2023 AFC South Preview ft. Jaguars, Titans, Colts & Texans | NFL on FOX Podcast

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FOX Sports activities Cowboys author Dave Helman previews the AFC South division headlining the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, and the Houston Texans. How will rookie QBs Anthony Richardson and C.J. Stroud fare for the Colts and the Texans? Can the Titans nonetheless win the division? Are the Jaguars the brand new favorites now? Take a look at Helman’s takes right here!

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If Jonathan Taylor is traded, no person loses greater than Colts QB Anthony Richardson

Two weeks in the past, through the Colts’ preseason opener in opposition to the Payments, Anthony Richardson’s first drive as knowledgeable soccer participant resulted in an interception. Coach Shane Steichen and huge receiver Isaiah McKenzie, the meant receiver on the play, described it as a miscommunication. 

Later within the first quarter, Richardson put a little bit an excessive amount of mustard on a routine brief go to tight finish Kylen Granson, who could not make the troublesome catch for a primary down. Later in that drive, with Indianapolis in plus territory, the No. 4 total decide threw a dime to receiver Alec Pierce on a nook route, however the latter dropped the potential landing. 

The Colts’ passing miscues in that preseason opener — whether or not the fault lay with Richardson, the meant goal, Steichen or some mixture of the three — intensify the challenges of doable life with out Jonathan Taylor in Indianapolis. 

In wake of his contract stalemate with the franchise, Taylor has now been given permission to seek a trade, in line with a report Monday from ESPN. The star working again had requested a commerce on the finish of final month, a supply confirmed to FOX Sports activities, however proprietor Jim Irsay advised reporters after the information broke that he had no intention of dealing Taylor.

Irsay additionally expressed optimism that Taylor, who’s presently on the Bodily Unable to Carry out record, could be again with the staff in feedback on the Colts’ broadcast throughout Saturday’s preseason sport in opposition to the Bears. 

“I do know this stuff are all the time troublesome,” Irsay stated, through Indy Star. “I respect any time persons are attempting to battle for his or her place, for his or her households and all these issues. And I have been round it so lengthy, I simply suppose that the most important factor that I preach is simply OK, ‘Timing is every little thing.’ We’re actually wanting ahead to him enjoying his approach into being the Jonathan Taylor he was.”

Now, that apparently may not occur in Indianapolis. 

And the most important loser is Richardson. 

The Colts drafted Richardson understanding that he may take a number of seasons to come back into his personal, that his development as a passer may come by means of a bumpy street. 

In 2022, his lone season as Florida’s starter, he accomplished simply 54% of his throws. Having an efficient run sport has been seen because the Colts’ path to discovering success offensively this season; to easing the dual-threat Richardson into an offense that has been constructed to intensify his strengths. 

“Let’s not crown him but,” normal supervisor Chris Ballard stated April 27, after Richardson was drafted. “He is a younger participant. He is received work to do, however we like his expertise. We like what he could be. I do not suppose Shane (Steichen) may inform you both, however what I can inform you is we drafted him for what we predict he can actually be sooner or later.” 

Would a Taylor-less Colts offense actually hamper Richardson’s improvement? It is troublesome to say. It is doable that Richardson’s skillset and an option-based offense may really mitigate the lack of a participant of Taylor’s caliber. However lacking Taylor definitely does the staff no favors. A wholesome Taylor is among the NFL’s finest working backs. He earned first-team All-Professional honors in 2021, when he registered 332 carries for 1,811 yards and 18 touchdowns — probably the most prolific dashing season in Indianapolis’ historical past. 

The Colts’ working again group behind Taylor is unsure at finest. The No. 2 choice, Zack Moss, broke his arm early in coaching camp and is not anticipated to be accessible by the beginning of the common season. The opposite notable backups are Deon Jackson — who had 68 carries for 236 yards and a landing with the Colts final season — fifth-round rookie Evan Hull and veteran Kenyan Drake.

Chiefs, Bengals, Chargers and extra: Who ought to commerce for Jonathan Taylor?

The issue projecting Taylor’s commerce worth

The Colts’ obvious choice to permit Taylor to hunt a commerce associate reveals simply how unhealthy issues have gotten. However they will not give him away.

ESPN reported the Colts are seeking a first-round pick — or equal bundle of property — for Taylor. It is a steep worth for a working again (even for one pretty much as good as Taylor), which may converse to Indianapolis’ choice to maintain him. 

The Panthers did not even web a first-round decide for star working again Christian McCaffrey, sending him to the 49ers for a bundle of Day-2 and three picks: a second, third, and fourth-round decide in 2023, plus a 2024 fifth-rounder. 

The murkiness of Taylor’s well being is one other issue on this scenario.

He is been on PUP because the begin of coaching camp to rehabilitate his surgically repaired ankle. He was sidelined for the whole offseason program. It stems from a high-ankle sprain suffered final season, which pressured him to overlook six video games and restricted his effectiveness when he did play. He damage the ankle thrice between Weeks 4 and 15. Taylor in 2022 was held to career-lows throughout the board, in carries (192), dashing yards (861), yards per carry (4.5) and dashing touchdowns (4). 

[Arthur: What could Colts’ running game look like without Jonathan Taylor?]

Taylor is 24 and one of the expert offensive gamers in soccer. When he is wholesome, he is a pressure to be reckoned with. However the devalued state of working backs within the NFL coupled with the uncertainty round his well being complicates his market. 

It feels unlikely that the Colts will get their request met in a possible deal for Taylor.  

And perhaps that is the purpose. 

“Look, you will have these issues,” Irsay stated of the Taylor scenario on the printed over the weekend. “You by no means go in with no issues in any respect. As of late, you hope you will have much less contractual issues due to the way in which the CBA (collective bargaining settlement) is and so they work lots of issues by means of. However you will have them. I do know Chris Ballard goes to work laborious and get the waters as calm as they’ll and go ahead.”

Ben Arthur is the AFC South reporter for FOX Sports activities. He beforehand labored for The Tennessean/USA TODAY Community, the place he was the Titans beat author for a 12 months and a half. He coated the Seattle Seahawks for SeattlePI.com for 3 seasons (2018-20) previous to shifting to Tennessee. You’ll be able to observe Ben on Twitter at @benyarthur.

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