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Derrick Henry Needs To Be Traded (Hour 1)

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October 26, 2023 4:19 pm

Derrick Henry Needs To Be Traded (Hour 1)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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October 26, 2023 4:19 pm

Derrick Henry Trade Destinations I 49ers Outlook With Sam Darnold I John U. Bacon, Author of Overtime

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You could be debt-free in as little as 24 to 48 months. Visit to learn more and get started. Live from the place where you're not overly ostentatious, studios of CBS Sports Radio here in beautiful New York City, sitting on top of the 10th floor of 345 Hudson Street, welcome on in to a Thursday edition of the Zach Gelb show across all of our great local CBS Sports Radio affiliates, Sirius XM, Channel 158, the free Odyssey app, and of course, streaming on YouTube. 855-212-4CBS is the number to jump on in. 855-212-4227. You could always get at me on Instagram where I'm straight flexing or via the good old cesspool of Twitter at Zach Gelb.

That's Z-A-C-H-G-E-L-B. Whole lot cooking today. Got Moist Mike and also Stuart Kovacs sitting across the other way, and we take you all the way up until 6 p.m. Eastern, 3 p.m. Pacific. John U. Bacon, who is an author and had unprecedented access to the Michigan football program for a book that he released in 2020 and is very close with Jim Harbaugh, is going to stop by 40 minutes from now and then at 4.20 p.m. Eastern, 2.20 p.m. Pacific, we will chat it up, or 1.20 p.m. Pacific, we will chat it up with Brendan Rice, who is the USC wide receiver in his fourth or fifth season in college football, was at Colorado, now at USC the last two years, and he is the son of the legendary Jerry Rice, so we'll chat it up with Brendan Rice later on in the program. Alrighty, let's start things off.

There's a whole lot on the table today. We saw the Victor Rambunyama debut from last night. He played well in the fourth quarter with nine points, but the Spurs did lose to the Mavericks as Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving took over that game in the final few moments. We'll touch on that, we'll get into a bunch cooking with the 49ers and the Dolphins, but I got to start with the Tennessee Titans, who really, their run of I guess you could say excellence, came to a close or came to a transition when they elected to get cheap and it ultimately cost John Robinson his job as the general manager when at the draft two years ago he traded away A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles and refused to pay A.J.

Brown and they tried to bring in some wide receivers and they drafted the big wide receiver in Traylon Burks, who's really not done much so far in his first two years in the NFL. At that moment, I'll never forget it, we were in Las Vegas, we were doing the draft show and my first reaction when that trade happened was, wow, what a major win for the Philadelphia Eagles, what a dumb decision for the Tennessee Titans and I thought it sent a sign to the rest of the locker room with a team that even though no one ever viewed Tennessee as this great team, but they were a team that was consistently in the playoffs, they were dominating the AFC South, they went to an AFC title game where they had a lead for a little bit up against the Kansas City Chiefs before the Kansas City Chiefs do what the Kansas City Chiefs do in the postseason and they had to dig themselves in a deep hole and even when they look like they're not going to be able to find a way to climb out of it, they do so. And the moment that trade happened, I thought to myself, if I'm Derrick Henry, I'm saying goodbye, the fat lady is singing and I'm ending my tenure with the Tennessee Titans, but that didn't happen until probably now because two years have gone by, this football team, even though they got off to a good start last season where they were 7-3 and then they got injured and they didn't win a game down the stretch and they ended up the season 7-10, this year, this has not been a year where anyone looks at Tennessee and says, wow, I really got to be fearful of this football team. We all know Mike Vrabel is a great coach, but Ryan Tannehill isn't a great quarterback, he can only take you so far, now he's injured and it looks like you're going to see Will Levis start this weekend, but you may get some Malik Willis onto the field as well. And yes, they were aggressive at times this offseason in acquiring a player like DeAndre Hopkins, but they just traded away Kevin Bayard to the Philadelphia Eagles.

So this is a team that is probably in the process of tearing it down, especially when they just brought in a new general manager to kick off this season. I don't expect Vrabel's going anywhere unless he gets tired with the organization and wants a new start and wants to take over a new home with some more foundational pieces, but these reports now about Derrick Henry being available and how people around the NFL believe that every player is available for trade on Tennessee, and that was per NFL insider Jordan Schultz, and then you even had a report from Buck Rising, who is a local talk show host that does cover the Tennessee Titans. He said the Ravens are the team most interested in acquiring Henry as of yesterday, but any potential deal could fall through if the compensation isn't right.

