Trade conversations between the Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts about All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor ended Tuesday — at least for now — without a deal.
The Dolphins had interest in Taylor but were never willing to meet the demands of the Colts, who insisted on receiving either a first-round pick or a substantial package of other assets.
As a result, a trade with Miami was never close.
At least one other team engaged the Colts on trade discussions.
Taylor finished third and first in the league in rushing yards in his two seasons (2020 and 2021) before missing six games last season with an ankle injury.
Taylor will remain on the Colts’ physically unable to perform list and miss the first four games of the season regardless of whether he’s traded or not. He can be traded anytime before the Oct. 31 trade deadline, even while on PUP, if the Colts choose to revive trade talks.
The Dolphins kept six running backs on their 53-man roster, but only three — tailbacks Raheem Mostert and Chris Brooks and fullback Alec Ingold — are healthy.
Three other Dolphins tailbacks — De’Von Achane, Salvon Ahmed and Jeff Wilson Jr. — are injured, though coach Mike McDaniel has suggested that the Wilson and Ahmed injuries aren’t serious.
Brooks, defensive tackle Brandon Pili and tight end Julian Hill all made the team as undrafted rookie free agents.
WILKINS TO PLAY
Dolphins defensive lineman Christian Wilkins — who had not played the last two preseason games or participated in 11-on-11 practice drills while awaiting resolution on his desire for a multiyear contract — indicated he will play in Dolphins regular-season games, even though he and the team still haven’t agreed on a new deal.
“At this point I’m just focused on being the best teammate I can be and be there for my guys and getting ready to play a game and get focused on the season,” he said. “Whether or not something gets done, my focus is on the season. I’m here to be the best teammate I can be.”
The Dolphins and Wilkins have been at a stalemate for weeks because of a fundamental difference on his monetary value in 2024 and beyond. He’s making $10.7 million this season.
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, “Wilkins’ team was not agreeable to the guarantee structure of the contract proposals.”
Wilkins indicated he has not asked for a trade. “Nobody wants to be a Miami Dolphin more than me,” he said.
Meanwhile, Wilkins expressed happiness for his close friend and teammate, Zach Sieler, who signed a three-year extension with the Dolphins that could be worth $37 million, with $20 million guaranteed.
Sieler said he felt “blessed” with his new contract. “It’s one of the things you just dream about, then don’t talk about it. Just work. It’s a blessing. Really something special.”
Sieler said of Wilkins: “That’s my guy. There’s nothing more I would love than to play with Christian for a long time.”
THIS AND THAT
Receiver Jaylen Waddle — who has been sidelined the past two-plus weeks with a midsection injury — said he will be fine to play in the Sept. 10 opener against the Chargers.
▪ The Dolphins will create three open roster spots on Wednesday if they shift three injured players — Jalen Ramsey, Robert Jones and Elijah Campbell — to injured reserve.
Miami could use those roster spots on players claimed off waivers or on players they released Tuesday.
Ramsey (knee) is out until at least November, Jones (knee) until late September or October and Campbell (leg) for an undetermined length of time with an injury that isn’t considered minor.
There were two Dolphins who were cut at 4 p.m. Tuesday after practicing with the team Tuesday afternoon: tight end Tyler Kroft and cornerback Parry Nickerson. Both are options to be re-signed.
Miami kept only two tight ends: Durham Smythe and undrafted rookie Hill.
▪ By releasing injured veterans Justin Bethel and Da’Shawn Hand, Miami kept alive the option of either playing for the team this season. The Dolphins can re-sign them when they’re healthy if they choose to.
That’s not the case with tight end Eric Saubert and cornerback Keion Crossen, who were placed on injured reserve before the 53-man roster was set, sidelining them both for the season. Players placed on IR before the 53-man roster is set may not sign back with their original teams unless they reach an injury settlement and then wait an additional three weeks.
▪ With Dan Feeney traded to Chicago and rookie Alama Uluave released, the Dolphins have no natural center on the roster behind Connor Williams. McDaniel said guards Liam Eichenberg and Lester Cotton can handle backup center duties.
▪ New Dolphins cornerback Kelvin Joseph — who was acquired from Dallas for Noah Igbinoghene — played 164 and 166 snaps on defense for the Cowboys the past two seasons and 142 and 217 on special teams. He has two years left on his rookie contract.
McDaniel said the Cowboys called the Dolphins about Igbinoghene, who has one year left on his contract.
▪ The Dolphins will carry dead money hits of $2 million on Feeney and $1.4 million on Igbinoghene.