While the Packers entered the fray for Jonathan Taylor, the Dolphins loomed as the most aggressive suitor. In on just about every available or potentially available running back this year, the Dolphins were connected to Taylor interest within minutes of the Colts greenlighting trade talks.
For now, Taylor remains on the Colts, set to begin the season on the reserve/PUP list. But the trade deadline is nearly two months away (October 31). That gives the Dolphins more time. One player the Colts asked about will almost certainly not be on the table if/when the sides huddle up on talks again. GM Chris Grier laughed upon indicating (via ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques) Jaylen Waddle would not be available in a trade, “no matter who they’re calling about.”
The Colts are believed to have asked about Waddle during Taylor talks that included a back-and-forth featuring players and picks. Despite the Dolphins being tied to Taylor for nearly two weeks now, Grier said no offers emerged from either side. A recent report indicated at least two teams made offers, and it is a bit difficult to imagine the Dolphins were not one of those. But Grier said the Dolphins “feel good about their running back room,” per Louis-Jacques.
Miami has been connected to inquiring on Josh Jacobs, Saquon Barkley, D’Andre Swift and Dalvin Cook over the past five-plus months. The team pursued Cook in both a trade, coming close to a deal with the Vikings, and in free agency. But the Jets landed the Miami native on a one-year, $7MM deal. The Dolphins then cut Myles Gaskin, whom they re-signed this offseason, and placed Jeff Wilson on IR. This leaves Raheem Mostert, Salvon Ahmed, third-rounder Devon Achane and rookie UDFA Chris Brooks as Miami’s available RBs. Achane is also nursing a shoulder injury.
While Mike McDaniel said he would not be surprised if Wilson returns this season, the running back’s agent — Drew Rosenhaus — said (via WSVN’s Josh Moser) his client is dealing with rib and pinkie finger injuries and should not be sidelined for long after the mandatory four-game absence requirement ends. Acquired just before last year’s trade deadline and re-signing with the Dolphins this offseason, Wilson also missed the start of the 2021 season due to a summer foot injury.
On Waddle, it is unsurprising the Dolphins would scoff at including him in a deal for Taylor. The former No. 6 overall pick is one of the NFL’s best young wide receivers. While he is the No. 2 target on the Dolphins behind Tyreek Hill, the Alabama alum zoomed to a 1,356-yard, eight-touchdown season and led the NFL in yards per reception (18.1). Waddle can be kept on his rookie deal through 2025, once the Dolphins exercise his fifth-year option by May 2024.
Waddle being included in the talks for Taylor, during a period in which wideout value has soared well past that of running backs, makes it worth wondering how serious the Colts are about dealing the 2021 rushing champion. Immediately after Taylor’s trade request became public, Jim Irsay shot down the notion the disgruntled back would be moved. Rumblings about some among the Colts warming up to the idea surfaced, but this situation is on pause for the foreseeable future.