So he's available, I don't know at what cost, he's in the final year of his deal. If you're thinking that Derrick Henry, especially with the way that we undervalue the running back position and Derrick Henry's still a very successful back and could be a force for a team, is going for a first round pick, then you're delusional. Now could you argue that maybe you could get a second round pick or a third round pick?

Yeah. And if Tennessee gets a second round or even a third round pick, I'm trading Derrick Henry. Because as good or as great as Derrick Henry has been or can continue to be for a short window, he's not going to win in Tennessee and his best years are behind him. Now he'll still be a dominant back for another year or two, maybe even three, but you're never going to win with Derrick Henry with the way this roster is currently constructed.

You had an opportunity in 2020 and you saw the apex was that this football team was just a good team and was not a great team. So now I'm not even just saying do what's in the best interest for your player, but it's also what's in the best interest of your organization because you now need to, for the future, welcome in the current day of football where you don't build your team and the identity of your team shouldn't be around a running back. And as much as I love Derrick Henry, when you think about Tennessee, the first thing you think of is Derrick Henry. And that's a problem because in the year of 2023, moving forward into 2024, 2025, 2026, you don't win in the NFL if the face of your team is a running back. So Tennessee, evaluate the market.

You could have a hard line stance right now and you can leap things to Buck Rising and you could have Buck say, oh yeah, they're interested, but a deal could fall through if the compensation isn't right. But when the trade deadline quickly comes around next week, you need to trade Derrick Henry because this team is going absolutely nowhere this year. Now, I do believe three teams should be on the phone and should be harassing Tennessee to get a deal done because all three of these teams that I'm going to mention, they're good teams. They're very good teams. But right now with the way that they're currently constructed, I don't think they're going to be a popular pick or maybe they don't have enough to find a way to represent the AFC or the NFC in the Super Bowl.

Let's start off with one of those teams, a team tonight that kicks off week eight of the NFL season where they do host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Orchard Park, and that's the Buffalo Bills. Last year, every single person sat on their platform and they pounded the desk for Brandon Bean, who's familiar with the Carolina Panthers for working there to go acquire the services of Christian McCaffrey. Brandon Bean didn't elect to do so. Brandon Bean didn't want to give up the draft capital. Now you're still going to get a very good player, a player that right now in the year of 2023 is not as good when healthy as Christian McCaffrey, but it's not going to cost you a king's ransom. Brandon Bean absolutely should improve his football team where we've been at this crossroad with the Bills where they pay Josh Allen, they expect to win a Super Bowl, they expect Josh Allen to do everything, but then they criticize him in the offseason for trying to do everything and they don't run the football enough.

And I'm not saying James Cook is a bad back. James Cook could turn into a very good back in the NFL and we've seen glimpses of it, but I know what Derrick Henry is and can you imagine just from a physicality standpoint, you line up in a backfield, Josh Allen, who's a freak of nature and is a large dude and is a burly dude with another freak of nature, large burly dude in Derrick Henry. I don't think there'd be any red zone problems in Buffalo when you could line up in the backfield with the threat of Josh Allen through the air and on the ground and also Derrick Henry in the backfield with two tight ends, assuming they're healthy and Dawson Knox and then Dalton Kincaidou you just drafted and oh yeah, by the way, a pretty damn good top 10 wide receiver in the sport, top five receiver in the sport in Staphon Diggs and also a very good number two in Gabe Davis. That gives the Bills a little extra pop. That gives the Bills a little extra sizzle and that improves that football team and right now the Bills are getting to an area where they seem lifeless and that doesn't mean that they're a bad football team, but they're stuck and they're stuck in the level of here and they thought they were going to be all the way up here and ever since they were hovering around being all the way up here, they have slowly started to fall down.

