The Indianapolis Colts are apparently allowing Jonathan Taylor to seek out a trade with the NFL regular season just a couple of weeks away at this point. The running back position has become a major point of contention in the last couple of years but the value teams are placing on premier players at the position has boiled over into a bit of a war between those teams and their star players.
It will take a king’s ransom of a trade to acquire these players, but the teams they are currently on won’t give them big-money long-term deals. Someone make it make sense.
We’ve seen it to various degrees with players like Jonathan Taylor and the Colts, Saquon Barkley and the Giants, Josh Jacobs and the Raiders, as well as free agents like Ezekiel Elliott and Dalvin Cook, who only just recently signed contracts. Regardless of your personal philosophy on how teams should approach the position, it’s not arguable that some of the best playmakers in the game are not being appropriately compensated, and Jonathan Taylor had the benefit of watching some of his peers go through the struggle before he even hits free agency (in 2024).
He’s getting out ahead of the issue by trying to find a team right now that will pay him what he wants, but that’s going to be a bit of a complicated matter. Not only does he have to find a team that’s willing to pay him what he wants on a new contract, but he’s also going to have to find a team that is willing to pay up in terms of NFL Draft compensation.
You know who we haven’t heard from in a while? Los Angeles Rams GM Les Snead.
Poor Les Snead. He’s been one of the most active and aggressive general managers in the NFL over the last seven or so years, and it looks like he had his wings clipped a little bit in the 2023 offseason. The Rams did basically nothing.
Well, they did basically nothing to upgrade their roster. They traded away Jalen Ramsey and Allen Robinson. Their first major unrestricted free agent acquisition was not made until later in the Summer, and it was cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon.
But the Rams, after a really poor 2022 season, are getting back a (hopefully) healthy version of Aaron Donald, Matthew Stafford, and Cooper Kupp, players who missed substantial time last year. The Rams’ roster, outside of these key veterans, is extremely young. A player like Jonathan Taylor added to the offense would make like so much easier for Matthew Stafford and would give the Rams a legitimate, viable threat on the ground.
That’s something they don’t currently have.
Les Snead has been sitting on his hands for too long. Who knows how many more years the Rams are going to get out of Stafford, Donald, and even head coach Sean McVay? There have been rumblings of retirement for all of those players within the last couple of years. The Rams won a Super Bowl in the 2021 season and they are clearly in a championship window.
Jonathan Taylor could be a critical piece of the Rams’ offense in 2023, especially if they have to lean on Stetson Bennett for any period of time at all this year. It just makes so much sense for this team to make a move, and hopefully, Snead is in a new budget year or something. The Rams have a little over $10 million in cap space right now and they can afford to make the move.
They could start up a package to the Colts with their second-round pick in 2024 and go from there. Jonathan Taylor to the Rams makes sense from the Rams’ perspective and given their context. The question is, will Les Snead be given permission to get aggressive again?