Colts All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor recently made some comments about his contract situation, as well as about the contract situations of the top running backs around the NFL.
Taylor was upfront with his thoughts about how the league has valued his position.
“It sucks because a lot of positions do a lot for their team. But specifically speaking for the running back position, I can just see firsthand we do, and you just want just want to be treated fairly. And not even treated fairly, you just want appreciated for what you bring to the team.”
No one can question what Taylor brings to the Colts. Since the latter parts of his rookie year in 2020, he has been the Colts’ most consistent and potent weapon on offense. He routinely turns runs that should lose yards into positive gains and is always a threat to break one for a touchdown. He’s also a threat in the passing game; in 2021, his best year so far, he caught 40 passes for 360 yards and a couple of touchdowns.
However, the running back position is not a premier position in the NFL anymore. One only must look at the 2021 season for the Colts to see that. Taylor rushed for 1,811 yards and 18 touchdowns. He was the best running back in the league, and one of the best playmakers overall; the Colts still finished 9-8 and missed the playoffs.
The Colts now find themselves in a bit of a predicament. There is no arguing that Taylor is a playmaker. He would undoubtedly be a security blanket to rookie QB Anthony Richardson as he adapts to the speed of the NFL. He is also beloved here in Indy both for his on the field exploits, and his amiable personality off it.
The unfortunate reality is that running backs have a short shelf life. They take a beating every game; in fact, most NFL running backs only have a career of 2.5 years; even the ones that last longer than that only have primes that last a couple of seasons. There are outliers of course; Adrian Peterson, Frank Gore, and others come to mind. Those players kept themselves in fantastic shape, and also had some luck in avoiding or coming back from major injuries, but that is far from the norm.
Taylor also takes great care of himself and is an incredibly smart person. He knows what it takes to have a lengthy career in the NFL as a running back. If anyone has the ability, intelligence, and drive to become an outlier himself, it’s him. Sometimes, however, luck isn’t on your side, especially when it comes to injuries. Colts’ general manager Chris Ballard will have to decide whether he wants to bet that Taylor will beat the odds and have an extended, dominant career, or if he wants to play it safe, and risk letting a generational talent walk out the door.
During Thursday’s edition of The Ride With JMV, John spoke to Mike Chappell of CBS4 and FOX59. They talked about the Colts, Jonathan Taylor’s contract situation, and how Taylor will help in the development of Anthony Richardson. Listen to that conversation below, and tune into The Ride With JMV from 3-6pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan!
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