So with that being said, let's provide a little jolt of energy to this team and a little bit more of an intimidating presence and identity and a little bit more balance on the offensive side of the ball and the Buffalo Bills not only should be calling for Derrick Henry, they need to acquire Derrick Henry. Now for the other two teams, let's circle in and stay on the AFC. They suggested Buck Rising that the Baltimore Ravens could be involved. I've been very impressed with Baltimore this year. Outside of the Pittsburgh game, which they should have won and then the wide receivers had the dropsies and then also Lamar Jackson threw a terrible interception when the game was practically in his hands and he snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and Joey Porter Jr. who the Steelers need to play more by the way and start him.

He had an incredible interception. This Ravens team outside of that moment, they've been a damn good team and the Ravens showed you last week up against the Detroit Lions that everyone including yours truly was praising and talking out the wazoo how great Detroit is. They opened up a can of whoop ass on the Detroit Lions last week and they made the Lions throw in the towel, you could even say at the end of the first quarter, but really at halftime when it was 28 to nothing. Lamar Jackson right now is playing like he's the MVP of the NFL, but on offense they have a lot of names, but they don't have a lot of guys that are really effective because injuries have been a problem.

Like we know Mark Andrews is a stud, Zay Flowers is promising, but you're bringing in a lot of guys that are brand names like Odell Beckham Jr., but the brand hasn't been that successful the last three or four years in the NFL. And we know that Derrick Henry has been the kryptonite to the Baltimore Ravens. We saw him in that playoff game a few years ago, throw that touchdown pass and dominate them and emasculate the Baltimore Ravens in that game when the Baltimore Ravens were the number one seed.

And we saw Tennessee eventually run that success all the way to the AFC championship game. So go get Derrick Henry and we talked about an intimidating presence. We know that Lamar Jackson's one of the toughest people to prepare for and you saw it last week as long as he's healthy, the mobility, the way that he extends plays and you don't have a damn clue if he's going to run it or if he's going to toss it down field. You go get Derrick Henry and a run game now that no JK Dobbins, you've dealt with injuries, you've been able to survive and you put so much on your quarterback's plate, man, you have Lamar and you have Derrick Henry in the red zone and the presence of a big tight end like Mark Andrews is athletic, that's going to be very tough to defend. And there's a case to be made that right now the Baltimore Ravens are the second best team in the AFC. Miami has some trust issues, Buffalo has some trust issues. We saw Jacksonville lose a big game to Kansas City earlier this season.

No one else in the AFC West has been able to touch Kansas City or the rest of the AFC. So I evaluate a team like the Ravens and I say, why not go get a known commodity for Lamar Jackson instead of living in this state of ambiguity and hoping and praying that guys are going to be able to be healthy. The Ravens have kind of been similar to the way that the Packers towards the end approached Aaron Rodgers where they would bring in a lot of guys that used to be good names or they would be hoping that they could stay healthy.

And each and every year we look around and say, wow, that guy wasn't able to find the fountain of youth or, oh, that guy wasn't able to stay healthy and it was like, well, no bleep Sherlock. And then finally, a team like the Dallas Cowboys, I think they should acquire the services of Derrick Henry or at least inquire. And you may say, Zach, they have Tony Pollard. But remember the all time leading rusher in the history of the NFL, Emmitt Smith joined me last week in the CBS Sports Radio Studios, sat right over there to the right of me. And he said it was a big mistake to get rid of Ezekiel Elliott. And at first I was like, well, Zeke is kind of washed up.

And he said, well, you have to look at the style of Tony Pollard and then the style of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard's on an every down back. You need a bruiser and there may be no better bruiser in the NFL, the running back position. And there is no better bruiser in the NFL, the running back position last three, four years than King Henry. So for a team like the Cowboys that have their limitations, where we know they have a really good defense, but on offense, the offense has derailed their season the last two years in those playoff games up against the 49ers when the defense was good enough and the quarterback wasn't.

