The clock is ticking on a return to the field -- and a potential trade -- for Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor, who is on the physically unable to perform list and is eligible to play in Week 5.
Taylor, 24, who is in the final season of the rookie deal he signed in 2020, requested a trade in July as he seeks a contract extension. His 2023 salary is $4.304 million, which ranks 18th among running backs. The Colts granted him permission to seek a trade in late August but didn't find a deal they liked before their self-imposed Aug. 29 deadline, which lined up with the NFL's deadline requiring teams to trim rosters to 53 players. The Miami Dolphins and Green Bay Packers were among the teams interested in a trade for Taylor, who didn't practice in the preseason while recovering from offseason surgery on his right ankle.
What's next for Taylor ahead of when he's eligible to return? Where could he land in a trade, and what could the Colts get for him? What happens if they don't find an offer they like before the Oct. 31 trade deadline?
We asked five NFL analysts to craft realistic trade offers for Taylor, then had Colts reporter Stephen Holder evaluate each one and pick the best offer, based on what he thinks the Indianapolis front office could do over the next few weeks. Before we get into the offers -- which include deals with four different teams -- Holder explains the latest on Taylor's situation. Here's how our simulated market played out, starting with why the team could take a deal soon and ending with a verdict: