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INDIANAPOLIS Chris Ballard has always said no matter the position, if you have a good player, you pay him accordingly.

Well, Ballard has done that again.

Even if the story had a 30 for 30, soap opera feel to it all.

This time it’s with running back Jonathan Taylor signing a contract extension reportedly worth $42 million over 3 years, with $26.5 million guaranteed. Taylor is due to make $4.3 million this season, in the final year of his rookie contract.

With this deal, Taylor becomes the 3rd highest paid running back in the league at $14 million annually, just behind Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara.

Pen to paper on this deal comes on the eve of Taylor making his 2023 debut, which will happen on Sunday vs. the Titans after the former NFL rushing champ practiced two days this week and has been officially brought to the 53-man roster.

Re-signing Taylor was always the path the Colts needed to explore in this 2023 calendar year.

It makes sense from giving Richardson bonafide support in his early development, and comes at a time where the Colts have the money to frontload and a contract and do it on a length that matches up nicely.

By giving Taylor a 3-year extension, that means his contract will run through the Colts have to make a decision on Richardson’s 5th year rookie option (following the 2025 season).

In his time with the Colts, Taylor has quickly proven to be one of the best runners in the NFL.

After an 1,110-yard campaign as a rookie, Taylor shattered the rushing title in 2021 with 1,811 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.

He ran for 861 yards in 11 games last season, as an ankle injury sidelined him at various points in the season, with his yards per carry dropping a full yard to 4.5

Earlier this spring, Taylor was pretty vocal (for him) when it came to vouching/wanting proper value from the Colts for what he believes he brings to the team, community.

There’s no denying Taylor stands for everything the Colts want off the field. On the field, Taylor is a durable and extremely productive first and second-down runner, with home run ability.

Still though, he plays a position with Father Time often hitting players well before they turn 30 years old.

Now that the Colts have committed to paying a running back major money on a second deal, they should have one of the more dynamic QB/RB run threats in the league, with Anthony Richardson under centr

Even dating back to college, Taylor has never played with a quarterback anywhere near the run threat of Richardson, so seeing how this will impact his usage/efficiency will be interesting to watch.

This story was one with twists, turns and plenty of childish moments played out in the public.

But now, 4 weeks into the 2023 season, the Colts have rewarded their best offensive weapon.

So much for not handing out extensions to players coming off of four-win seasons, right?

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