The Buffalo Bills may not be done adding to their offense just yet.
One insider pegged the Bills as one of the top contenders to land Pro Bowl running back Jonathan Taylor, who recently requested a trade from the Indianapolis Colts. While Taylor’s situation remains sticky and the Bills may not have a long-term plan to keep Taylor, a report from The Athletic identifies Buffalo as one of the few destinations that could work.
‘Wounded’ Relationship Could Lead to Big Gain for Bills
As the report from The Athletic noted, Taylor and Colts owner Jim Irsay are at odds over the running back’s future in Indianapolis. The two had a sit-down meeting that failed to bring any resolution, and the “wounded” relationship led to Taylor requesting a trade.
The report noted that the Colts could have another plan, potentially shelving Taylor for an ongoing injury.
“Taylor missed six games last year because of a nagging right ankle injury that required surgery in January, and he is currently on the PUP list as the Colts head into their second week of training camp,” the report noted. “Some reports have suggested Taylor is also dealing with self-reported back pain and has the Colts considering placing him on the NFI (non-football injury) list, which could result in the Colts withholding his salary, but Taylor took to Twitter Sunday night to refute those reports.”
If the Colts do honor Taylor’s request for a trade, the Bills could be one of the few teams that could be interested and follow through with a deal. The report noted that Bills general manager Brandon Beane would likely check in with the Colts to inquire about the price.
“In the case of Jonathan Taylor, it’s a never say never situation with the Bills right in the middle of a Super Bowl window,” the report noted. “The team has used three early draft picks on running backs the past five years, so we know they’re willing to invest in the position.”
The Bills would likely not be able to afford the extension Taylor is due after the season, when his rookie contract expires, so he would come as a one-year rental to help what is expected to be a Super Bowl push.
Bills Have Other Plans
The report noted that the Bills appear content to enter the season with second-year back James Cook as the lead running back. Though he got off to a slow start in his rookie season, Cook saw an increased share of carries down the final stretch, especially after the team shipped away back Zack Moss at the trade deadline.
Cook has impressed through the first week of training camp. Syracuse.com’s Matt Parrino noted that the versatile back has played a big role in the offenses during practice, and could be a major component of the team’s offense in the coming season.
“Cook is a potential matchup nightmare for opposing defenses if he’s going to be the playmaker he’s been in shorts and T-Shirts this week,” Parrino wrote. “On this particular play, quarterback Josh Allen quickly recognized Cook getting to the second level and single coverage against safety Micah Hyde. Cook flew past the defense and the ball was there on a platter as he crossed into the end zone.”