It took Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor a mere two seasons to establish himself as one of the premier offensive weapons in the NFL. What’s more impressive is it only took one X post, or tweet if you will, for Colts owner Jim Irsay to whisk it away.

As rule changes in the NFL continue to make it more difficult for defenders to bring down receivers and tackle quarterbacks, running backs have become the lone offensive position vulnerable to punishment on every given carry. This trend has not only shortened their career length, but also their long-term demand.

“Bad faith is not paying your top offensive player,” Malki Kawa, Taylor’s agent, posted on X in response to Irsay accusing some agents of selling “bad faith” in a separate X post. Irsay’s post was aimed at the agents of running backs wanting to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement in favor of their athletes after one had recently been approved in 2020.

One unsatisfied party led to another. It was reported on July 29 that Taylor, who had been holding out of training camp seeking a contract extension, formally requested a trade after meeting with the Colts owner.

In light of Irsay’s conflicting words — Irsay told ESPN on July 29 it was a certainty Taylor wouldn’t be traded, then the team gave Taylor permission to seek a trade just 23 days later — here are three potential trade destinations for the former first-team All-Pro tailback.

New Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton was left with a huge mess to clean up after quarterback Russell Wilson and former head coach Nathaniel Hackett’s first year together went awry in a hurry, leading to a 5–12 last place finish.

Broncos projected starting running back Javonte Williams is coming off of a torn ACL and LCL suffered in Week 4 of 2022. Williams is also currently on a rookie contract and isn’t a huge hit on the salary cap yet.

Payton delivered huge success with running back tandems in his stint with the New Orleans Saints, from Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas to Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. Taylor and Williams could possibly form the best duo of Payton’s coaching career.

Taylor, who ran rampant over the Big Ten Conference as a Wisconsin Badger from 2017-2019, could also reunite with Broncos Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Shaun Snee. Snee held the same position for the Wisconsin Badgers during Taylor’s enrollment.

Another destination for Taylor resides about 250 miles from his alma mater in Madison, Wisconsin.

The Minnesota Vikings appear likely to head in a new direction as soon as next year. Current quarterback Kirk Cousins signed a three-year contract with Minnesota in 2018, a two-year extension in 2020, and a one-year extension in 2022.

As the extensions grow shorter and shorter for Cousins, Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, hired in January of 2022, may look to move on from the 11-year veteran and his uninspiring playoff track record.

One way to win in today’s NFL is to draft a young quarterback on a cheap rookie deal and load the rest of the roster with talent. Bringing Taylor to Minnesota would provide an explosive safety valve for whoever becomes the next Vikings signal caller.

Finally, no one loves their team being talked about more than Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, as made evident by his team’s recent acquisition of Trey Lance from the San Francisco 49ers to be a quarterback project behind Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush.

What better way to get folks talking even more about the Cowboys than bringing Taylor to Jerry World? Adding the Pro Bowl running back to an NFC Championship-contending roster would make Jones the biggest babyface in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Jones is no stranger to handing blank checks to his players. In 2019, Jones gave running back Ezekiel Elliot, now with the New England Patriots, $90 million over six years. In 2021, Prescott was given a four-year, $160 million extension. In July of this year, cornerback Trevon Diggs received a $97 million extension from the lucrative owner.

Should Dallas manage to land Taylor from Indianapolis, Jones should have no problem extending his contract and making him a fixture in his offense.

The Colts gave Taylor until Tuesday, August 29 to find a “suitable trade”. Should Taylor land elsewhere, it’s likely his contract situation is handled differently than Irsay has.