Jonathan Taylor rumors: Pros, cons of Eagles trade

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Indianapolis Colts gave disgruntled running back Jonathan Taylor permission to seek a trade, NFL Network reported Monday. 

Taylor has made headlines this offseason after the All-Pro demanded a trade as he continued to seek a new contract from Indy. He’s in the final year of his four-year rookie deal. 

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Taylor, one of the top running backs in the NFL, is a Salem, New Jersey, native. In high school, Taylor set a New Jersey state rushing yards record in his senior year before heading to play college football at Wisconsin.

Does it make sense for the Eagles to bring Taylor home via trade? Let’s run through the pros and cons below. 


If Howie Roseman worked his magic and somehow landed Taylor, he’d be the best running back on the Eagles since LeSean McCoy during the Chip Kelly days. 

Miles Sanders, as talented as he was, isn’t in the same tier as Taylor, who led the NFL in rushing yards in 2021. 

The Eagles don’t have a need for a running back. But the exact rotation remains unclear. They’re rolling with a committee of Kenneth Gainwell, D’Andre Swift, Rashaad Penny and Boston Scott. 

Reports out of camp say Gainwell and Swift could get the most touches, Penny looks like he could see most of the goal line work and Scott will be a change-of-pace guy. 

But, there’s no clear-cut No. 1 in that group. Taylor would provide an immediate upgrade and play behind the NFL’s best offensive line if acquired.

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Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni was Taylor’s offensive coordinator in 2020 with the Colts, where he rushed for 1,169 yards and 11 scores, so the two have experience working with each other. 

A major part of the Eagles’ offense is built around the quarterback run game with Jalen Hurts. Put Taylor next to him and the Birds’ rushing attack could become even more dangerous. 

While Hurts will still run a lot this season, a major storyline to watch is how many quarterback-designed runs are called after he signed a massive contract extension. Taylor, in theory, could keep Hurts fresher by taking a bulk load of the carries. 

NFL: NOV 20 Eagles at Colts
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – NOVEMBER 20: Indianapolis Colts Running Back Jonathan Taylor (28) escapes the tackle of Philadelphia Eagles Safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson (23) as Philadelphia Eagles Cornerback Darius Slay (2) defends during the NFL football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Indianapolis Colts on November 20, 2022, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Eagles, obviously, are already all-in on trying to win the second Super Bowl in franchise history, and Taylor’s addition would only amplify their pursuit even more. 

Roseman and Colts general manager Chris Ballard have already made a big trade together before — the deal that sent former franchise quarterback Carson Wentz to Indy in 2021. 

The Eagles and Colts also have other ties, including former offensive coordinator Shane Steichen being the head coach, and Sirianni’s three years with the franchise from 2018-20, among plenty of others on the Eagles’ staff. 


As exciting as Taylor would be in the Eagles’ offense, investing significant resources in the running back position isn’t a smart business decision in today’s NFL. 

Teams can get by with a committee of players on cheaper and cost-controlled deals that allow the franchises to keep their salary cap flexible and spend more on premier positions. 

Take what happened to the Eagles’ running back this past offseason, for example. Sanders departed in free agency and signed a four-year, $25.4 million contract with the Carolina Panthers. 

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Instead of trying to match that deal and keep Sanders, the Eagles adjusted, worked the margins and found value in the position. They traded for Swift, signed Penny and re-signed Scott to join the backfield with Gainwell. The four are signed to a combined roughly $6 million this season – slightly less than the cost of Sanders. 

This all depends on the price, of course, but Taylor is also asking for an extension. By dealing for the tailback, a contract extension is implied, and it’ll probably be a pretty hefty one. 

As shown by the Sanders move, the Eagles haven’t been a team in Roseman’s second tenure to allocate tons of resources to the position. 

Not to mention, Taylor wasn’t healthy last season, which could scare teams away from acquiring him. He missed six games with an ankle injury and had surgery in January. Taylor has missed the entire preseason on the physically unable to perform list, and he was also excused from camp due to a personal matter. 

Plus, the Eagles have the luxury of having Hurts at quarterback. 

Hurts elevates the running game due to his threat to take off and keep the ball, which keeps defenses guessing in the read option. He’s able to make anyone who plays beside him better and create opportunities in the running game. 

It doesn’t matter if it’s Gainwell, a fifth-rounder, Scott, an undrafted free agent, or even the shell of Jordan Howard in 2021 — Hurts is able to help the team’s running game to new heights no matter who is lining up. 

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Lastly, Super Bowl teams don’t pay big money for running backs. Since 2009, the leading rusher in the Super Bowl hasn’t made more than $2.5 million in base salary. 

It’s an odd trend, but it’s been proven over the past decade-plus that teams don’t need to pay for a superstar running back to compete for championships. 

Trading and then theoretically signing Taylor could hamper the Eagles’ salary cap in the future and prevent them from addressing true premier positions. 



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