Stephen Holder, ESPNJun 14, 2023, 03:19 PM ET
INDIANAPOLIS — Jonathan Taylor has assessed the current economic attitudes toward running backs in the NFL, and the All-Pro is beginning to wonder what it all means for him.
The Indianapolis Colts star said Wednesday that recent developments with backs such as Dalvin Cook, Saquon Barkley and others have given him reason for pause as he embarks on his own contract negotiations. Taylor, who is entering the final season of his rookie contract, is guardedly optimistic.
“You definitely have to pay attention, just so you know, ‘OK, what type of space are you entering into?'” Taylor said. “And you just hope from the track record here [in Indianapolis] that things are being evaluated the right way.”
Taylor, who rushed for a franchise-record 1,811 yards in 2021, is coming off a down season in which he battled a nagging ankle injury that limited him to 11 games. He rushed for 861 yards and four touchdowns. But the sum total of Taylor’s three seasons with the Colts remains highly impressive: 3,841 yards and 33 rushing touchdowns.
Taylor acknowledged that might mean only so much given how other top running backs around the league continue to fight for financial gains.
Cook, the former Minnesota Vikings running back, was released last week after his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season. The New York Giants and Barkley, who was given the franchise tag by the team, remain in a contract standoff. And Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs, also a franchise tag recipient, has yet to sign his tender after leading the NFL in rushing last season.
“You see why guys request trades,” Taylor said. “They just want to feel valued by not only their coaches, their teammates, but the organization as well.”
Taylor, 24, said he has had some talks with the Colts and remains optimistic a deal can be worked out. “We definitely have approached [the contract],” he said. “Hopefully they can see the value.”