It also ends a contentious storyline between the 2023 All-Pro RB and the club.
Taylor is entering the final year of his rookie deal and has been seeking a new deal since the offseason while recovering from offseason ankle surgery. With no offers made at the start of training camp, RB made a trade request to the team on July 29. After multiple excuses to miss training camp, the logjam continued and the Colts finally allowed Taylor to seek a trade on Aug. 21, bringing some doubt into the situation.
Since the trade did not materialize, Taylor remains on the PUP list as the season approaches, which guarantees that he will miss the first four games of the 2023 season. Taylor returned to practice this week and spoke for the first time since his offseason contract dispute with the team, although he declined to discuss his future with the Colts.
Apparently, the situation is being actively addressed behind closed doors.
“I’m very pleased that we were able to reach an agreement with Jonathan,” Colts general manager Chris Ballard said. “At the end of August, I talked about the importance of relationships and being able to move forward. We were able to get to this point. We know what Jonathan means to this team and this city. He’s a great playmaker, he’s got A tremendous effort for our organization. This is the result we all want.”
Taylor’s ankle injury hampered the follow-up to his breakout second season in 2021, when he became the league’s rushing champion with 1,811 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. The 24-year-old did his best to overcome injuries in 2022, appearing in 11 games (861 yards, four touchdowns), but the explosiveness didn’t come, making the midway point of the season in Indianapolis a frustrating one. Forgetful. Frank Reich was fired.
The Colts (2-2) have exceeded expectations without Taylor in 2023, with rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson throwing for 610 yards (479 passing, 131 rushing) in three starts. Led by 7 total touchdowns (4 rushing, 3 passing). Zack Moss has also filled in nicely for Taylor, rushing for 280 yards and two scores in three games.
It’s a sign of the offensive stability Colts head coach Sean Steichen has brought to Indianapolis during the early throes of his first season. With Taylor’s contract situation now improved, Steichen and the Colts can look to showcase what’s ahead starting Sunday against the Titans.
“Part of the reason I took this job was to work with a player like Jonathan Taylor,” Steichen said after Taylor’s extension was announced. “He adds an explosive element to our offense and his success on the field the past three seasons is undeniable. I’m excited for the role he will play on this team as we continue to build.”