Jim Irsay says Colts won’t trade Jonathan Taylor despite request

WESTFIELD, Ind. — Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor, who is seeking a contract extension that has not materialized, requested a trade from the team earlier this week and has been awaiting a decision, an NFL source told ESPN on Saturday.

Colts owner Jim Irsay, when asked later Saturday about the trade request, told ESPN the team would not trade Taylor.

“We will not trade Jonathan Taylor,” Irsay said. “That is a certainty. Not now or not in October.”

The news of the trade request, which was first reported by NFL Network, comes on the same day Taylor and Irsay held an hourlong meeting on Irsay’s luxury bus parked at the north end of the Colts’ practice field during Saturday night’s practice. When the two emerged, Irsay declined to reveal the details of the conversation but told reporters that his stance on a contract extension had not changed.

“We’re looking forward to a great season and hoping Jonathan is a big part of that,” Irsay said. “We’re looking forward to hopefully having Jonathan there.”

He added, “It was a good conversation, and I’m hopeful as we go forward.”

But Irsay still insisted a contract extension is not forthcoming.

“At this point, that’s not something that we’re discussing right now,” Irsay said. “This isn’t a comment that has to do with Jonathan Taylor’s situation. It’s what my responsibilities are. I’m responsible for everyone on the team and to look at the cap money that you have and to look at contracts as you go forward.”

Taylor is entering the final season of his four-year rookie contract. He is scheduled to earn $4.304 million this season, which ranks 18th among running back salaries in 2023.

Speaking of Taylor earlier this week, Irsay told ESPN, “When your time comes to get paid, then you get paid.”

Multiple sources have told ESPN that Taylor is extremely upset with his situation and there is uncertainty about whether fences can be mended between him and the team. Things perhaps intensified when Irsay posted a tweet on Wednesday taking aim at changes to the pay structure proposed by some of the league’s running backs. Irsay clarified to ESPN the following day that his comment was not directed at Taylor, who has also been vocal about the contractual state of running backs.

Last month, Taylor reacted to the frustrating financial developments at the position by saying, “You see why guys request trades.”

Taylor remains on the physically unable to perform list after offseason ankle surgery. He was a surprise addition to the list when camp started, but a source said Taylor legitimately still needs time to recover and that the PUP decision is not related to his contractual situation.

Taylor, 24, has been the Colts’ most explosive playmaker since the team drafted him in the second round in 2020 out of Wisconsin. He led the NFL with 1,811 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2021. Since entering the league in 2020, Taylor ranks in the top five in touches (860), scrimmage yards per game (107.9) and scrimmage touchdowns (36), according to ESPN Stats & Information. The only player in Colts history with more scrimmage yards and scrimmage touchdowns through his first three seasons is Hall of Famer Edgerrin James.

“If I die tonight and Jonathan Taylor is out of the league, no one’s gonna miss us,” Irsay said Saturday. “The league goes on. We know that. The National Football League rolls on. It doesn’t matter who comes and who goes, and it’s a privilege to be a part of it.”


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