All NFL teams must trim their roster down to the 53 men they will start the regular season with on Tuesday, and fans are paying close attention to where All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor might end up.
The Indianapolis Colts gave Taylor and his team until Tuesday to figure out a trade, as they’d like to know what to do with him for their roster if he remains on the team.
It’s one of the main storylines in the NFL, so the New York Giants’ Saquon Barkley is well aware of what’s going on with his fellow running back brother.
Barkley told Fox News Digital at a promotional event that while he hasn’t been in contact with Taylor, nor does he know the exact situation in Indy, he knows what type of talent the Colts are willing to move on from.
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“All I can say is that I know Jonathan Taylor is one of the best players in the league,” Barkley explained. “I see he had a down year last year battling some injuries. But he showed, when he’s healthy, what he’s able to do and what he’s able to bring to an offense and to a team.
He continued: “Hopefully the trade is able to go through, and he’s able to go to a team that respects him and values him, and hopefully he can go out and show out and put on this year.”
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Barkley understands where Taylor is coming from in regard to their contracts this offseason.
The running back market was a hot topic the past few months, as its depletion hindered players like these two backs and Las Vegas Raiders All-Pro Josh Jacobs. Barkley said he texted Jacobs congratulations after he reached a one-year deal worth up to $12 million after previously not wanting to sign his franchise tag.
While Taylor wasn’t in the same boat as Barkley and Jacobs on a franchise tag, he is entering his final year of his rookie contract with the Colts. The NFL’s leading rusher from two seasons ago believes he is worth the long-term extension, but Colts owner Jim Irsay disagrees.
At first, Irsay wasn’t budging at any trade conversations regarding Taylor, but last week the Colts allowed the second-round pick in 2020 to seek a trade. Indy reportedly wants a first-round pick, or a “package of picks that equates to as much,” per ESPN.
Teams like the Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles have been rumored trade partners for the Colts since teams were made aware of Taylor’s availability.
Barkley knows a team would love having the 24-year-old in their backfield, and as he mentioned, a nagging ankle injury held Taylor to 861 yards with four touchdowns last season. Barkley had to deal with an ankle injury that persisted throughout the 2021 season, so he can sympathize with Taylor there.
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Prior to that injury, Taylor broke out for 1,811 yards in 2021 with 18 rushing touchdowns – and both stats led the league.
“I know Jonathan prior to all this stuff that happened and being a Big Ten guy and watching him closely,” Barkley said, referring to their connection playing in the same conference in college with his Penn State Nittany Lions and Taylor’s Wisconsin Badgers. “Been a big fan of his and still going to continue being a fan of his.”
We’ll see which fans will be cheering on Taylor this season as the clock continues to tick toward the deadline.
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Barkley was on hand at Chelsea Piers on Sunday afternoon, along with Giants legend Justin Tuck and WNBA legend Rebecca Lobo, to unveil Six Star Pro Nutrition and Kellogg’s partnership that combines breakfast cereal favorites like Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops with SIX STAR 100% Whey Protein Plus, which is “designed to elevate athletes’ performance and support their nutritional needs.”