According to ESPN’s Stephen Holder, the Green Bay Packers — along with the Miami Dolphins — were one of two teams that attempted to trade for the Indianapolis Colts’ running back Jonathan Taylor during cutdowns. Taylor is in a vocal contract dispute with the Colts, which may lead to the running back holding out of regular season games if he is not extended or traded by Indianapolis. Per The Athletic’s Mike Jones, Taylor is looking for an extension in the $14 million to $15 million per year range.
Taylor, a 2021 First-Team All-Pro, has already played in the state of Wisconsin once. During his college days, Taylor was twice named a Unanimous All-American for the Wisconsin Badgers, though, he was born and raised in New Jersey.
For reference, Taylor was the one seeking out a trade, not the Colts, so the back seems to have at least somewhat of an interest in joining the Packers. Holder’s report, though, doesn’t state how serious Green Bay was about a potential trade.
The Dolphins, sources said, also were in talks with the Colts and discussed several possible deals — including deals that involved draft picks and players — but none of those proposals enticed the Colts to act. It remains unclear what the Packers offered or what their level of interest might be moving forward.
With Taylor still on the physically unable to perform list for a high ankle injury, he is now ineligible to play in the first four games of the regular season. Reports earlier this week stated that Taylor, if he had a new contract in hand, likely would have been healthy enough to suit up for the start of the regular season. Taylor sticking on the Colts’ PUP list seems to be some sort of negotiation ploy that the front office is using.
Holder previously reported that the Colts are looking for a first-round pick in exchange for Taylor, which the Packers will likely have two of in the upcoming 2024 draft due to the Aaron Rodgers trade.
Green Bay hasn’t been afraid to pay running backs under head coach Matt LaFleur, but it’s interesting nonetheless that the team was in the mix for Taylor’s services. This year alone, even after taking a pay cut, starting running back Aaron Jones will make $10.97 million in cash, the third-highest mark for a veteran running back per Spotrac.
Jones’ status on the team seems to be up in the air for 2024, though, as he will be on the final year of his contract with a $17.7 million cap hit for the Packers to retain him. Meanwhile, AJ Dillon, who Jones is in a running back by committee with, is already in the last year of his rookie contract and is set to be an unrestricted free agent next offseason.
The Packers still can trade for Taylor, but, as previously mentioned, he would be unable to suit up for a game until at least Week 5 against the Las Vegas Raiders — a Monday Night Football showdown that will have Davante Adams playing against Green Bay for the first time. Stay tuned to this story, as I’m sure it’s not the last time that we’re going to hear Taylor and Green Bay linked together.