Raiders running back Josh Jacobs breathed a little life into Saturday’s running back market. What does that mean for the other big running back trying to straighten things out for himself and presumably other jams as well?
Colts running back Jonathan Taylor is still working toward a non-binding deadline of Tuesday to negotiate a trade that will be acceptable to the Colts. The Dolphins continue to be the team most closely associated with Taylor.
There has been speculation that Taylor will strike a below-market deal to exit Indy. In order to understand how far it would underperform the market, it is important to know where the market is.
Christian McCaffrey remains the highest-paid running back due to his $16 million-a-year contract negotiated with Carolina in early 2020. (The 49ers, we were told, assume it’s $12 million because that was the value of the contract they inherited.)
Jacobs could now earn $25.96 million over two years — an average of nearly $13 million — thanks to its franchise tag increase. That’s a big increase from the $10.1 million franchise bid and more than double this year’s best open market offer: the Panthers’ Miles Sanders at $6.3 million -dollars per year.
Ultimately, it all comes down to what Taylor wants and what he can get. The Jacobs deal gives Taylor a plausible, fact-based argument to push for something more. The running back market is a little better today than it was yesterday. Taylor’s contract will be the next data point in development.
Which way will it go? Up or down or stagnant? It depends on whether a deal can be negotiated in the next two days if the Colts aim to meet the Aug. 29 soft deadline.