And you saw Tony Pollard get hurt, go bring back a one, two punch. And Derrick Henry right now is better than what Ezekiel Elliott was and Ezekiel Elliott has been this year for the New England Patriots. So those are three destinations for Derrick Henry and three teams. Why there should be enough of a market with those three teams and enough of a desire from those three teams where a deal should get done from now until early next week on the trade deadline, Baltimore, get a deal done, Buffalo pressure to get a deal done and Dallas pressure to get a deal done. Because even though a running back doesn't feel like in the year of 2023, it makes or break your season in season, acquiring someone like Derrick Henry can make you separate yourself from the pack. When you look at teams like Baltimore, maybe gives you a little extra jolt of energy if you're the bills and gets you back on track in the approach that you're trying to be. When you look at a team like the Dallas Cowboys, who needs to acquire Derrick Henry and do you think he'll get traded from now until the October 31st NFL trade deadline, eight five five two one two four CBS eight five five two one two forty two twenty seven. It is the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. We'll take a break when we come on back. Will Sam Darnold show why Brock Purdy is a system quarterback this weekend and will Tuatunga Vailoa show that his MVP worth is more valuable than Tyreek Hill's MVP worth for the Miami Dolphins with some reports that are indicating that Tyreek Hill will not be available this weekend for the Miami Dolphins. We're talking 49ers, we're talking Dolphins next. It is the Zach Gelb show off and running.

Very busy Thursday edition of the show and we'll come on back in five minutes. You can stream the NFL on Wesel One for free, sponsored by AutoZone. All season long, you can listen to every Wesel One broadcast of the NFL Live on the NFL app by asking Alexa to open Wesel One Sports or on the Odyssey app. Get in the zone AutoZone.

AutoZone's free battery testing and charging is available for free at your local AutoZone. Get in the zone AutoZone restrictions apply. Lugnut in Oregon tweets to me, how about the Bengals at least calling about Derrick Henry? Love Joe Mixon, but the Bengals pass first and Henry would demand defenses to not sell out for the pass. I opened up the show discussing the possibility of Derrick Henry getting traded to three teams, the Buffalo Bills, the Baltimore Ravens and the Dallas Cowboys. Yeah, the Bengals should come calling too and you saw it in the Super Bowl two years ago.

We're late in the game. They kind of fell out of love with Joe Mixon where they were running Samaje Pirain late and I thought that was a bad and questionable decision. Now Mixon is still there, but he basically had to cut his salary and have to just stay with the team.

He's still a productive back. But remember, Derrick Henry, you could use him as a rental. Some teams may look at him and say, oh, we want to give him a new contract, we'll give up significant capital to go get him.

Others may say, let's just play out this contract and use him as a rental. The Bengals could be one of those teams who are in a win now window and you could then, you already paid Joe burrow, you got to pay Jamar Chase, we'll see if a deal with T Higgins gets done, but you could bring in Henry for this year to add some more ammunition to this team and more of a force to this team at the running back position and create depth at that position. And that could help you later in the year and it can make you a better football team.

So I don't think Cincinnati is likely, but I don't think it hurts to inquire about the services because how many times do we see really damn good football teams and we always say, oh, they get a deal done and they didn't have to give up a ton and they didn't need to make the move, but they end up making the move and we all sit here on the radio and go up the rich, get richer. That's why a team like that has been so successful the last two, three seasons. And also it's kind of crazy how quickly we have now flopped back into the Cincinnati Bengals where last year we were cognizant, right? They start off the year. Oh, and two.

Oh, everyone's panicking. Oh, it was a one year wonder. They get to the Super Bowl and then the next thing you know, they're in the AFC title game and they almost won the AFC title game. This time, Kansas City though, got the best of Cincinnati when Mike Hilton started to run his mouth after the Bills game and poke the bear of Patrick Mahomes, which is not wise to do with the nonsense with the burrowhead comments. But this year it felt different when they started off oh and two and then eventually one and three and remember they got smacked by a bad team in Tennessee 27 to three because Joe Burrow was hurt. Then they're back and forth with the Cardinals.

Jamar Chase pops off. They distance themselves from Arizona. They win the game by 14 and last week or two weeks ago because they had a bye, it was sloppy up against Seattle. Their offense played well in the first half, but in the second half they were non existent and we played audio on this show of Joe Burrow speaking and it almost sounded as if the Cincinnati Bengals lost that game with how dreadful and how sloppy and how slow they were offensively in the second half.

