In the NFL, it’s money, not time, that heals all. So if Jonathan Taylor is going to remain with the Colts beyond the 2023 season, Indy has to be prepared to offer him more than any other team.