The Buffalo Bills were seen as a top potential destination for Pro Bowler Jonathan Taylor throughout the running back’s tumultuous offseason, and the start of the season apparently hasn’t changed much.
Taylor requested a trade from the Indianapolis Colts during the offseason, but ultimately stayed with the team and started the season on the PUP list. Insiders believe that Taylor is still a potential trade candidate for the rebuilding Colts, and reporter Albert Breer believes the Bills could be in the market.
Bills May Need a Top Running Back
After the Bills’ offense struggled in a 22-16 overtime loss to the New York Jets on September 16, Breer suggested that the Bills may still need more help for quarterback Josh Allen.
“Watching the Bills/Jets second half again, and it hit me the other day, and was reinforced seeing it again—Buffalo is the team that should take a swing at Saquon Barkley or Jonathan Taylor if either is available at the deadline,” Breer wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “There’s too much on Josh Allen right now.”
Allen struggled against New York’s aggressive defense on Monday, throwing three interceptions and losing a costly fumble that led to the Jets taking a late fourth-quarter lead. Though the Bills were able to tie the game and send it to overtime, the Jets won on a punt return and Allen said afterward that he was to blame.
“I hurt our team tonight. I cost our team tonight,” Allen told reporters after the game, via NFL.com. “This feels eerily similar to last year, and I hate that it’s the same, I do … The effort was there. Our guys played so hard. Defense gave us opportunities. They played a heck of a game. It sucks when you feel like you’re the reason, and I am the reason we lost tonight.”
Others See Fit in Buffalo
Taylor has long been floated as a potential target for Buffalo, despite the efforts of the Bills’ front office to boost up the running game. After losing top rusher Devin Singletary in free agency, the Bills signed veterans Damien Harris and Latavius Murray to add a power element that had been lacking in the backfield. Second-year back James Cook is also expected to step into a bigger role.
But some believe that Taylor could still be the missing piece in Buffalo. ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio said in an appearance on “Get Up” on August 22 that the Bills would be an immediate Super Bowl contender if they added Taylor.
Like Breer, Paolantonio noted that the Bills rely too heavily on Allen’s production to make the offense succeed. Adding Talyor would take pressure off Allen and allow the Bills to unlock other aspects of their offense, he said.
“It’s an arms race in the AFC East, and Buffalo needs a complement to Josh Allen, a really reliable complement,” Paolantonio said “They need volume and production out of their running back position and that changes the dynamic of how Josh Allen can play and what he can do.”