‘The situation sucks’: Colts GM Chris Ballard talks Jonathan Taylor drama
Colts GM Chris Ballard talks of Jonathan Taylor drama
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — General manager Chris Ballard wanted to make one thing clear Wednesday — the Indianapolis Colts value Jonathan Taylor.
Even if contract negotiations say otherwise.
The Colts’ All-Pro back remains on the team after Tuesday’s roster cut deadline despite being allowed to seek trade options this preseason. The Colts reportedly received offers from the Miami Dolphins and Green Bay Packers — neither of which were accepted by Indianapolis.
In the meantime, Taylor was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list to start the season as he continues to rehab after ankle surgery. Taylor will now have to sit out at least the first four games of the year.
“When you’re still having effects from last year’s surgery and still having pain and not 100 percent – we’re not going to put a player on the field that’s still complaining with pain in the ankle,” Ballard said. “I’m not going to do that. I wouldn’t do that to any player. I wouldn’t treat anybody any different. So what Jonathan will do is he will rehab his butt off and try to get himself ready to go.”
Ballard didn’t mince words about the entire situation.
“I’m not going to sit here and give you some rosy picture like, ‘Oh, this is just, everything’s okay.’ No, it sucks,” Ballard said. “It sucks for the Colts. It sucks for Jonathan Taylor. And it sucks for our fans. It does. It’s where we’re at, and we’ve got to work through it, and we’re going to do everything we can to work through it.”
The two sides might not be near a point of agreement, but Ballard isn’t willing to give up on 2021’s rushing leader.
“Jonathan is a well-respected and really good human being and a damn good football player. I think we all know this. Things like this happen,” Ballard said. “I care deeply for Jonathan Taylor. I have great respect for Jonathan Taylor. I won’t quit on the relationship. I won’t do it. I think too much of the young man.”
The question is — will Taylor ever play for the Colts again?
“I sure hope so. That’s the way I look at it,” Ballard said. “I think he’s a really good player. I think he’s a great kid. I think he’s great for the community. That would be the plan. I’m not going to get into hypotheticals of yay or nay, but I don’t want the indication that we don’t want Jonathan Taylor. That is not true.”
The Colts continue to acknowledge the value of Taylor – whether that’s in the trade compensation they want or in their desire to keep him on the team. However, that hasn’t manifested itself in an offer Taylor deems worthy of his value.
Ballard answered that potential discrepancy simply:
“We won four games last year. We won four games.”