WESTFIELD, Ind. (AP) Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor has requested a trade, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Saturday night.
Taylor, the 2021 NFL rushing champ, has been seeking a contract extension before his rookie contract expires at the end of this season and he’s been one of several running backs to publicly air their grievances throughout the offseason.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the request hadn’t been made public. NFL Network first reported Taylor’s request to be traded.
It came shortly after Taylor left team owner Jim Irsay’s motorhome after a meeting that lasted nearly an hour as the Colts conducted a night practice.
“It was just a good conversation and, you know, hopeful going forward,” Irsay told reporters after practice. “We’re looking forward to a great season, hoping that Jonathan’s a big part of that and I think we had a good conversation.”
Taylor has not spoken with reporters since being placed on the physically unable to perform list Tuesday. General manager Chris Ballard said then the Colts wanted to wait for a new deal until they could see how a healthy Taylor fit the new offense installed by first-year coach Shane Steichen.
Taylor topped the 2,000-yard mark twice in college at Wisconsin and rushed for 2,980 yards and 29 TDs in his first two NFL seasons. He was a unanimous All-Pro selection in 2021, when he led the league with 2,171 total yards and tied for the league lead in total touchdowns with 20.
Last year, he rushed for 861 yards despite missing six games with an ankle injury that required offseason surgery. Indy also struggled, finishing the season 4-11-1.
Irsay posted on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter, on Wednesday suggesting some player agents were acting in bad faith by complaining about how much running backs earned with a franchise tag designation after the collective bargaining agreement was negotiated in good faith. The $10.1 million price tag is the lowest of any position other than kickers or punters.
On Saturday, in front of a capacity crowd at Grand Park in Westfield a staff member took Taylor to the nearby motorhome. Irsay did not divulge details of the meeting afterward, but did talk about two other former Colts star runners – Marshall Faulk, who was traded after Peyton Manning’s rookie season in 1998, and Edgerrin James, who left as a free agent between the 2005 and 2006 seasons.
“I’m responsible for everyone on the team and to look at the cap money as you go forward,” Irsay said. “It’s a great responsibility and you try to be as fair as you possibly can be with the whole football team. So again, I’m hopeful.”
Now the Colts may be looking to move Taylor before he even gets a chance to team up rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson, the No. 4 overall pick in April.
“We need to make sure he (Taylor) is healthy, and we expect he should have an outstanding year,” Irsay said. “(Linebacker) E.J. Speed had the same surgery and is doing well, but it’s early in the process and we want to make sure Jonathan is 100%.”