You know, sometimes we all know when we deserve more in a situation. Whether that’s a job, a partnership – whatever the situation – you can feel it when the time comes that you have to go. I think anyone who’s read the headlines coming out of Indianapolis this offseason knows that Jonathan Taylor‘s time with the Colts has passed.
Getting Real About a Jonathan Taylor Trade
Taylor has been a remarkable player to watch so far in his career, and as a Wisconsin Badgers fan, I’ve had the absolute pleasure of watching him for a longer period than others. Jonathan Taylor proved all the doubters wrong coming out of college. There was no questioning his skill level coming out of the University of Wisconsin.
However, the number of miles he went through as the focal point of the Badgers’ run-first offense for multiple seasons lumped him in with other notable running backs in his draft class, most notably Clyde Edwards-Helaire and D’Andre Swift. His time with the Colts has proved to everyone that he was the best running back in his draft class.
Still, the NFL doesn’t just pay the player for their past production, but rather a combination of that and what their future outcome could be. We all know running backs don’t get that same luxury as other positions; that isn’t what this blog is about (although you can check one out on that here).
Jonathan Taylor deserves to be paid, and Colts owner Jim Irsay doesn’t want to be the owner who lets the running backs win. Therefore, Jonathan Taylor has to go.
The Reality of Mobile QB-Led Offenses
Maybe this isn’t the news that Colts fans are excited to be reading – that I’m siding with Jonathan Taylor leaving Indy. However, there’s always a bright side to every situation.
I could be the only person in the world who sees it this way, but where the Colts are going with Shane Steichen and Anthony Richardson; they don’t really need a player like Taylor. With the Colts switching to Richardson’s strengths (much like Philadelphia, Baltimore and Chicago), the primary rusher will be the QB, so investing that much money into the secondary option for the run game isn’t a smart investment, regardless of the talent that Taylor possesses.
The Colts shouldn’t be heading into their season with Evan Hull as their primary running back, but maybe bringing back an average running back in a Jonathan Taylor trade to help Richardson with the run game could be a smart idea.
Where Will Jonathan Taylor End Up?
When predicting Taylor’s next team, it has always been pretty easy to me. The teams recently linked to Taylor have been Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago, Minnesota, Kansas City and Buffalo.
However, the one that sticks out most to me is the Los Angeles Rams. Jonathan Taylor could end up on one of those previously mentioned teams. Still, looking at the roster builds and situations each team is in currently, no team makes more sense than Los Angeles.
The Rams have had one insane fall from grace after their Super Bowl victory, finishing 5-12 last season. This was likely due to key injuries to QB Matthew Stafford and star WR Cooper Kupp, while star defensive tackle Aaron Donald and head coach Sean McVay both contemplated early retirements coming off the Super Bowl.
The Rams leaning on young players like Puka Nacua isn’t what will keep Donald and Sean McVay from opting to retire. The Rams need to have playmakers with upside on the team.
The relationship between Sean McVay and Cam Akers was frustrating for fantasy managers last season. Although Akers turned things around once Baker Mayfield took over in Los Angeles after Stafford’s season-ending injury, I’m still not sold that McVay views him as his franchise running back. I’m even more not sold because the Rams were neck and neck with their divisional rivals last season in the Christian McCaffrey sweepstakes. Why would the Rams be willing to go all in on a 27-year-old running back last season but not a 24-year-old running back this year for the same price?
A deal involving Jonathan Taylor to the Rams and Akers, plus multiple picks to Indianapolis, is a smart trade for both parties. Taylor is out of the AFC. Therefore, the Colts won’t have to face Taylor down the road regularly.
Jonathan Taylor, being in Los Angeles, can get more endorsement deals, helping him make more money that he won’t be getting from a messed-up running back market while also living in Indiana.
On the other hand, Akers can get a fresh start with the Colts and won’t have as much pressure on his shoulders, with Richardson being the primary runner. Plus, Indianapolis can use the draft picks received with Akers to help build a team around Richardson for the future. Tick Tock, LA. Tick Tock.
Thanks for reading my opinion on the Jonathan Taylor trade request. For more content, find me on Twitter, @hoovtube.