The offensive struggles through two weeks of the regular season have given reason to believe the Kansas City Chiefs need more firepower on offense. That’s why ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler has proposed a trade package that he believes would be enough for the Chiefs to acquire All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor.
In an article in which several of ESPN’s reporters came up with five trade offers for the Indianapolis Colts’ star back, Fowler’s package for Kansas City included a 2024 and 2025 third-round pick and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire in exchange for Taylor.
“Kansas City’s receiving core is largely unproven, and tight end Travis Kelce was banged up to begin the season,” Fowler wrote on September 21. “The acquisition of Taylor could alleviate pressure. Meanwhile, Indy would stockpile midround picks while adding a change-of-pace back to help rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson. Edwards-Helaire is a free agent in 2024 and could be a stopgap option for the Colts.”
What to Know About Jonathan Taylor
Jonathan Taylor, 24, was a second-round pick of the Colts in 2020. He wasted no time showing his value, as Taylor broke onto the NFL scene with a rookie campaign that included 1,169 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns along with 299 yards in the air and 1 receiving touchdown, according to Pro Football Reference.
Taylor’s best season to date was his 2022 campaign in which he rushed for 1,811 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns and had another 360 yards in the air and 2 receiving touchdowns. The only reason he wasn’t named the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year is because Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had a stellar season as well and won the award as a result (5,250 passing yards, 41 touchdowns, 12 interceptions).
Taylor has been discussed in many trade scenarios this season due to his contract dispute with Indianapolis. After being franchise-tagged by the Colts this offseason, Taylor began holding out for a new contract this summer while also being on the physical unable to perform (PUP) list due to an ankle injury.
The Colts are interested in extending Taylor’s contract after the season but are unwilling to come to terms on a long-term deal with their lead back, according to ESPN’s Stephen Holder. On top of that, Holder says the team has dialed back their demands for Taylor in a trade.
“They asked for a package of picks amounting to a first-round pick, but the reality is they’d settle for something a bit less,” Holder wrote on September 21. “They seem determined to not just give him away and will play hardball, if necessary.”
But one of the most difficult factors to consider in a trade for Taylor is signing him to a deal he’s happy with. Many NFL teams nowadays are reluctant to break the back for a veteran running back due to durability/productivity concerns, yet Taylor is believed to want a contract that pays him an annual salary of $14-15 million, according to The Athletic’s Mike Jones.
Would Jonathan Taylor Make Sense With Chiefs?
Though adding Jonathan Taylor would certainly give a boost to Kansas City’s offense, adding him at this point in time given the circumstances wouldn’t make sense for the defending Super Bowl champions.
Aside from the money — which the Chiefs have proved they are unwilling to spend money at the running back position — Kansas City’s run game isn’t the issue with its offense.
Instead, the Chiefs would be better off trading for a veteran receiver who can add some experience and playmaking ability to the Chiefs’ young receiver room.