The Colts Are Blowing the Jonathan Taylor Trade Situation

Jonathan Taylor
Jonathan Taylor / Jason Miller/GettyImages

It's no great exaggeration to say the Indianapolis Colts have handled the Jonathan Taylor situation quite poorly to this point. Everything was business as usual until contract extension talks broke down between player and team, which is not an unusual occurrence. Plenty of similar situations have been resolved peacefully after reaching that point. But Jim Irsay decided to burn whatever bridges were remaining by publicly demeaning Taylor's contract demands, which sent the whole situation into a spiral that it has yet to pull out of.

Ultimately Taylor was allowed to search for a trade partner after being placed on the physically unable to perform list to keep him away from camp and the team gave him a deadline of Tuesday, August 29. That deadline has passed. There were interested parties, but the Colts did not receive an offer they deemed "acceptable." Instead of trading their disgruntled star, they kept him on the PUP list, which means he'll miss the first four games of the year at minimum.

Unlike with most situations of this kind, though, there is no mystery about which teams were interested. It wasn't rumor-mongering by Indianapolis to drum up interest. The Miami Dolphins and Green Bay Packers were both named by numerous reputable reporters as the teams who reached out to make an offer. It was all real. The Colts had their chance to move on, yet these offers were apparently not good enough.

The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson put out some information this morning that helps contextualize why, exactly, the Colts didn't like these offers. It's because their expectations are nothing short of insane.

The obvious reaction to that report is that Indianapolis clearly had no intention of actually trading Taylor if they're asking for the moon from any potential suitor. But if that were the case then they've done a disastrous job of handling things to this point.

Taylor is not going to just come back and go to work. The desire to work for Irsay probably died when he said nobody would care if Taylor was out of the league tomorrow. The unexpected can always happen but it is difficult to imagine a scenario where Taylor is happy to return to the team at any point this season, and it's pretty much all the Colts' fault. If this was just a contract dispute, both sides would shoulder blame but Irsay was the one who blew up the bridges of this relationship with dynamite.

Instead of recognizing that and trading Taylor now, the Colts are making ludicrous trade requests, shrugging their shoulders, and saying they tried. It is a terrible business decision. Taylor's value is not going to get higher when the season starts. Everyone knows the Colts are at a disadvantage and, to make things worse, keeping Taylor on the PUP list means he will miss the first four games of the year no matter what. Even if he gets traded.

The Colts took Taylor's trade value and pounded it into dust, over and over again. Not only to other teams but to everybody paying attention to the situation. It is truly stunning mismanagement and there is no bright side to it all.

Maybe a contending team's top three running backs all get hurt before the deadline and they get desperate enough to trade for Taylor. Maybe. That seems to be the only situation in which Taylor will take the field. Otherwise the Colts have a long battle on their hands, both with the NFLPA and in the court of public opinion. They could have shipped Taylor off and been done with it yesterday. Instead they shot themselves in the foot for the umpteenth time this offseason and expect somebody to show up with a good offer in the next two months.

Good luck with that.