How the Colts and Jonathan Taylor came to a new contract.

How the Colts and Jonathan Taylor came to a new contract.

INDIANAPOLIS—As he warmed up for his first padded practice of the season on Wednesday afternoon, Colts running back Jonathan Taylor had a spring in his step.

It was a significant day as it represented the first obstacle to the increased playing time he is anticipated to receive on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars (1 p.m. me. ET, CBS), when he will play a more prominent role in his season’s second game.

Taylor grinned broadly at the thought of more touches, “Another step,” she said.
In his Week 5 debut, he scored seven.
“I’m eager to launch an attack today.

Not so long ago, the scene seemed unlikely.
Before recently becoming a reality, Taylor’s excitement, his simple presence on the team, and—most importantly—his new three-year contract were far from certainties.

With unusual candor, Colts general manager Chris Ballard explained Taylor’s messy contract dispute with the team six weeks ago, stating, “I’m not going to sit here and give you some rosy picture like, ‘Oh, everything’s OK.
It’s awful for the Colts.
Jonathan Taylor is upset about it. And our fans are really disappointed.

The $42 million extension Taylor signed last week was the result of progress made after a contract standoff that resulted in a trade demand and frustration on both sides.

It boiled down to this straightforward idea, as one team member put it: “Ego versus outcome.
To put it another way, reaching the best outcome had to take precedence over rigid goals for both parties.

Jim Irsay, the owner of the Colts, stated, “There was just a lot of work trying to mend the spirit and the heart.”.
“Although it doesn’t always show, everyone has the best interests of others at heart.

Recent months have shown that to be very true.
Following Taylor’s arrival at training camp in July, a situation that had been sparked by the Colts’ refusal to grant his request for a contract extension in the spring became well-known.
The day he arrived, Taylor demanded a trade. Irsay later engaged in a heated social media conversation with Taylor’s agent, Malki Kawa.
Twice, Taylor even walked out of camp.

Taylor was put on the physically unable to perform list by the Colts due to a past ankle injury after they had briefly permitted him to pursue trades, but eventually turned down the offers that were made. Taylor missed the first four games as a result of the decision, but it gave the teams time to formulate a plan of action.
Yet resolving resentment remained a barrier to progress for all involved.

That direction was pursued gradually, according to several sources.

Initially, Ballard attempted to cool Kawa off by reaching out to him.
Remember that this took place despite Ballard having been informed on several occasions that Taylor no longer wished to play for the Colts.
A number of sources reported that Ballard’s icebreaker enhanced dialogue.

However, Taylor was still not fully assimilated into the group at this stage. He was receiving treatment at the team facility prior to every practice, and afterward, he would leave without showing up for offensive meetings (a mutually agreed upon strategy, according to team sources). He wasn’t even going to Colts games at home.

However, Taylor started talking more deeply with coach Shane Steichen once he was inside the facility. Taylor claimed those discussions turned out to be crucial.
Their conversations revealed what they had in common.

Taylor stated, “We both wanted to win.”.

Anthony Richardson was a rookie quarterback, and both of them were enthralled with his potential. Taylor wanted to contribute to the young quarterback’s accomplishments.
Prior to suffering a sprained shoulder, Richardson was off to a brilliant start and was placed on injured reserve this week.

Taylor stated, “We felt the same way about [Richardson].”.
“I would like to be present for A.
R. I hope to be able to support him as he develops in the future.
He represents this organization’s future.

For the NFL rushing leader of 2021, Taylor’s chats with Steichen were energizing.
After speaking with Steichen, he was able to temporarily set aside the business aspect of his contract situation, which had been dictating his relationship with the team for months. Ballard observed a shift in Taylor’s attitude.

“Being able to take a seat and actually connect with someone in the building was a big thing, especially with all of the business stuff going on,” Taylor stated.
“That aspect is stressful.
However, I had the opportunity to simply sit down with Shane and discuss what the future holds.
For myself as well as the entire team.
only in his imagination. And he desires to legitimately rule.

On the field, the Colts were surprisingly competitive in the meantime.
As they got off to a 2-1 start, an intriguing picture was beginning to take shape: running back Zack Moss was seeing some early success, which made the idea of combining him with Taylor even more alluring, according to team sources.

Many had assumed the Colts would be among the worst teams in the AFC, but as the season progressed, they began to see things differently.

Irsay remarked, “We can all see the potential this football team has.”.

Ballard contacted Taylor’s camp in the days before the Colts’ Week 4 matchup with the Los Angeles Rams and indicated that he was interested in talking about a deal, according to a source close to Taylor.

Taylor started practicing in October after being cleared to return from the PUP list the following week. 4.
He showed up for an awkward-feeling (but now understandable) news conference the following day.
Negotiations were underway, and a deal is never finalized until it is.
Taylor’s reluctance to make declarative statements may have been explained by this. Among his responses, “I’m here right now,” was one regarding his future.

By October 2nd, the next day.
A deal was on the table.
The following day, all the loose ends were neatly wrapped up, and Taylor signed the document.
Reliable sources claim that every attempt was made to integrate Taylor into the team prior to his first eligible game.
Taylor did not want to play without a new contract in place, a source claimed.

However, Taylor and the Colts accomplished a feat that previously seemed unlikely, if not impossible, after setting aside feelings and identifying areas of agreement.

“As a team, you have to overcome issues involving a player,” Irsay stated.
However, when everything and everyone is moving in the right direction, it’s better.


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