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Now that he’s out four games (PUP list with an ankle injury), Taylor is the biggest wild card of the draft. He’s worth a third-round pick easily if you knew he’d play 13 games at full capacity, and it sounds like he’s probably healthy, but just angry about his contract situation.
Usually, these stuations resolve, and the right bet is to take the discount and hope the bad blood is channeled into a massive year rather than a further holdout, or sulking and poor play. But as we saw a few years ago with Le’Veon Bell, sometimes the blood is so bad, the player will sit out all year.
Keep in mind Taylor hasn’t made that much money yet in his career, so if after the four games, the Colts deem him healthy, and he doesn’t play, not getting the pro-rated share of the $4.3M might well cause him significant hardship. The question is whether that hardship would be enough to override his negative feelings towards Colts ownership.
Of course, Taylor could also be traded, but if Colts owner Jim Irsay accepts anything less than say a first-round pick to free Taylor, it’s going to look like he lost this showdown, and owners do not like to take embarrasing public Ls typically. So for a trade to happen, I think a team would need to pay enough to make Irsay look smart, and that might not be a reasonable price.
Best-case scenario for Taylor might be a contending team losing its primary back to injury — say if the 49ers lost Christian McCaffrey or the Cowboys Tony Pollard — and they were willing to make Irsay the offer he needs to take a W.
But even if Taylor just sucks it up and plays 13 games for the Colts, he’s still a massive profit (ADP 59 in last eight Primetimes) where he’s being drafted.
I’m in at the going rate and probably anytime in Round 5.