The Jonathan Taylor situation has escalated quickly. Taylor wants a contract extension but has not received one, and it doesn't look like one is coming. Taylor recently requested a trade, but Colts owner Jim Irsay responded by saying the Colts weren't going to trade Taylor after meeting with the star running back earlier that day.

Shortly thereafter, rumors of the Colts putting Taylor on the non-football injury list gained some traction. Taylor would not get paid and his contract would toll. Taylor would essentially be running in place for a full year without getting paid. Taylor vociferously shot down reports of an alleged back injury:

That's the situation with the Colts and Jonathan Taylor. It's ugly. Taylor is at the top of his game and would like to get paid now before a potential injury would suggest otherwise. The Colts, like every other team in the NFL, are wary to pay big money to a running back. That could set the stage for a potential trade. Who could make a trade for Taylor? Why not the Kansas City Chiefs?

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Chiefs-Colts Trade: Jonathan Taylor for Conditional Third-Round Pick

Why Colts Accept Trade

If the Colts aren't even going to offer Jonathan Taylor an extension, they might as well look to see what they can get for him. They're a long way away from competing for the AFC South with the Jacksonville Jaguars actualizing their rebuild. A conditional third-round pick that could be upgraded to a second would be good value for the Colts. Maybe the condition hinges on playing time or if he signs an extension.

Why Chiefs accept trade

The Chiefs do this trade to right their wrong of the 2020 NFL Draft when they selected Clyde Edwards-Helaire over Jonathan Taylor. Isiah Pacheco played very well for the Chiefs last season, ranking 10th in DVOA among running backs last season according to Football Outsiders. But Pacheco is a bit of an all-or-nothing back. That works well with the Chiefs' offense playing alongside Patrick Mahomes, but Taylor gives that same home-run element as well as grinding yards between the tackles.

On top of that, the Chiefs are competing for the Super Bowl again after winning it all last season. Not only is Taylor a better player than Pacheco, but acquiring him from the Colts would keep him away from another Super Bowl contender like the Buffalo Bills. Paying Taylor would be tough for the Chiefs, but if they send just a third-round pick and make another big run in the playoffs with the star running back, it would be well worth it. It also is worth mentioning that Chris Ballard came from the Chiefs' front office before becoming the GM of the Indianapolis Colts. That type of relationship is a key factor in how trades like this can get made.

Moving Forward

The Colts and Jonathan Taylor are at a standstill. The Colts have the leverage and they know it. It's tough spot for Taylor, but it's the reality. This likely ends with Taylor reporting to the team, playing out this last year of his rookie contract, and kicking this extension negotiations down the road to next season. A potential Taylor trade doesn't sound close to happening yet, but the Chiefs would make a lot sense if one does come to fruition.