But Luanna Rumo, who should be a head coach, the defensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals, he did a masterful job up against a very talented offense in the Seattle Seahawks and now they're three and three and we always talk about timing in the NFL and the timing for the Cincinnati Bengals right now to be going up against the 49ers is really good because Deebo's hurt. Trent Williams is hurt. You know McCaffrey's playing banged up and now even though I view Brock Purdy more of a system quarterback than a franchise quarterback, I would much rather have Brock Purdy on the field than Sam Darnold and Brock Purdy yesterday and her concussion protocol and with how already late into the week we are, it's unlikely and it's not expected that Brock Purdy is going to be able to go up against the Cincinnati Bengals. So yeah, the Bengals have to go to Santa Clara this week, you have to go into a tough environment. The 49ers, even if they're banged up and decimated with injuries, are still good enough to beat anybody. And yes, you could be concerned that they're on a two game losing streak. You never want to play a team like the 49ers when they've lost one game, let alone two games in back to back weeks, but you get them at a good time.

And the Bengals just, it's not style points, they just have to walk out with the victory. But to take it a step further, I kind of hope that Sam Darnold falls flat on his face this weekend because I found it to be very insufferable when this offseason everyone was hyping up Sam Darnold. And I watched Sam Darnold when he was the quarterback of the Jets, and I know you could use the excuses of, oh, well, he had the incompetent Adam Gase and oh, the Jets always ruined quarterbacks.

Fair ballgame. But Sam Darnold barely provided any moments, like not even five tangible moments that suggested while he was the quarterback of the Jets that he could be a franchise QB in this league. Then he goes to Carolina and his quick time in Carolina, he was like leading the league and rushing touchdowns, but he barely did anything through the air and then he got hurt. And then he got beat out by Baker Mayfield for the starting job the next season. And now just because all of a sudden Kyle Shanahan is the quarterback whisperer and he gets Sam Darnold, now everyone needs to believe back in Sam Darnold.

That's crazy. This isn't Sam Darnold right out of USC when he was thought to be this really good quarterback. We've now seen a few years of Sam Darnold and all signs indicate he just doesn't have it. Now, yes, the environment's great when you have the 49ers offensive line, when you have the weapons that they have, but I don't want to see Sam Darnold do well this weekend because then it's going to go all back into, oh, well, the 49ers don't value the quarterback position. And even though people think I hate the 49ers, I don't think that's good if it gets back into the brain of Kyle Shanahan and the way that he's kind of approaches the last few years that it's more of my system than it actually is the need to find the good quarterback and I could win with any quarterback because the 49ers have won, but not the way that we really value winning in terms of hoisting that Lombardi trophy. They've been to a Super Bowl.

They've been to a bunch of NFC championship games, but I've said this. They need to find someone they consistently believe in at the quarterback position. And if Darnold plays well, yes, Purdy, when healthy, will be the guy, but that will be back in the mind of Kyle Shanahan whenever Purdy has a hiccup, oh, maybe I should go to Sam Darnold. And just because if Sam Darnold plays one game, I don't think that's the authentic version of Sam Darnold. As you've seen with most quarterbacks in San Francisco, they have a shelf life and they could only play so well for so long and eventually as good as the system is, you still need someone to step up and deliver those throws in the big game, which Jimmy G couldn't do, and we'll see if Brock Purdy will be able to do so. And that's why I kind of threw out yesterday already with people saying, oh, now Darnold's going to probably be getting the start and Brock Purdy looking human the last two weeks. We know who's going to be a free agent at the end of the year. It's Kirk Cousins.

And you know, even when after getting people into San Francisco because of the relationship Kyle Shannon has with Kirk Cousins, he's always been thinking of Kirk Cousins and he's always been that guy who's on the date with, you know, a pretty good looking girl and he's in a good situation, but he has his eyes wandering in a different direction and they have wandered at times towards one Kirk Cousins. On the flip side of that, let me just quickly get to the Miami Dolphins, who stock has fallen a little bit on the Miami Dolphins because in their two biggest games of the season, they did not show up against the Buffalo Bills and also last week they did not have a good showing up against the Philadelphia Eagles. Well, the Patriots play the Dolphins this week in Florida and I don't think the Patriots are going to win the game, but the Dolphins are banged up with Jalen Waddle last week where he mosterts not practicing and now Tyreek Hill, his status is uncertain for the game. This is a big week and this is a big moment for Tuatunga Vailoa because last week when I was in our Miami studios at our Odyssey headquarters in Miami, I sat there and I said, I think it's more likely that the Dolphins are going to have an MVP member this year that it's going to be Tyreek Hill than Tuatunga Vailoa. Well, the way that Tuah can get the conversation to sway into his favor is if Tyreek Hill doesn't play this week and just because Tyreek Hill's not practicing doesn't mean he's not going to play.

