Colts, RB Jonathan Taylor Agree To Extension

11:30am: And just like that, Taylor is staying in Indy long-term. The Colts have signed the star running back to a three-year extension, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Taylor is set to make his season debut tomorrow but there were still question marks surrounding his future with the organization. Now, he’ll be signing a lucrative contract extension with the organization, with the three-year pact worth $42MM, including $26.5MM in guaranteed money.

As Schefter notes, the two sides tossed aside their ongoing issues and negotiated a new deal. Taylor recently hired new representation in Malki Kawa and Ethan Lock, and Schefter notes that the duo negotiated with Colts owner Jim Irsay, GM Chris Ballard, and front office executive Mike Bluem. ESPN’s Stephen Holder tweets that Ballard reached out to Taylor’s camp last week and started negotiations, and The Athletic’s Dianna Russini notes that the relationship between the two sides was described as “improving” when Taylor returned to practice.

In terms of average annual value, Taylor now ranks third at the position behind Christian McCaffrey ($16MM) and Alvin Kamara ($15MM). This is the first time a running back has signed an extension worth more than $10MM per year since Nick Chubb in 2021.

Taylor was set to hit free agency following the season, but his extension does little to subtract from a talented RB free agent class. Derrick Henry, Saquon Barkley, Tony Pollard, Josh Jacobs, Austin Ekeler, Dalvin Cook, and J.K. Dobbins will all hit the market after the season.

11:20am: Jonathan Taylor is set to make his season debut tomorrow. The Colts announced that they’ve activated the star running back from the physically unable to perform list, and Taylor’s questionable tag was also removed ahead of tomorrow’s game against the Titans. To make room on the roster, the Colts have waived running back Jake Funk.

We seemed to be trending towards this outcome after Taylor put in a full week of practice. The running back was designated to return to practice earlier this week, giving the Colts a 21-day window to activate him. Following his return, the impending free agent described his ongoing contract situation as an “offseason issue,” and while he refused to discuss his future with the Colts, he did admit that he’s “here right now” and ready to play.

Taylor, of course, went from declaring his desire to be a life-long Colt to requesting a trade. The RB’s issues with owner Jim Irsay, who pushed back at the ongoing RB-market discourse, contributed to his deteriorating relationship with the organization. While the running back will be taking the field for the Colts, it’s uncertain how much longer he’ll be with the organization.

The Colts shopped Taylor prior to the regular season, but their asking price was reportedly too high. The team has since dropped their demands, but at the same time, the trade market for the RB has reportedly cooled. It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds, but for at least the time being, Taylor will be sticking with the Colts.

Taylor will obviously be a huge addition to the 2-2 Colts, with the RB having topped 1,000 yards from scrimmage in each of his three NFL seasons. Following a 2021 campaign where Taylor finished second in Offensive Player of the Year voting after collecting 2,171 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns, he was limited to only 1,004 yards from scrimmage in 11 games last season.

Zack Moss has filled in with Taylor sidelined, and the veteran has collected 322 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns in three games. The Colts have already seen plenty of turnover in the backfield, with Week 1 starter Deon Jackson getting cut and rookie Evan Hull being declared out for the season. Trey Sermon recently joined the roster and will likely roll as the RB3 going forward.

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