The Chicago Bears have been the subject of trade rumors surrounding two of the best running backs in the NFL this offseason, but neither will end up on the roster.
“They’re not in on Jonathan Taylor,” Schefter said on Sunday, August 27.
Jonathan Taylor Too Expensive to Offer Bears Good Trade Value
The Colts running back earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2021 when he led the NFL in rushing attempts (332), yards (1,811) and touchdowns (18). Taylor also caught 40 passes for 360 yards and two scores that season, per Pro Football Reference. His numbers regressed significantly last year, when he played just 11 games due to injury. However, Taylor still averaged 4.5 yards per carry and amassed over 850 yards on the ground.
That Taylor is a supreme talent and a sensible fit in Chicago isn’t in dispute, but the larger issue at hand for the Bears is value. Taylor is entering the final season of a four-year rookie contract worth $7.8 million in total and looking for an extension. Spotrac projects his market value at $13 million annually over a new four-year contract.
That projection is more than three-times the value of the collective contracts of Bears running backs Khalil Herbert, D’Onta Foreman and Roschon Johnson in 2023. Beyond that, Chicago would have needed to part with at least a second-round pick in 2024 to acquire Taylor, which deepens the blow to his value equation.
Khalil Herbert, Roschon Johnson to Lead Way for Bears’ Rushing Attack
The Bears won’t release their initial 53-man roster until after cut-down day on Tuesday, August 29. As such, there is no official starter at any position, including that of running back.
However, it is reasonable to predict that Herbert, who started the preseason as the No. 1 back on the depth chart, will open the year as the starter. Herbert spent the last two seasons playing second-fiddle to David Montgomery who now plays for the division rival Detroit Lions.
Johnson, a fourth-round rookie out of the University of Texas, figures to factor in as Herbert’s backup. Foreman began the preseason as the No. 2 guy but has slid into the third-string role, even despite signing a $2 million contract in Chicago following a career season in 2022 with the Carolina Panthers.
While Chicago is likely to carry all three of its top RBs into the season, Foreman’s regression does create a risk that he could be cut before the year begins. The Bears fully guaranteed only half of Foreman’s deal for this season and demonstrated a willingness to cut ties on a bad contract, even if doing so proves a little costly, when the team released quarterback P.J. Walker on Sunday.
Max Dible covers the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns and Golden State Warriors for Heavy.com. He covered local and statewide news as a reporter for West Hawaii Today and served as news director for BigIslandNow.com and Pacific Media Group’s family of Big Island radio stations before joining Heavy. More about Max Dible