That dude doesn't need to practice. We all know even if he's not at 100%, he's still faster than most dudes in the NFL, but you could look at the opponent and I know there's still the aura of Bill Belichick, but let's be real, this Patriot team if you watch them is no good, but they did beat the Buffalo Bills last week and I think that speaks more to the problems of the Buffalo Bills and the future success of the New England Patriots, but Tuah up against a team he's never lost in his career to in the New England Patriots, if he goes and throws four touchdowns, it's going to be very tough for anyone to say, oh, it's more just a situation that Tuah is in rather than him actually being a good quarterback, because if you win a game without Tyreek Hill, that is impressive. So I think there's two statements to be made this week, depending on how Sam Darnold plays, it could factor into more Brock Purdy as a system quarterback if Sam Darnold plays well, but if Sam Darnold falls flat on his face, then maybe people start to look at Brock and go, oh, he's a little bit better than what the system is in San Francisco and on the other side, if Tyreek Hill does not play for the Miami Dolphins, this could be a big week for Tuahtunga-Viloa to make an MVP type of statement up against a pretty pathetic football team these days in the New England Patriots. All right, we'll take a break here on the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. When we do come on back, John U Bacon has had unprecedented access before to the Michigan program and Jim Harbaugh.

He has written a book about the Michigan football program. He's going to join us on the other side to talk about all the latest in the big time NCAA potential sign stealing cheating scandal with the Michigan Wolverines. So John U Bacon will join the Zach Gelb show next. Now I'm craving some bacon, just hearing that last name of John U Bacon.

Let's get to a man that knows how to eat some good bacon, especially when he dines at Peter Luger, who has just phenomenal big bacon. Here is the Ackman, Rich Ackerman. All righty, this is Zach Gelb show coast to coast on CBS Sports Radio. Another day and well, another conversation about this latest Michigan sign stealing scandals. We tried to gather more information. I figured we'd talk to our pal John U Bacon, who is a New York Times bestselling author, and he had unprecedented access a few years ago to the Michigan program in a book that he had called Overtime, Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines at the Crossroads of College Football.

And John is kind enough to jump on board for a few minutes with us. John, I know this is a pretty open question right out of the gate, and I appreciate you joining us. But after having some time to listen a little bit and read some of the things that are out there since last week, just how do you react to all these allegations against Michigan?

Well, it's drip, drip, drip, isn't it? Every day it's a new story, and I haven't seen one that is good for Michigan yet. So that is obviously a problem on the PR front at the very least.

The PR battle has basically already been lost, I think, no matter what else happens next. What happens next in terms of the NCAA remains unknown, of course, for a lot of reasons. Michigan, they've not yet, I don't think, given Michigan the notice of allegations which gives Michigan 90 days to respond. Michigan so far seems to have observed the gag order, so they've not responded to anything yet.

So we're not sure what they're going to have to say in response. But obviously the evidence keeps on piling up against Conner Stallion, the Michigan analyst slash scout, I guess. So that is piling up, and obviously the outcome is unclear now.

One of the reasons why the outcome is unclear is this rule is not well known and has rarely been used. Newswick and figure, 2016, a Baylor assistant coach received a half-game suspension for breaking it, and I don't know anyone else who has been accused of breaking it. So we're in a bit of uncharted territory here.

Yeah, no doubt about it, and I think the public reaction has been pretty severe. I think there's a lot of people that cover college football that have been digging. But it is interesting to me, like I work with Tiki Barber, he works right down the hall. I go, do you think this is that big of a deal? He goes, no. I turn on ESPN. I hear Jeff Saturday.

He's like, everyone's got to calm down. People that have played football, they kind of roll their eyes at this and go, well, Michigan's not the only team that has done it. Now, if they broke a rule, there has to be some punishment, but I don't think, John, you bacon, this means we got to throw the book at Michigan and end their season right now. Well, that is not going to happen almost no matter what, because the NCAA works a whole lot more slowly than that.

