- Stephen joined ESPN in 2022, covering the Indianapolis Colts and NFL at large. Stephen finished first place in column writing in the 2015 Indiana Associated Press Media Editors competition, and he is a previous top-10 winner in explanatory journalism in the Associated Press Sports Editors national contest. He has chronicled the NFL since 2005, covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2005-2013 and the Colts since 2013. He has previously worked for the Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Times, Indianapolis Star and The Athletic.
WESTFIELD, Ind. — Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor, who is seeking a contract extension that has not materialized, requested a trade from the team earlier this week and has been awaiting a decision, an NFL source told ESPN.
Whether Taylor is made available for trade remains to be seen, but the team did not dismiss the idea in conversations with Taylor’s representative, the source said.
NFL Network first reported the trade request.
The news comes on the same day Taylor and Colts owner Jim Irsay held an hourlong meeting on Irsay’s luxury bus parked at the north end of the Colts’ practice field during Saturday night’s practice. When the two emerged, Irsay declined to reveal the details of the conversation but told reporters that his stance on a contract extension had not changed.
“We’re looking forward to a great season and hoping Jonathan is a big part of that,” Irsay said. “We’re looking forward to hopefully having Jonathan there.”
He added, “It was a good conversation, and I’m hopeful as we go forward.”
But Irsay still insisted a contract extension is not forthcoming.
“At this point, that’s not something that we’re discussing right now,” Irsay said. “This isn’t a comment that has to do with Jonathan Taylor’s situation. It’s what my responsibilities are. I’m responsible for everyone on the team and to look at the cap money that you have and to look at contracts as you go forward.”
Taylor, who led the NFL in rushing with 1,811 yards in 2021, is entering the final season of his four-year rookie contract. He is scheduled to earn $4.304 million this season, which ranks 18th among running back salaries in 2023.
“If I die tonight and Jonathan Taylor is out of the league, no one’s gonna miss us,” Irsay said Saturday. “The league goes on. We know that. The National Football League rolls on. It doesn’t matter who comes and who goes, and it’s a privilege to be a part of it.”
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