UPDATE: Jonathan Taylor, Colts agree on 3-year, $42M extension

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Jonathan Taylor

All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor and the Indianapolis Colts agreed on a contract extension Saturday, the team announced.

A person with knowledge of the details told The Associated Press the deal is worth $42 million, with $26.5 million guaranteed, over three years. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the terms have not been revealed publicly.

San Francisco’s Christian McCaffrey ($16 million annually) and New Orleans’ Alvin Kamara ($15 million) are now the only running backs making more money than Taylor per year.

The agreement was announced after the Colts activated Taylor (ankle) from the the physically unable to perform list and removed the questionable designation from his status for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans (2-2).

Taylor was on a limited snap count and wound up carrying six times for 18 yards Sunday in the Colts’ 23-16 home victory over the Titans. His teammate, running back Zack Moss, ran for a career-best 165 yards, scoring twice.

Taylor started the season on the list following ankle surgery and an ugly offseason contract dispute. He missed all of the team’s offseason workouts and all of training camp while rehabbing from surgery.

Taylor had been frustrated with the amount of money teams are paying running backs. He complained about league owners undervaluing running backs in general, citing the $10.1 million franchise tag number. It’s the lowest of any position other than kickers or punters.

He eventually made a trade request and the Colts gave him permission to find a trade partner.

Taylor returned to practice this week and was eager Thursday to put the dispute behind him and get back on the field.

“If somebody wasn’t committed, they wouldn’t be here. Right now, I’m here and my No. 1 goal is really to attack this first practice,” Taylor said in his first public comments since June. “It’s been over 290 days, I believe. When you’re not doing what you love, you’re going to notice it, so my main goal has been to attack this first day.”

The return of Taylor will bolster the Colts’ offense. Zack Moss has played well in his three starts and offers a solid change-up option to the speedy 2021 NFL rushing champ. Indy also has dual-threat rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson, who is the first Super Bowl era quarterback with four TD runs in his first three games.

Taylor has been a playmaker for the Colts since his rookie season, when he was taken in the second round of the draft with the 41st pick overall.

After replacing the injured Marlon Mack in Week 1 of his rookie season, Taylor rushed for 1,169 yards and caught 36 passes for 299 yards and another score. He was more impressive in Year 2, winning the league’s rushing title with 1,811 yards and 18 TDs, leading the league in scrimmage yards (2,171) and sharing the league lead with 20 total touchdowns.

Last season, he dealt with injuries for the first time in either college or the pros. He missed six games and finished with 861 yards, four TDs and a per carry average of 4.5 yards—all career lows.

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3 thoughts on “UPDATE: Jonathan Taylor, Colts agree on 3-year, $42M extension

  1. If the Colts didn’t think a running back was worth the money … how did that change in the last three months?

    The Colts approach just doesn’t make sense here.

    1. By “shopping” Jonathan Taylor, the Colts essentially created a restricted free agent situation wherein they got to get direct references for JT’s market value based on what other teams would pay. Had the Colts gone into negotiations without wither side knowing what Miami (and possibly others) would pay JT, the Colts could’ve easily been put into a position where they would’ve had to either make him the highest paid RB or let him walk. Instead, he’s the 3rd highest paid RB.

      By waiting until week 4 to make the offer, the Colts found out if the current team has potential or if it would have to be blown up. If the team was 0-4 at this point, I doubt that the Colts would’ve signed JT when they did. But the team has been promising enough for Irsay to know that he’ll probably not have to clean house at the end of the year.

      By pulling from this year’s cap for JT’s guaranteed money, the Colts and JT are each coming out on top. That money was just burning a hole in The Colts’ pocket. It’s not like it would’ve been rolled over. Might as well use it to make a good, “home-grown” player happy.

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