And we all know that, of course. So I think six years in the Kansas basketball case, I don't think it's going to happen six years. This one strikes me a lot simpler than that, of course. But the reaction is a bit of a Rorschach test. Michigan fans, of course, think that it's jaywalking and there are many enemies, of course, think they should be shot without trial.

So probably somewhere in the middle is what's going to happen, is my guess. Even two years ago, the NCAA almost got rid of the rule in their own writing, saying as a minimal competitive advantage. However, like you said, it's still a rule. It's rule eleven point six point one. It's also unclear what the penalties are.

Most of the rules have attached to them like like laws, a sentencing guideline. There's none of that here. So it's wide open, man.

It truly is wide open right now. So John, you bacon here with us at first, just naturally. I was like up Ryan Day, probably ratted out Michigan to the NCAA because his fans are starting to turn on him. But I saw that you did an interview and you were talking about Jim Stapleton. Can you just give us a little further intel there on why you think it is Jim Stapleton, I guess, who was the guy that kind of informed the NCAA about this? I don't know if it's Jim Stapleton who informed the NCAA about this. I was referring to media leaks.

So there was that. Who informed them in the first place? I recall and it was Pete Thamel's article early on to Big Ten coaches he had talked to about this doesn't mean they're the informants either.

So that's not clear. So OK, if it's about leaking the information, then with Jim Stapleton, why would he do that? Like right from what I read, he's a Michigan alum. He's on the NCAA infractions committee. And isn't he a minority owner with the Vikings? Is he just like not like Harbaugh? He does not like Harbaugh, but that doesn't make you the leaker, obviously. So why I can't answer. Gotcha.

Alrighty. John, you bake in here with us. What do you think a potential like punishment could be? I just saw a report from Pete Thamel has been all over this. The NCAA enforcement staff has been at the University of Michigan this week to look into the signed ceiling probe. Their arrival on campus just a week after the investigation formally launch is an indication of the priority the case has taken. Like I know that you have to look way down the road here, but what do you think a potential punishment could look like? Again, it's wide open.

A month ago I would have guessed maybe a slap on the wrist, but obviously the tension that it's getting and the more involved Michigan appears to be, the more serious the punishment's probably going to be. The second factor again is not just what Michigan, I'm sorry, the NCAA does with Michigan, but also how Harbaugh and Michigan decide to respond and his contract and all the rest. So there's a lot at stake here. And the outcome is truly on almost every front unknown. This is, like I said, uncharted territory.

So it's hard to know, it's hard to even guess what the outcome might be in this case. When you get to his contract, because this has been right on the record and you know this John, you bake and there's been reports out there and you've had stuff on it too that it looked like they were like inching close to get in a contract extension done. Now is just everything on pause and it's kind of a wait and see if they're going to take care of Jim Harbaugh pending on what happens here with the investigation.

Well two weeks ago, two higher ups at Michigan who are negotiating the contract or part of that process told me that they were going to have a new contract for Harbaugh by the end of the month, that's October, and that would make him the highest paid coach in the Big Ten. Now what this process does to that, if that promise still holds or not, is not at all clear. No one said either way at Michigan or elsewhere. So who knows is the answer there.

How about that Zach for yet another edifying answer from me. Well like if I'm Michigan, I would still try to get this deal done because it's like you're backing your guy when everyone's trying to tear your guy down. I would just say bleep it, we'll deal with what the consequences are and really show him we want you to be our coach moving forward and forget about the NFL. That's how Michigan should handle this.

It depends on whom you listen to obviously, so obviously you know NFL and so on. So who knows and I really do not know what Michigan is going to do in this case. But I know that's open ended. I know the promise was made two weeks ago but I don't know where that promise stands now. So that is now up in the air. Yeah and I don't know how severe the punishment is going to be. There's going to be some sort of punitive action. It wouldn't shock me and I've been saying this all year when you go back to the other recruiting violations that this drives Harbaugh out of college football even though he clearly loves Michigan. It's his school. If you had to kind of handicap this right now, put a percentage on it that he goes back to the NFL, how likely do you think that is with now another thing thrown his way? Great question. Certainly I would say two weeks ago the odds of him going to the NFL were very slim and now I'd say the odds are much better.

