Two teams were willing to make Jonathan Taylor one of the NFL’s highest-paid running backs

A Jonathan Taylor trade never materialized after the Indianapolis Colts set a Tuesday deadline to deal the 2021 NFL rushing champion.

Indianapolis was reportedly in conversations with multiple teams, including the Miami Dolphins, about what would have been a major blockbuster ahead of Week 1. Unfortunately for those teams, the Colts’ asking price was way too high for the running back.

We’re now hearing more on this courtesy of NFL insider Josina Anderson. She reports that both the Dolphins and Green Bay Packers were willing to make Taylor one of the highest-paid running backs in the NFL.

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With Taylor set to hit NFL free agency following the 2023 season, this was one of the major aspects of trade talks between the Colts and other teams.

A second-round pick of the Colts out of Wisconsin back in 2020, Taylor is set to earn a mere $4.3 million base salary this season. He’s far outpaced that value with his production on the field. Back in 2021, Taylor led the NFL in rush attempts (332), rushing yards (1,811) and rushing touchdowns (18). He missed six games to an ankle injury a season ago and will start the 2023 campaign on the Physically Unable to Perform (List).

Related: Jonathan Taylor and other NFL injury updates heading into Week 1

Taylor, 24, requested a trade earlier this summer after Colts owner Jim Irsay remarked about running back values and paying this position in the modern NFL. After initially pushing back against dealing him, the Colts gave Taylor permission to seek a trade earlier in July. As noted above, nothing came to fruition on that end.

Jonathan Taylor stats (2020-22): 3,841 rushing yards, 802 receiving yards, 36 TD

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

The Taylor drama came after an offseason filled with much of the same surrounding fellow running backs Josh Jacobs (Las Vegas Raiders) and Saquon Barkley (New York Giants). Both were initially holdouts after having the franchise tag placed on them. They came to short-term agreements. But the devaluation of the running back in today’s NFL has been a major talking point.

At the very least, Taylor knows of two teams who were willing to pay him market value. If Indianapolis does not trade the running back after he comes of the PUP List, there will be a strong market for Taylor next spring.

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