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

The Philadelphia Eagles could break the NFL with a trade for star RB Jonathan Taylor.

Jonathan Taylor, Philadelphia Eagles
Jonathan Taylor, Philadelphia Eagles / Armond Feffer/IndyStar / USA TODAY

After weeks of uncomfortable silence, the Indianapolis Colts have granted RB Jonathan Taylor permission to seek a trade. The 24-year-old will look for a new home with hopes of a long-term contract extension, which the Colts have refused.

Taylor is the latest RB to suffer from the diminished market around the position. Josh Jacobs led the NFL in rushing last season and he couldn't get a payday from the Raiders. Saquon Barkley squeezed little more than the franchise tag out of the Giants. Now, Taylor -- who led the NFL in yards from scrimmage (2,171) and touchdowns (20) in 2021 -- will try to buck the trend.

Plenty of teams are expected to show interest in Taylor, who is unequivocally one of the best at his position. Taylor spent much of last season injured or working his way back from an injury, but he's entering his fourth NFL season with fresh legs and a recent track record of extreme success.

On the other hand, Taylor's rookie contract is expiring. Any team that trades for Taylor will incur his financial demands. If no team is willing to extend Taylor, then a trade could amount to a rental. The Colts' bargaining power is limited.

The Philadelphia Eagles lurk as a feasible suitor who could justify an investment in Taylor as a short-term investment in winning. Here's what a trade might look like.

A potential Philadelphia Eagles trade for Jonathan Taylor

Eagles trade for Jonathan Taylor

Odds are, no team will spend a first-round pick on Taylor in the current market. The Eagles can juice up their offer with a quality second-round pick (the Saints won't win as many games as the Eagles) and a future sixth-round pick. That should tempt Jon Irsay and Colts management, who don't want an unhappy Taylor sulking around the practice facility.

The Eagles, meanwhile, add more firepower to the NFC's deepest offense. Jalen Hurts emerged as a legitimate MVP candidate last season. A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith form one of the NFL's most potent one-two punches at WR. At RB, the Eagles already have D'Andre Swift, fresh off an impressive 931-yard, eight-touchdown campaign in 14 appearances for the Lions.

goal-lineSuddenly, the Eagles would have the undisputed best backfield in the NFL. Taylor is a dominant early-down runner and a goal line force. Swift can operate with equal effectiveness as a runner or a pass-catcher, making him the perfect third-down, change-of-pace option.

With Hurts' ability to scramble, Philadelphia would dominate the NFL rushing leaderboard while still maintaining the ability to punish defenses through the air. All that gets added to Philly's dominant defense and league-best offensive line. At that point, it's hard to justify picking another team to dethrone the Eagles in the NFC, even if Brock Purdy and Dak Prescott can put together healthy seasons.

The value of the RB individually has never been lower, but make no mistake. Taylor can still exert a major impact on winning with his ability to generate yards from scratch. He's equal parts power and finesse, capable of scrapping his way to yards after contact or breaking free for big gains on the edge.

It would be borderline unfair for Philadelphia to add a player of Taylor's caliber to the offense, but Howie Roseman has pulled off crazier things in the past. Don't count out the Eagles.

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