Why Would Vikings Want Jonathan Taylor?

Oct 30, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) runs the ball while Washington Commanders cornerback Rachad Wildgoose (37) defends in the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

This offseason, the Minnesota Vikings moved on from veteran running back Dalvin Cook. Despite lesser results a year ago, his tires still have plenty of tread. Paying him is another thing, though, and that’s why they moved on. Why now would they want Indianapolis Colts star Jonathan Taylor?

Why Would Vikings Want Jonathan Taylor?

In a vacuum, Jonathan Taylor makes a ton of sense for the Minnesota Vikings. He played collegiately for Wisconsin and is among the best dual-threat running backs in football. The problem is that Minnesota would need to acquire his services, and that package isn’t going to come cheap.

At the end of July, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsary got into a public spat regarding his superstar running back. Irsay brought up the CBA, and then Taylor’s agent jumped into the confrontation. From that point forward, this situation has dissolved.

It seems the Colts are now toeing a silly line in that they appear determined to trade Taylor. Despite having recently drafted a rookie quarterback in Anthony Richardson, he will be without the services of an elite running back behind him. The Colts will call Taylor’s bluff and send him packing, but that doesn’t mean they’ll give him away for free.

Want Jonathan
Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) runs out of the tunnel Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. © Armond Feffer/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Vikings have brought in a couple of different running backs this offseason, and they have been linked to bigger names. With Alexander Mattison set to take over for Cook, the experience behind him is next to non-existent. Taylor would unquestionably represent an upgrade at the top and for the position in general, but his acquisition would create similar ripple effects to the Cook scenario.

Taylor is looking to be compensated early, something the Colts are unwilling to do. Trading for him wouldn’t necessarily make that desire go away, and even if it did for a time, Minnesota would still be parting with substantial assets. The ask for Taylor is a first-round pick or a package that equates to such a demand. The Vikings swinging that for a running back, while having plenty of other holes, would be curious at best.

It’s not as though Minnesota is an odds-on favorite to land Taylor by any means, but engaging in the conversation seems unnecessary. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah must construct a team with cap space to rebuild the roster as a whole. Hanging onto key draft picks for years to come is an avenue to depress dollar allocation, which would be the opposite of that plan.

Nov 13, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) runs the ball against the Las Vegas Raiders during the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports.

Nothing is stopping the Vikings from grabbing another running back, and it could even be argued that they should be exploring the possibility. What they don’t need to do is spring for a massive move in the form of Taylor and paying the Colts for him. Irsay started this firestorm with his remarks on Twitter, and the two sides are very clearly dug in against each other. We should see resolution before the regular season, but expecting Taylor in purple isn’t a result anyone should hope for.

Yes, the Vikings could be a fit for Jonathan Taylor if his price tag was “free.” That isn’t reality, though; getting involved in such discussions seems to be built in fantasy land.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.