INDIANAPOLIS — The contract dispute between the Indianapolis Colts and running back Jonathan Taylor sucks, says the general manager.
“Things like this happen,” said general manager Chris Ballard during a Wednesday press conference, “I tell every rookie that comes in – there’s going to be a point where we disagree, and it’s usually about money.”
But Ballard admits he’s never had to deal with a situation this tense. Taylor requested a trade in July and was granted permission by the Colts organization. There was no deal on a trade, and the All-Pro Colt remains on the team, albeit on the physically unable to perform list.
“I care deeply for Jonathan Taylor. I have great respect for Jonathan Taylor,” but Ballard says the team was not just going to let Taylor walked away without a fair-value trade. Ballard says the team allowed the trade because sometimes it’s best to allow all parties to cool off and explore options.
Despite that, the Colts’ GM says he’s not done with Taylor, “even when it gets hard, I won’t quit on the relationship. I won’t do it. It’s where we’re at, and we have to work through it. We’re going to do everything we can to work through it.”
Jonathan Taylor did not participate in any preseason activity this year. He’s still nursing an ankle injury, but when question about the length of his recovery and the ability of the Colts medical staff, Ballard stood firm that Taylor’s ankle injury is unique to him. He says his recovery time is up to his body and rehab, and that he believes 100-percent in the organization’s ability to treat Taylor.
Chris Ballard did admit that even though he cares for Jonathan Taylor, it’s disappointing that this situation has cast a shadow over the group of young players and new coaches, which includes new star quarterback Anthony Richardson and new head coach Shane Steichen.
“Our guys in the locker room, and I give Shane a lot of credit and I give our coaching staff a lot of credit, they’re dialed in and working and focused on what they need to do,” Ballard explained.
The Indianapolis Colts finished the 2022-23 season with a record of 4-12-1. The team is already off to a slightly more positive start, finishing the preseason 2-1. The regular season kicks off September 10th with a home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Taylor will miss that game plus the next three as he remains on the physically unable to perform list.
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“I won’t quit on the relationship” – Colts GM Talks Jonathan Taylor was originally published on wibc.com
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