Colts RB Jonathan Taylor Agrees On 3-Year Term, $42 Million Contract Extension

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The Indianapolis Colts have ensured that star running back Jonathan Taylor will stay in Indianapolis for the foreseeable future after removing the last obstacle to his eagerly anticipated homecoming.

According to a source cited by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport on Saturday, Taylor and the Colts have reached an agreement on a three-year, $42 million deal extension that includes $26.5 million in guaranteed money.

Taylor’s extension has since been disclosed by Indianapolis.

“I want to thank Jim Irsay and his family, Chris Ballard, and coach Steichen for the opportunity to be part of this organization’s future,” Taylor said Saturday, via the team’s website. “I greatly appreciate the support of my teammates and Colts fans. I can’t wait to get back on the field and do everything I can to help bring this city the championship it deserves. I’m proud to be an Indianapolis Colt.”

According to Over The Cap, Taylor’s agreement will increase his annual average salary to $14 million, making him the third highest-paid running back in the NFL. Only Saints RB Alvin Kamara ($15 million) and 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey ($16 million) will make more money annually.

The signing of the new contract came after the Colts took Taylor off the physically unable-to-perform list on Saturday. This opened the door for him to play this Sunday against the Tennessee Titans in his 2023 season debut.

Additionally, it puts a stop to a difficult plot between the team in 2023 and the All-Pro RB.

Taylor has been looking for a new deal since the offseason while recovering from offseason ankle surgery. He was about to reach the final year of his rookie contract. The running back asked the team for a trade on July 29 as training camp got underway without an offer being made.

After multiple excused absences from camp, a stalemate continued, and on August 21, the Colts ultimately granted Taylor permission to seek a trade, adding further uncertainty to the situation.

Taylor remained on the PUP list as the season approached in the absence of a trade, which ensured he would miss the first four games of the 2023 campaign. Taylor returned to practice this week and made his first public comments following his dispute with the Colts over a contract in the offseason, but he chose not to address his future with the team.

Evidently, behind closed doors, the matter was actively being resolved.

“I’m thrilled we were able to reach an agreement with Jonathan,” Colts general manager Chris Ballard said. “At the end of August, I spoke about the importance of relationships and being able to move forward. We were able to reach that point. We know what Jonathan means to this team and this city. He is an exceptional playmaker, and he has given a tremendous amount to our organization. This is the result we all wanted.”

Taylor’s ankle injury derailed the progression of his breakthrough second season in 2021, when he amassed 1,811 running yards and 18 rushing touchdowns to win the league’s rushing title. The 24-year-old did his best to play through the injury in 2022, appearing in 11 games (861 yards, four touchdowns), but the burst was simply missing, and it added to a forgettable campaign in Indianapolis that included Frank Reich’s midseason ouster.

In 2023 without Taylor, the Colts (2-2) have outperformed expectations. Anthony Richardson, a rookie quarterback, has led the way with 610 total yards (479 passing, 131 rushing) and seven total touchdowns (four rushing, three passing) in three starts.

In Taylor’s absence, Zack Moss has performed admirably, accumulating 280 rushing yards and two touchdowns in three games.

In the early going of his first season, Colts head coach Shane Steichen has already brought offensive steadiness to Indianapolis. Steichen and the Colts can now look forward to showcasing what the future holds against the Titans on Sunday once the contract dispute with Taylor has been resolved.

“Part of the reason I took this job was to work with a player like Jonathan Taylor,” Steichen said following the announcement of Taylor’s extension. “He adds an explosive element to our offense and his success on the field over the last three seasons is undeniable. I’m excited for the role he’ll play on this team as we continue to build.”