Dolphins' Chris Grier calls talks with Colts about running back Jonathan Taylor 'exploratory'

Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel, left, talks with general manager Chris Grier, right, during practice at the NFL football team's training facility, Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said Wednesday that conversations with the Indianapolis Colts about 2021 All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor were “exploratory,” and no official offers were exchanged between the two teams.

The Dolphins had been linked to Taylor in recent weeks as the Colts sought trade partners for their 2020 second-round pick. Talks fizzled Tuesday as the deadline for roster cuts passed, and Indianapolis placed Taylor on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, which will sideline him through the first four games of the season.

They have until the trade deadline on Oct. 31.

“It was just general talks," Grier said. “A lot of the stuff being reported, like I tell you guys, 95% of it's wrong. We had some discussions, but it's no different than any player that's ever released or available that we know about. ... In terms of being close, there was nothing really close.”

Grier was asked if third-year receiver Jaylen Waddle was brought up in trade discussions with the Colts.

He laughed.

“Jaylen Waddle would not be available to anybody,” Grier said.

The Dolphins aren't in a position where they need to be aggressive in these type of situations. They were also in talks with former Vikings running back Dalvin Cook before he signed with the New York Jets.

Grier said he is happy with the roster Miami has built, and he believes the Dolphins have the pieces to eventually compete with teams that have established themselves at the top of the AFC, including the Chiefs, Bengals and division-rival Bills.

“I think we can compete with them,” Grier said. “That's to be determined this season. But we feel good about the players. Mike (McDaniel) and the coaching staff, they do a fantastic job. I think this is a very close group that's focused.”

The Dolphins have also been consistent in their outward confidence in their current running back room.

They brought back Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson, their leading rushers from 2022, who both averaged more than 4.6 yards per carry. Miami also has rookie running back De'Von Achane, Salvon Ahmed, who had a strong preseason, and undrafted rookie Chris Brooks, who impressed enough in the preseason to make the initial 53-man roster.

Grier also said the team plans to table contract talks with defensive tackle Christian Wilkins and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa until the end of the season so that it doesn't become a distraction.

Miami picked up the fifth-year option on Tagovailoa's rookie deal, and he recently said that he and the team hadn't had any contract talks beyond that.

"For him, it's just letting Tua play," Grier said. “Both things can be a big distraction. His agents and I have had discussions, just general but not really about that, and just kind of agreed to let him play out the season and we'll attack that in the offseason."

Wilkins, who had 3 1/2 sacks in 2022, is entering the fifth year of his rookie deal and will get $10.7 million this season.

“We made an offer that we thought was fair,” Grier said “When you do things like that it has to work for both sides. There was never any ill will.”

Wilkins hadn't participated in team drills for the past two weeks amid contract negotiations, but said Tuesday that his focus now is on the regular season.

“At this point I’m just focused on being the best teammate I can be and being there for my guys and getting ready to play a game and get focused on the season,” Wilkins said. He added that he wants to remain with the Dolphins.

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