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pped a 2021 season in which he’d tallied more rushing yards (1,811) and rushing touchdowns (18) in a Colts uniform than any back who’d come before him. More than Edgerrin James. More than Eric Dickerson. More than Marshall Faulk.

Taylor went on to endure a forgettable 2022 season, limited to 11 games due to a nagging right ankle injury. It wasn’t the season anyone was hoping for, but his trajectory seemed unaffected.

He underwent surgery in January, the very same month Colts general manager Chris Ballard was asked if it was wise to reward a running back with a lucrative contract.

“When they’re great players, it is. When they’re a special player, it is,” Ballard said then. “I’m not gonna get into what we’re gonna do contract-wise, but when you’re a special player and a special playmaker, yeah.”

After a comment like that, a contract extension for Taylor appeared to be a formality.

It was not.

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