A realistic Dolphins-Colts trade for Jonathan Taylor and what it would mean

The Miami Dolphins could further improve their elite offense with a trade for RB Jonathan Taylor.

Jonathan Taylor, Miami Dolphins
Jonathan Taylor, Miami Dolphins / Mark Brown/GettyImages

The Miami Dolphins have their franchise quarterback. With Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle on opposite sides, there isn't a better wide receiver room in the NFL. One look at the Dolphins' running back depth chart, however, and it's hard not to feel unsatisfied.

Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. are both competent, accomplished NFL veterans. Both have been around the block a few times with winning teams. The RB position has never been lower on the NFL's priorities list and the Dolphins are clearly comfortable with a timeshare between two solid runners, as opposed to an expensive lead back.

One player could tempt them to change that: Jonathan Taylor.

The Indianapolis Colts gave Taylor permission to seek a trade on Monday. Taylor is 24 years old and entering the final year of his rookie contract. Rather than receive a hefty extension from the team that drafted him, Taylor has been given the cold shoulder by Indianapolis' front office. Naturally, he wants out.

Miami was involved in Dalvin Cook rumors all summer, which hints at a desire to upgrade the RB position. Taylor is even better than Cook, and younger. There are concerns tied to Taylor's contract situation, but the Dolphins could overlook those in favor of investing in the here and now. Miami wants to contend in a stacked AFC. Taylor would help.

A potential Miami Dolphins trade for Jonathan Taylor

Dolphins trade for Jonathan Taylor

The Colts probably can't expect a first-round pick in the current RB market, but a package of lesser picks should pique the interest of a team completely unwilling to engage with Taylor in extension talks.

The Colts get a couple of juicy picks here, as well as Jeff Wilson Jr. fresh off a 1,045-yard, six-touchdown season. Wilson has a non-guaranteed second year on his current contract worth a very reasonable $3 million in 2024. If the Colts don't want to pay Taylor, fine. Wilson is a competent stopgap under team control.

The Dolphins avoid a logjam in the backfield. Taylor takes over feature back duties in Mike McDaniel's offense while Raheem Mostert transitions to a change-of-pace role. The Dolphins possess one of the most explosive passing offenses in the NFL. Taylor can operate as a pass-catcher and pressure-relief valve near the line of scrimmage, but more importantly, he's a prolific runner who forces the defense to sell out at the line of scrimmage. That could open up more opportunities for Hill and Waddle downfield.

The Dolphins' poor offensive line is a problem, but Taylor should scrap together massive yard totals by sheer volume and force of will. He spent much of last season at less than 100 percent health, but he led the NFL in total yards (2,171) and touchdowns (20) in 2021, his second NFL season. The shelf life of RBs has never been more scrutinized, but Taylor has several years of prime running left in the tank.

With Dalvin Cook (Jets) and Ezekiel Elliott (Patriots) both signing in the division, the pressure is on for Miami to bolster its offense. The Dolphins finished last season 9-8 with a wild card spot, but the aim is higher in 2023. Tua Tagovailoa, when healthy, is one of the best arms in football. Taylor helps cement the Dolphins as a real threat in the loaded AFC.

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