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Packers were additional team involved in RB Jonathan Taylor trade; Dolphins GM on talks with Colts

Surprise! The "mystery team" in talks with the Indianapolis Colts regarding a potential trade for running back Jonathan Taylor was the Green Bay Packers.

The Packers and Dolphins were the two teams involved in trade talks for Taylor ahead of Tuesday's team-imposed deadline to get a deal done, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday.

ESPN's Stephen Holder first reported the news of Green Bay's interest.

Miami was a well-known suitor for Taylor, with head coach Mike McDaniel parrying daily questions about the topic. However, the so-called mystery club had yet to be identified.

The Packers are an interesting club to poke around. Green Bay generally doesn't go out of its way to add big-money players, preferring to draft and develop in-house talent. In addition, the Packers already have Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon on the roster. Jones reworked his deal, taking a $5 million pay cut this season, and has $12 million due next year, but none guaranteed. Dillon, selected 21 spots after Taylor in the 2020 NFL Draft, enters the final year of his rookie contract. Unless Green Bay was planning on paying the Wisconsin product's high contract demands in addition to shipping Indy assets, adding Taylor for one season doesn't make a ton of sense, given the makeup of the club.

It could have been a situation in which Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst was simply on a fishing expedition to see if he could get a great player on the cheap. In the end, it didn't work out.

Gutekunst declined to comment on the reports of the Packers' interest in Taylor when speaking to reporters on Wednesday.

"Let's get the checklist out. First of all, I can't talk about players on other teams," Gutekunst said. "We try to be in every conversation. So, you know, any time we have good players available to us, we'd like to make the Green Bay Packers better and we'll look at those opportunities."

The GM suggested Dillon wasn't brought up in any trade conversations.

"A.J. is part of this team. He was gonna be regardless," he said. "… We're not doing what we're supposed to be doing if we're not investigating these things, at least listening to things. It's just the nature of the world now. There's all kinds of things out there. Some are true, some aren't."

Gutekunst also added that Jones "is the heart and soul of this team. Not only what we do on the field offensively, but off the field, too."

From the Dolphins side, GM Chris Grier was more open about the discussion with Indy, adding he had "exploratory" talks with Colts general manager Chris Ballard, but there was “no exchange of offers from either side.”

Indianapolis granted Taylor permission to seek a trade last week after initially refusing to take calls on the running back after he requested a trade in July. With Taylor seeking a new contract and the Colts insisting on a haul in return for the running back, nothing came to fruition.

Indy kept Taylor, who continues to rehab offseason ankle surgery, on the PUP list on Tuesday, knocking the RB out at least the first four weeks of the 2023 season.

One thing appears certain: The drama surrounding Taylor in Indy doesn't seem close to subsiding -- at least not until the Oct. 31 trade deadline passes.

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