The Vikings Are Players in the Jonathan Taylor Trade Market, per Oddsmakers

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 Minnesota Vikings are done with the expensive bellow-RB era — at least for a while — after cutting ties with longtime halfback Dalvin Cook in June.

Cook signed with the New York Jets last week, joining his former foremost rival Aaron Rodgers in the AFC East.

The Vikings Are Players in the Jonathan Taylor Trade Market, per Oddsmakers

And while the Vikings seem more than content rolling with Alexander Mattison in 2023 as the RB1, sportsbooks have a sideways theory that a big-name runner could end up in Minnesota via trade — Jonathan Taylor.

The Vikings Are Players in the Jonathan Taylor Trade Market, per Oddsmakers
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) warms up before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota has six RBs on the active roster, likely trimming the quantity to three or four in one week when the depth chart reduces from 91 players to 53. No credible Vikings-themed analyst or writer has linked Taylor to the Vikings, so for now, this is a Vegas thing.

The Draft Network‘s Jaime Eisner tweeted the odds per team Tuesday for a Taylor trade, courtesy of Bet Online:

  • Dolphins (+200)
  • Bears (+250)
  • Bills (+500)
  • Ravens (+700)
  • Cowboys (+800)
  • Broncos (+800)
  • Commanders (10/1)
  • Bucs (14/1)
  • Vikings (14/1)
Dec 4, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan (2) hands off to running back Jonathan Taylor (28) in the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports.

There you have it the Vikings have the eighth-best odds to continue the RB supremacy era by landing Taylor in a trade, continuing 16 years’ worth of Adrian Peterson and the aforementioned Cook.

The reality of a Vikings-Colts trade involving Taylor is incredibly low. Hiring general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah 19 months ago, Minnesota said goodbye to ‘old thinking;’ for example, paying running backs top dollar. Almost every Super Bowl-winning team from the last decade-plus has skimped at the running back spot and still brought home the chip. Employing an expensive, high-profile RB is no longer the blueprint for a Lombardi. That’s what the 1990s were for.

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.

Of course, trading for and utilizing Taylor in the Vikings 2023 offense would be fun and likely careen Kirk Cousins and the gang into a Top 3 grouping during Kevin O’Connell’s second season. But then the 2024 offseason would arrive, Taylor would demand north of $12 million per season, the Vikings wouldn’t oblige, and the purple team would be sans the draft capital needed in the first place to trade for Taylor. Not ideal.

NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport tweeted Monday, “Sources: The Colts have given star RB Jonathan Taylor permission to seek a trade, and conversations to find potential landing spots are ongoing. Several GMs and talent evaluators were informed earlier today that Taylor is available.”

And that’s after Colts owner Jim Irsay infamously declared in July, “We will not trade Jonathan Taylor. That is a certainty. Not now or not in October. That is the bottom line.”

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.

So, the Taylor trade fodder is real; Irsay blinked. But the feasibility of the ‘Moneyball’ general manager trading for Taylor after recently shedding a fat RB contract is low. Really low.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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