Doyel: Jonathan Taylor is getting bad advice, just like Andrew Luck and Victor Oladipo.

Jonathan Taylor, a running back for the Colts, went from being the face of the team to being a jackass when he asked Colts owner Jim Irsay for a trade on Saturday. This was the latest and least surprising step in a conflict that has little to do with Taylor and even less to do with the Colts.

Taylor’s new agent, some guy named Malki Kawa, who says on his website that he will get things done for his clients, is the main character in this morality play. Malki, there’s good news: you can show future clients what you did for Taylor:

From the leader of the Colts to an outcast in just two months.

That’s a lot.

Before we talk more about this guy named Malki Kawa – and I will trust me – let’s get one thing straight: This is all Jonathan Taylor’s fault. And that’s why this is so terrible. Taylor is or was everything you could have wanted in a franchise star and community pillar: very smart, kind, generous with his time and money, and selfless.

But as the last year of his four-year NFL rookie contract came up, he changed. He fired his agent and hired the person who helped Shaq Leonard get a $99 million deal from the Colts in 2021. I mean, Taylor changed. He started to complain about money on Twitter in a passive-aggressive way. He surprised the Colts so much that they decided he should start the season on the PUP list. He even changed his clothes when he went to training camp last week. He wrote on the front of his T-shirt: “I play for the team.”

Here you are in Taylortown.

Colts running back Jonathan Taylor wants to be traded, but the team’s owner, Jim Irsay, says they won’t.

Malki Kawa is behind the scenes pulling the strings and telling Taylor that the Colts are not loyal and that he deserves better.

Taylor is the one who is listening, though. And I’m saying this even though I’ve never met Malki Kawa and wouldn’t know him if I did: Jonathan Taylor is smarter than Kawa because he’s smarter than almost everyone. Taylor was accepted to Yale and Harvard, but one of Kawa’s social media sites says he “studied at Miami Dade College.” He wanted to major in astrophysics at Wisconsin, but the school didn’t offer it. After thinking about a double major (obviously, astronomy and physics), he decided on a degree that focuses on deep thinking: philosophy.

Philosophy. He went to school for three years and dropped out, but he has a degree. I’m telling you, Taylor, not that guy named Malki Kawa, is a genius.

So, let me ask you, Jonathan: Have you given this much thought? Do you realize what you’ve done because of a guy named Malki Kawa?

You’ve ruined your reputation in this city, which is the only place that cares about you in an NFL that doesn’t care about running backs as much as it used to.

Malki Kawa might be the smartest person in the room, but only when alone.

JT, what’s your reason?

Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) makes his way around the field Friday, July 28, 2023, during an indoor practice at Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, Indiana.Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) makes his way around the field Friday, July 28, 2023, during an indoor practice at Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, Indiana.

The NFL is full of sheep; think back to 2021.
Before Jonathan Taylor, there was Nyheim Hines.

Don’t forget Hines. He was Taylor’s backup. He was one of the best No. 2 running backs in the league, a weapon in the return game and as a receiver, and an underrated ball carrier between the tackles. Hines wanted more than his slow rise to stardom here, so he asked to be traded at the end of last season.

He got what he wanted from the Colts, not because they’re weak. They did it because Nyheim Hines is weak. In today’s professional sports world, a player has to leave his team if he stops caring about it or tells his team he has stopped caring. No matter what the big, tough guys in an NFL locker room want to think, it is just like any other large room: it is only as strong as its weakest link.

On Wednesday, Colts running back Jonathan Taylor doesn’t like that he won’t get a big contract.

And, like any room with about 75 people, there are some weak links in there. You could say that a good number of NFL players have fans. I call them “caves.”

Now, do you want to know the truth or not? I’ve thought and known these things for years. Never had the chance or desire to write them until now, when Jonathan Taylor is about to jump off a cliff like a lemming.

No matter what you think about Covid and the vaccine, you must look at how it worked in the NFL: players followed other players. In 2021, the Colts had a quarterback and an offensive line coach who were both very religious and very against vaccines. Both of them have since left the team. What do you know, anyway? Almost the whole starting offensive line for the Colts decided it, too, was against vaccines. Coincidence? Nope.

Who’s in charge? Like Lemmings, that’s what that team did right over the postseason cliff in 2021.

Doyel in 2022: The Colts’ anti-vaccination fans cost them a spot in the 2021 playoffs.

The Colts talk a lot about what goes on in their locker room. They try hard to find strong leaders like Zaire Franklin, DeForest Buckner, and Jonathan Taylor because they know that a few weak spots can ruin the whole room.

In November of 2022, Nyheim Hines was a hole. He must leave.

Jonathan Taylor used to be the strongest tooth in this team’s mouth. But ever since he switched agents, he has been walking, talking, and quacking like a cavity. What do you know, anyway? Saturday, Taylor went up to Jim Irsay and told him, “I’m a cavity.”

Get rid of him, Mr. Irsay.

So long.

Do you, JT, need a ride to the airport?

Doyel in 2021: Carson Wentz, you don’t get a shot? I’ll drive you to the airport now.

For God’s sake, Malki Kawa is a pro wrestler.
Concerning this agent.

This is about a guy named Malki Kawa.

He might be interested because he has made a lot of money. But if that were the case, Elon Musk would be the most impressive person in the world, which he is not. He’s dangerous. He burps wherever he wants, and his friends praise him for it. He also likes the smell of his burps. That guy is the richest fool in the world.

Still, Malki Kawa. In 2008, he set up First Round Management. The company website says that the agency has a lot of employees now. Ten work on MMA and eight on football, but most are listed as NIL specialists. Two of the people who work for Kawa work with “influencers.” Two others work with wrestlers for a living.

Before you read this next sentence, re-read the last two.

Why do the best athletes in our market keep putting their careers in the hands of people who aren’t very good at what they do?

I’m not saying Malki Kawa is a bad MMA agent. He worked for people like Jonathan Jones and Jorge Masvidal. They’ve done a good job. Kawa might be meant to do MMA. Or maybe professional wrestling or whatever “influencers” are. Yes, he did help Shaq Leonard get that $99 million contract with the Colts.

But let’s look at what he’s been up to:

Made Jonathan Taylor a hole in the wall.

Kawa is the latest strange person to ruin a promising sports career in this area. This talk starts with the well-liked Andrew Luck, who used to be a star at Stanford and chose a Stanford doctor to fix his shoulder for some reason. Don’t worry about the short list of well-known surgeons who have helped NFL quarterbacks stay healthy for years. Luck didn’t go with his guy, though. How did that go?

Then there’s Victor Oladipo, his young IU friend’s first big client. Almost overnight, he went from being a happy, popular NBA star to a quitter who asked other teams to trade for him during games.

It turns out that locker rooms aren’t the only things that are only as strong as their weakest part. So is a professional athlete like Jonathan Taylor, a $50 million corporation in his own right if he has a team of smart leaders around him. Taylor’s new agent has teased the Colts on Twitter, and his client is now looking for a new team in a market that is losing interest in running backs, let alone one as unhappy as Jonathan Taylor.

Irsay says that he won’t trade Taylor, but we’ll see. Culture is fragile, cavities are bad, and running backs can be switched out. And in Malki Kawa, Taylor has an agent who doesn’t understand how valuable or smart he is. But Kawa customers can get their barber if they want. Edgar is his name. His name is everywhere, including on the company’s website.

Jonathan Taylor needs a haircut, so that Edgar guy better be good with the Clippers.

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