For months, we’ve heard rumors about Miami’s mutual interest in former Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook. The free agent back is scheduled to meet with the New York Jets later today. Cook would improve Miami’s RB room, but an even bigger fish may be available for Chris Grier and the Dolphins to pursue.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport, Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor has officially requested a trade. The 24-year-old running back was unhappy with his contract, and after speaking to owner Jim Irsay, he has decided to ask for a trade officially.
Now, first, let me start by saying I’m no mathematician — but there are three things we do know.
- The Dolphins are currently projected to be roughly $30 million over the cap in 2024.
- Miami has a plethora of young players — Christian Wilkins, Robert Hunt, Connor Williams, Tua Tagovailoa, Jevon Holland, Jaelan Phillips, Jaylen Waddle, etc.— that will be looking for new deals sooner than later.
- The salary cap is fake.
People more intelligent than me would have a better idea of what needs to happen to get a deal done. Maybe an Emmanuel Ogbah trade? Or if a team was crazy enough to take on Cedric Wilson’s contract (no chance). But there are definitely ways a deal could get done. Besides trading a solid player, it will also take significant draft capital to land Taylor.
Christian McCaffrey was the last #elite running back to get traded, and he fetched a haul. The 49ers gave up a 2023 2nd, 3rd, 4th AND a 2025 5th round pick. They then paid him a massive 4-year extension worth $ 64 million. I don’t know that the Dolphins could afford the trade package or the new deal, tbh. For example, they only have picks in the 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th, and 7th rounds in the 2024 NFL draft.
Then again, maybe it won’t cost as much as it did for McCaffrey.
Jeff Darlington of ESPN speculates that teams may be hesitant to give up a massive package + a long-term deal, given the current status of the running back market — and how reluctant general managers are to pay.
I’ve asked a few GMs about Jonathan Taylor’s trade value, and it sounds minimal for many reasons: Most notably, it’s a one-year rental. As one GM noted, next year’s RB market is going to be saturated. No team is likely to do a long-term deal now when RB value could keep dropping.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) July 30, 2023
Another thing that could impact this trade — and differentiate it from CMC’s — is the relationship between Irsay and Taylor. As James Boyd of the Atheltic reports, Irsay spoke less than glowingly about his star running back.
“If I die tonight and Jonathan Taylor is out of the league, no one’s gonna miss us. The league goes on. We know that. The National Football (League) rolls on. It doesn’t matter who comes and who goes, and it’s a privilege to be a part of it.”
On the field, Taylor is an #elite RB. An #elite running back that has been uber-productive throughout his three-year career, rushing for over 3,841 yards and 33 touchdowns during his time with the Colts. He also caught 104 passes for 802 yards and three touchdowns. He can do it all and would be an actual cheat code in Mike McDaniel’s offense.
Irsay later said the team has no interest in moving Taylor, but if the relationship is already deteriorating, never say never.
There’s also the question of how this may impact Dalvin Cook’s asking price. If teams begin calling about Taylor — a younger, more explosive running back — could Cook’s price tag take a hit? Might he come home to Miami with a new deal in place, or is he a New York Jet by the end of the day?
Ultimately, this is a pipedream and something that would only happen in Madden — or on my dynasty fantasy football team. But then again, many of us would’ve said the same thing about the Dolphins acquiring wide receiver Tyreek Hill and EDGE Bradley Chubb. Still, I don't know if it makes sense for a team with a lot of young talent in need of new contracts — and more significant needs on the roster than running back. But making sense never stopped me before!
Pick up the phone, Chris Grier, and do what you should’ve done back in the 2019 NFL draft.
Should the Miami Dolphins trade for Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor? What might a potential trade package look like? Would you rather sign Dalvin Cook or Ezekiel Elliott if the team wants a veteran? Are you going to training camp later today? Let us know in the comments section below!