Jonathan Taylor’s agent doubts relationship with Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay can be repaired

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read
Mykal McEldowney-USA TODAY Sports

The tenuous relationship between Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and his star running back Jonathan Taylor’s agent is apparently at such a low point that the agent doubts the situation will improve.

The situation comes in the wake of a meeting on Zoom, where a number of running backs voiced their frustrations over the inabilities of top running backs to get new deals. Taylor was one of the running backs who expressed frustration over that fact.

Just days after that get-together, Irsay rejected the idea that the league’s current collective bargaining agreement should be changed, which brought a quick retort from Malki Kawa, Taylor’s agent.

The standoff got the attention of NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport on Thursday afternoon. A subsequent tweet by Rapoport led to a response from Kawa, who offered a discouraging outlook.

In Taylor’s three seasons with the Colts, he’s been among the top running backs in the league. During the 2021 campaign, he led the NFL in rushing yards, carries and rushing touchdowns, but was limited last season to 11 games because of injury.

Taylor’s overall production for his NFL career might ordinarily be seen as a ticket to a lucrative new deal. Yet, in recent years, the roles and perceived values of running backs across the league have diminished.

Running backs like Saquon Barkley, Dalvin Cook and Austin Ekeler have also put up impressive numbers during their NFL careers. Yet, they have gotten a taste of the new marketplace during this offseason.

Taylor no doubt sees those situations and looks at how last season’s injury and the huge workload from 2021 might conceivably be used against him during negotiations. There’s no indication that the Colts plan to take that approach, but given this year’s situation, it could potentially happen.

The current contract of Taylor doesn’t really reflect the value he’s provided for the Colts. That’s because he was taken in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, with players drafted later receiving less money.

The Colts’ first regular season game this year doesn’t take place until Sept. 10. That gives both sides plenty of time to at least come together and see if this relationship can be repaired.

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Brad has written on a variety of both NBA and NFL topics and has worked previously as a sports information director at the collegiate level. A lifetime fan of sports, he's witnessed countless great moments in different sports and understands that stories can be compelling from both the perspective of winners and losers. As a frustrated fan of Cleveland sports, he experienced something unprecedented when the Cavaliers won the city's first championship in 52 years.