Indianapolis has contemplated the possibility of trading their star running back, Jonathan Taylor, for the whole summer and more than ever through the last days of August and the first week of September leading up to kick-off week in the NFL.
Now, nearly three weeks into the regular season and with Taylor not able to find a trade partner in time after Indy gave him the chance, the Colts seem to have come to their senses by lowering their demands in exchange for the running back in a trade package.
Stephen Holder of ESPN reported on Thursday, Sept. 21 that the Colts would be willing to "settle for something a bit less" than their initial demands, which reportedly included a first-round pick or at least a combination of picks amounting to that value as the franchise sees it.
Although the Colts are seemingly willing to engage in negotiations under a lower demand bar, it's obvious that they won't part with Taylor easily. One complication is the decision a trading team would face regarding Taylor's contract, which runs out after this season.
"If Taylor is moved, here’s what matters: The Colts want real value from any potential trade. It’s why no deal got done in August. 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. They seem determined to not just give him away and will play hardball, if necessary. Another complicating factor: A team that trades for Taylor will have to weigh whether to sign him to a new deal."- Stephen Holder, ESPN
Previously, the Colts were asking for returns including such highly-placed draft picks along with talented players like wide receiver Jaylen Waddle of the Miami Dolphins and Christian Watson of the Green Bay Packers. That might have changed now.
In fact, Holder's report for ESPN features a few analysts imagining potential trade scenarios involving the Browns, the Chiefs, the Steelers, and the Dolphins, with none of them including top-tier talents in their offer.
In the Browns scenario, Cleveland would get Taylor in exchange for a second-round pick. The Chiefs would offer ostracized rusher Clyde Edwards-Helaire along with a third-round pick. The Steelers would build a similar package based around Najee Harris and a fourth-round pick. And the Dolphins would offer either a conditional second/first-round pick or a second-round pick along with S Jevon Holland.
The Ravens have many holes in their lineup these days, and in fact, they have ruled out 10 different players (between injury report and injured reserve) for their Week 3 matchup against Indianapolis, so it's hard to envision the franchise spending big draft capital in landing a rusher.
That being said, and while the perception of players at the position is not great, elite running backs are game-changing players for championship-level teams. The Ravens are considered an under-the-radar Super Bowl contender this season, so it's fair to think Taylor could be the final piece the team needs to get there.
If there is a date marked in the calendar of both the Ravens and Colts to find common ground on a trade involving Taylor, that's this weekend leading up to Sunday's Week 3 matchup between both teams.
Destiny had it that way and who knows if this meeting would end up working wonders for both franchises.