The Indianapolis Colts failed to find a trade partner for running back Jonathan Taylor.
The Colts did not find a “fair-value offer” for Taylor ahead of their Tuesday deadline, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Taylor is now expected to start the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, meaning he will miss at least the first four games of the season in Indianapolis.
No deal: Indianapolis did not find what it felt was a fair-value offer for Jonathan Taylor and it is not trading its All-Pro running back today, league sources tell ESPN.
With no trade materializing today, Taylor now is expected to remain on the Physically Unable to Perform… pic.twitter.com/TvBXpIJCoc
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 29, 2023
Taylor has not practiced with the team since he reported to training camp on July 25, which is the same day he issued a trade request after the team failed to reach an agreement to extend his rookie contract. After initially being very against such a deal, team owner Jim Irsay then gave Taylor permission to seek a trade earlier this month.
The Colts set a Tuesday deadline for Taylor to find a trade, which lined up with the league’s deadline for teams to cut their rosters down to 53 players. There were reportedly six teams that inquired about Taylor, and two made offers. The Colts reportedly wanted either a first-round pick, or a trade package that equaled that value, in exchange for Taylor. Clearly, they didn’t get what they wanted on that front.
Taylor ran for 3,841 yards and has 35 total touchdowns over three seasons with the Colts. The 24-year-old is set to make $4.3 million this season, which is the final year of his four-year, $7.8 million rookie contract. He started training camp on the PUP list after undergoing offseason ankle surgery.
It's now unclear who will start for the Colts at running back this season with rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson leading the offense. Backup Zack Moss is out with a fractured arm; the Colts have just Evan Hull and Deon Jackson on their roster. Jackson, who was listed third on the depth chart as of Tuesday afternoon, ran for 236 yards last season.
The Colts went 4-12-1 last season and missed the playoffs for the sixth time in eight years. While Taylor's presence in the backfield would not have fixed everything, it undoubtedly could make a huge difference for the franchise.
The Colts will open their season on Sept. 10 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. At best, assuming he is willing to, Taylor can’t play for the Colts until their game against the Los Angeles Rams on Oct. 1 — exactly one month before the league’s trade deadline.
Whether the Colts can find a suitable trading partner for Taylor before then, however, remains to be seen.