Jonathan Taylor contract demands revealed: Colts RB looking to restore RB market

What does a fair market contract look like for Jonathan Taylor?
Colts running back Jonathan Taylor
Colts running back Jonathan Taylor / Jenna Watson-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Taylor became the talk of the NFL this summer when he requested a trade from the Indianapolis Colts.

The trade request was the result of a quick deterioration of the relationship between the running back and the Colts organization. And at the root of that was Taylor's desire for a lucrative new contract amid the falling value of running back contracts.

With the Colts unwilling to pay top dollar, Taylor was given permission to seek out a new team on the trade block.

There has been speculation about the identity of the two teams reportedly in on trading for Taylor. The idea that both are supposedly willing to give him a "market contract" is also intriguing.

What does that look like?

Jonathan Taylor contract: How much does the running back want to get paid?

Taylor wants to be paid like one of the top running backs in the NFL, which he is. He led the league in rushing and rushing touchdowns in 2021 and likely would have been among the most productive running backs out there last year if not for a nagging injury.

Christian McCaffrey is making $16 million per year with the 49ers as the highest-paid back in the NFL, but it doesn't look like Taylor is trying to top that deal.

Instead, The Athletic's Mike Jones revealed that Taylor's camp is looking for a deal that would pay him $14 to $15 million per year (subscription required).

That would put him in the range of Alvin Kamara's deal with the Saints, which was signed in 2020 at $15 million per year over five years. Derrick Henry also signed a deal that year at $12.5 million per year over four years. He is the third-highest-paid running back in the league on that deal.

Since those deals were signed though, the financial value of running backs has taken a hit. James Conner's three-year, $21-million contract was the most lucrative signed for a running back in 2022.

This year, Miles Sanders and David Montgomery didn't break $7 million per year in their deals. Josh Jacobs and Saquon Barkley got franchise tagged at $11.8 million and $10 million respectively for one year.

If Taylor can get $15 or even $14 million, it would be a bit of a reset of the current running back market. If the team that trades for him talks him down to something closer to $12 million, then the market price for running backs is only going to get lower.

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