Pardon the swift dousing of your hopes, Lions fans. Despite an undeniable connection to former All-Pro Jonathan Taylor, the Detroit Lions aren’t likely to pull him into their pride.
But as unlikely as this scenario might be, it’s a speculation worth a little flirtation. A Lions fantasy in football that’s only foreplay, for now.
Join me in the world of “what-ifs”, teasing a tale that involves the Indianapolis Colts running back, the Detroit Lions, and a shared history that’s hard to ignore.
Trading Horseshoes for Kneecaps?
The past relationship that’s too compelling to look past involves the Indianapolis Colts’ running back Jonathan Taylor and the Detroit Lions’ Assistant Head Coach and Running Backs Coach, Scottie Montgomery. Back in 2021, in Indianapolis, this duo created a memorable chapter in NFL history.
Guided by Montgomery, the Colts running backs coach at the time, the second-year back took the NFL by storm. Taylor finished the season leading the league in scrimmage yards (2,171), rushing yards (1,811) and rushing touchdowns (18). His rushing yards and touchdown marks set single-season franchise records, while he recorded the fewest carries to reach 1,000 rushing yards in team history.
Those feats earned him a unanimous AP First-Team All-Pro selection and Pro Bowl honors.
Although injuries limited his production in 2022, the allure of Taylor reuniting with Montgomery, who has proved instrumental in his past successes, makes for an enticing speculation.
Brad Holmes: A Shrewd Leader
Enter Brad Holmes, the Detroit Lions’ GM, who is renowned for his fiscal responsibility. Since joining the team, his savvy, calculated moves have set the team up for success on the field, while also maintaining a healthy salary cap. Holmes’ foresight is evident in the signings of David Montgomery and rookie Jahmyr Gibbs, solidifying the Lions’ backfield without shaking the fiscal foundation.
Adding Taylor to that running back room would certainly ignite Lions fans and send the football world into a frenzy – but there’s a catch. Better yet, a handoff.
Taylor’s contract situation. The running back position in the NFL has been a contentious point in weeks, due to the high risk of injuries and the league’s evolution favoring passing offenses. As a result, running backs are facing shorter career spans and fluctuating market values.
Taylor, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, is reportedly seeking a significant extension around $15 million per year – a figure that could prove prohibitive. This is a critical moment for Taylor, the NFL, and the running back position in general.
The thought of Taylor reuniting with Montgomery and capitalizing on the Lions’ elite offensive line is enticing. But the financial reality presents a considerable obstacle. The potential cost of acquiring Taylor, coupled with the substantial contract extension he’s seeking, could upend Holmes’ meticulous financial strategy.
Trade Speculation: An Enticing Yet Distant Dream
Holmes’ commitment to financial stability makes this trade scenario highly unlikely. As delightful as this dream might be, it remains a fairytale in the land of NFL economics.
So, Lions’ fans, as we conclude this whimsical walk through the land of ‘what-ifs’, remember to tread lightly. The reality is that under Holmes’ leadership, the Lions will continue to prioritize stability over fantasy trades. No matter how tantalizing the tease.
For more from our Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21
Tweet: @WoodwoodSports or comment on your favorite social media platform!
Original Photo Credit: © Jeffrey Becker – USA TODAY Sports