Packers Trade Pitch Nets Team All-Pro NFL Rushing Champ

Brian Gutekunst, Matt LaFleur

Getty Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst (left) speaks with head coach Matt LaFleur (right) during an OTA practice session in May 2023.

The Green Bay Packers were more in on running back Jonathan Taylor than most people realized before trade talks hit a wall, and there’s no reason to expect that’s changed.

Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report on Monday, September 6, named Taylor among the league’s 10 most likely trade candidates, with the Packers and Miami Dolphins still the frontrunners for his services.

The Indianapolis Colts set a deadline of August 29 for trading running back Jonathan Taylor. It has come and gone, but it’s impossible to believe that Indy wouldn’t still move Taylor for the right offer.

Taylor wants a hefty payday at a time when teams are reluctant to pay running backs. Teams won’t want to deal for Taylor unless they believe he can make them a Super Bowl contender sooner than later.

The Miami Dolphins have already had trade discussions with Indianapolis, and they could revisit the idea in a few weeks. The Green Bay Packers were also interested in Taylor, according to ESPN’s Stephen Holder. If the Jordan Love era gets off to a fast start, Green Bay could take another run at him too.

Packers Prepared to Pay Jonathan Taylor Top NFL Salary

Jonathan Taylor

GettyIndianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor walks off the field after a loss against the Baltimore Ravens.

Green Bay was among those teams interested enough in Taylor to meet his contract demands, per Josina Anderson of CBS Sports.

“I’m told both the #Dolphins and #Packers were willing to give RB Jonathan Taylor a contract that placed him among the highest-paid running backs in the NFL entering this season, per source,” Anderson reported on August 31.

The largest total contract value for a running back is currently five years for $75 million and belongs to Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints, per Over the Cap. The highest annual average salary is $16.015 million and belongs to Christian McCaffrey of the San Francisco 49ers.

Jonathan Taylor to Remain with Colts for Now, Start Season on PUP List

Jonathan Taylor

GettyIndianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor was out six games in 2022 due to an ankle injury.

The road block that stopped a trade for Taylor has not been reported, though it is likely the Packers didn’t meet the level of the Colts’ asking price ahead of the deadline.

Indianapolis has said in no uncertain terms that it wants a first-round pick in exchange for the 24-year-old superstar who led the NFL in rushing in 2021 with 1,811 yards and 18 touchdowns.

That asking price is steep, even despite Taylor’s youth and previous performance, given his recent injury history. The running back suffered through knee and ankle issues last season, which limited him to 11 games. His production declined as a result and he finished the season with 861 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

Taylor is now set to miss the first four games of the upcoming campaign, as he remains on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list with an ankle injury, per Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports.

The Colts still hold all the cards, as Taylor is entering the fourth-year of his $7.8 million rookie contract. As a second-round pick in 2020, Indianapolis did not have the choice to pick up a fifth-year option on Taylor’s deal, which is the case with first-round selections. However, the Colts still have the franchise tag, which they can apply to Taylor for the 2024 campaign.

Because Indianapolis can control Taylor’s player rights for at least the next two years — and three if the team uses the franchise tag on him in consecutive offseasons — the Colts retain negotiating leverage over all potential suitors.

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