Pro Bowl running back Jonathan Taylor has received permission from the Indianapolis Colts to seek a trade, and one insider believes the Buffalo Bills should go all-in on trying to land him.
ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio said in an appearance on “Get Up” on August 22 that the Bills could be an instant Super Bowl contender if they were to swing a trade for Taylor.
“If the Buffalo Bills get Jonathan Taylor, they go to the Super Bowl,” Paolantonio said.
Bills May Need to Keep Pace in Competitive Division
Paolantonio noted that the Bills tried to beef up their running game last year in another trade with the Colts, the trade-deadline deal that brought Nyheim Hines to Buffalo. While Hines was able to make an impact in the return game, he did not play a significant role in the team’s rushing attack and suffered a season-ending injury that will keep him off the field for all of 2023.
Paolantonio suggested that Taylor could provide the strong rushing complement that the Bills have been seeking and help them stay ahead in an increasingly competitive division.
“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.”
Paolantonio added that the Bills already have a strong passing game led by Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs, and this offseason added tight end Dalton Kincaid with their first-round draft pick. Picking up Taylor could give the Bills the premium running back they have been lacking.
“This is all about making sure that Josh Allen doesn’t have too much to do to get them over the finish line,” he said.
It’s not clear how active the Colts are in shopping Taylor, or what they would accept in return. ESPN’s Dan Graziano said on “Get Up” that they were reportedly asking for a first-round pick, which he said would be too high of an asking price for any team to play.
Graziano left it open for a trade to happen if the Colts were to back off their reported price.
“If they come off those demands a little bit, I could see something happening,” Graziano said.
AFC East Rival Also in the Running
If the Bills do decide to pursue a trade for Taylor, they could have some competition from within the division. As SI.com’s Alain Poupart noted, the Miami Dolphins were listed as the betting favorite to land Taylor should he end up leaving the Colts.
Poupart wrote that the Dolphins could be inclined to make the deal given their own need for a top-tier running back.
“They have a lot of solid running backs, but not a high-end talent like Taylor, and it may be what separates them from a large group of AFC challengers to top contender status,” Poupart wrote.
“Besides, it’s not like the Dolphins have been afraid to make huge deals recently, as evidenced by the trades for Tyreek Hill, Bradley Chubb and Jalen Ramsey just in the past 17 months alone.”