It doesn't mean I got it on the over versus the under. But again, so many unknowns here. We have no idea how long the NCAA is going to take, what the response is going to be, what the punishment might be as well. Harbaugh is already, Ward-Manuel and Harbaugh together did three games this fall, a three game voluntary suspension for the level two violations and the question about did he lie about those or not, that was the open question of the NCAA. They conceded the first four points. So that's where they are, how they respond next is that will drive what happens next with Harbaugh and the NFL.

But certainly I would say the odds of him going to the NFL are much higher today than they would have been two weeks ago. Have you talked to Jim just wondering since all this stuff has kind of hit the fan? No, I've not.

No, I've not. All right. Well, let me ask you this just with your connections then. Last thing I'll ask you, John, you, Bacon, is there anything else that you want to add?

Because I know you get a lot of people that tell you a lot of things about the Michigan program, is there anything else you sort of want to add here when you wrap up a thought or two about everything that transpired here? Well, I often go back to the great William Goldman quote, he's the guy who wrote The Princess Bride and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Nobody knows anything. And right now there's some of that going on. There's also the question of the private investigative group that apparently found this stuff.

That's an open question also. That surprised me. I think the Washington Post reported that. Yeah. So that's also surprising. And I've never seen that one before either.

So who knows what's going on there? Yeah. Maybe it was just Ryan Day. Well, he does have a mustache and a beard already.

So maybe he was shaving for a little bit of them was submitting things to the NCAA. All kidding aside, John, you, Bacon. Always great to connect to. Thanks so much.

If you hear anything, let us know. You got it. Thanks, Zach.

There he is. John, you, Bacon, award winning author joining us right here on the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. You know, I will say there's been a lot of times in the NCAA where there's a lot of stories that involve things off the field or away from the court. And they're like really nasty and they're really serious. Like what makes this one interesting is you have a Marine who's associated with the football program, loves the football program.

I'm not saying he's operating on his own. Like Harbaugh had to notice some capacity about this, but he's basically become the Wiz kid here on sign stealing, allegedly. And that's what I think gives legs to this story is like, you look at the Jerry Sandusky Paterno situation, like those details were horrifying. They were heinous. They were horrific. They were tough to stomach.

They were like, you just hear the things that were going on and you're not human if you don't like throw up from that. And you had the Urban Meyer, Zach Smith situation, we were talking about domestic abuse allegations with Zach Smith. And like, those are serious things because the grand scheme of things, I know we take football seriously, but it's not the end of the world here. But the whole story is intriguing.

And what other information is going to be fascinating? And there's two camps and there's no meet in between kind of middle ground here. It's either you want Michigan to get locked up, thrown away the key. You think this is the biggest advantage in the world and this is the end of the world. Or you're like, okay, they cheated.

They did something wrong. They have to be punished, but you don't have to tear down the program. So more and more information is going to come out. I do agree with John and I use this as a joke earlier in the week and I had one college basketball coach actually reach out to me to say it was a spot on analogy where I said the NCAA moves as slowly as my mile time when I was 70 pounds heavier. And that's what's going to go on here. Like just because the NCAA, I guess it's now on the campus, according to Pete Thamo, that doesn't mean they're going to swoop in and say, Michigan, you're banned from postseason play. And the Big 10 would be dummies as well with the team that has the best chance to win the NCAA championship this year and the college football playoff to then swoop in and go, yeah, we don't want you participating in the Big 10 championship.

So I don't think anything's going to happen now. And then after this year, Jim Harbaugh has a decision to make and it's, should I stay or should I go? But Michigan absolutely should get a deal done now with Harbaugh, even admits of all this stuff, because you could really stand in the corner and show your support to Jim Harbaugh and make sure that he is going to stay forever or as long as he continues to coach as the head coach of Michigan. So now it seemed like what John said a few weeks ago, it looked like a long-term deal is going to get done. You could also say, what's the value of a contract now in the year of 2023, but with this new domino to fall, the status of Jim Harbaugh and his future at Michigan remains up in the air.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-26 18:29:36 / 2023-10-26 18:47:24 / 18

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