Live from the palatial yet 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 Wednesday edition of the Zach Gelb show across all the great local CBS Sports Radio affiliates, Sirius XM, Channel 158, and that free Odyssey app. You can always get at me on the good ol' cesspool of Twitter or Instagram where I'm always straight flexing at Zach Gelb.
That's Z-A-C-H-G-E-L-B. Loaded guest list today, Phil Simms, NFL on CBS, former Super Bowl MVP, is going to stop by to preview the Giants season, a little first and goal style at 7pm Eastern, 4pm Pacific. Coach Mike Sanford Jr. is going to join us at 8pm Eastern, 5pm Pacific. And then to wrap up the show at 9.40pm Eastern, 6.40pm Pacific, NFL offensive lineman played for the Giants and the Cardinals.
We'll see if a team's going to sign them up for year 11 for this upcoming season, Justin Pugh will join us. But first up, producing the extravaganza for the next four hours in a green shirt today, making a bold statement. His takes usually make bold statements, but no other than a hot take hickey. I don't know about that hot take hickey. Alrighty, I'm in a college football mood today to start the show. Five biggest questions entering this college football season. Hickey will serve as a little checks and balance here. And if there's something at the end that he wants to throw into the fire, he could dump gasoline all over the fire.
So let's go here at number five. Can USC play any defense? It is an enormous question for this upcoming season in college football.
You even saw it the other day up against a cupcake team where they allowed 28 points and it's okay offensively. We know Caleb Williams is the most entertaining player in the sport. We know he's the best quarterback in the sport, just won the Heisman Trophy, is supposed to be without a doubt the number one overall pick. And that is a team that is set up to go to a college football playoff even in a loaded Pac-12. And I know Williams got hurt last year in that Pac-12 championship game and they blew another game to Utah, but that defense is Swiss cheese. And I'll make this comparison for the USC defense because a lot of people like to say Caleb Williams reminds them of Patrick Mahomes, which I think is a dangerous game to play. But Caleb Williams kind of embraced that and he said there's nothing right when we're at the Heisman that Mahomes could do that he can't do. So since we all like to throw Mahomes comparisons to Caleb Williams, let's just look at the team Mahomes plays for. The Kansas City Chiefs never have a great defense, but the two years they've been able to go win the Super Bowl, that defense has progressed and got better throughout the season.
And then when needed to, they've been serviceable where they could go make a timely stop. And that's what you need to see here with the USC Trojans, with Alex Grinch, and he was not good when he was defensive coordinator at Oklahoma with best friends with Lincoln Riley. And last year that defense was embarrassing.
By the end of the year, this defense needs to be able to make some timely stops. Because if they don't, yes, you could rest in the laurels of Caleb Williams and that may be good enough to get you through the Pac-12. But I ultimately think it will come back to bite you, and it's not as if this is just the Pac-12 for USC to win. This is a really good Pac-12 where Bo Nix took a big step last year, year one at Oregon.
Michael Penix Jr. year one coming over from Indiana to Washington took a big step. Utah, I know it doesn't look like Cam Risings going to play up against Florida, but if they can get him back soon, that's a team that's won the Pac-12 the last two years. And there's always a few other teams that emerge that really don't get all the praise that a few teams are getting right now as the season commences. So can USC win a national championship this year? Can USC win the Pac-12? Can USC even get to the college football playoff? That will be defined by the way we're talking about this defense in November and getting ready to go into December. If they look like the defense that we saw up against San Jose State, then turn out the lights. They'll be a good team this year, but they're not going to be able to reach their full potential.
So that's question five. Can USC play any defense? Question four, is Texas back? So I want to be careful here how I talk about the Big 12. The Big 12 is a good conference. I don't know if there's any great team in the Big 12 this year. I like what Lance Leipold's doing at Kansas. Wouldn't call them a great team. Oklahoma, Dylan Gabriel can be really good.
Brent Venables, right? We're waiting, waiting, waiting for him to get a coaching job last year was a disaster. I like the job that Chris Kleiman has done at Kansas State, the most underappreciated conference champion ever last year. You know, Gundy will always have things rolling at Oklahoma State. Baylor, this is a big year for Dave Aranda. TCU, they go back to the guy who was supposed to be the guy last year before Max Duggan did emerge in Morris.
And Texas Tech, I'm a fan of Joey Maguire. And you take a look at BYU was always a solid team as an independent and now they jump into the Big 12. So you have a lot of good teams or teams that could potentially be good in the Big 12.
But can anyone be great? And this is a year where Texas is ready to embark and leave the Big 12 and go to their journey in the SEC where they couldn't even dominate in recent memory the Big 12. They're supposed to be even better in the SEC. We all know why they do it.
It's because the rich gets richer and it all comes down to money. But this Texas team has a lot of talent. People are starting to believe in Steve Sarkeesian and you have a quarterbacking Quinn Ewers.
I know a lot of us are going to talk about Arch Manning, but people forget how highly touted Quinn Ewers was coming out of high school going to college. So for Texas this year, they have the potential and they are the favorite and they should win the Big 12. But when or if you do that, will you be able to be a team that will get into the college football playoff? Because I think the Big 12 will be very similar to the Pac-12 the last few years, where you have a lot of good teams, but they beat up on one another.
And right when that team is ready to go stake their, plant their flag into the ground, they lose a game that they probably should not lose. So this year with Texas, I want to see if not only can they win the Big 12, but also go to the college football playoff. Number three, will anyone dethrone Michigan in the Big 10? Michigan forever could not win the Big 10, could not defeat Ohio State, couldn't get to the Big 10 championship. And the last two years annihilated Ohio State twice and won the Big 10 championship.
The winner of that division is going to win the Big 10 championship and they'll probably defeat Wisconsin in doing so. But you look at Penn State, who I don't like to give compliments to, Penn State has a really good team this year. And the two questions about Penn State, can their bozo head coach, who's a great recruiter but terrible in game, can he actually get some wins up against the big boys?
Because that schedule for Penn State is easy peasy outside of Ohio State and outside of Michigan. And those two games will define their season and the facts are the facts here, James Franklin is 3-15 up against top 10 teams during his time at Happy Valley. But Penn State has a loaded roster, a lot of guys are going to be picked early in the draft next year. And even though we talk about James Franklin, we're going to see how good their highly touted quarterback in Giroler could be.
I know it's not year one, but it's his first true year as a starting quarterback in college football. And then you look at Ohio State, where Ohio State, this is a pride year. This is all about beating Michigan. I know that they salvaged last year after losing to Michigan, they backed their way into the college football playoff and almost beat Georgia. But now you lose C.J.
Shroud. You have two of the best wide receivers in college football and a lot's going to be asked of a young quarterback in Kyle McCord, finally getting his opportunity and we'll see if he'll be able to step up. But I'm curious if anyone in a year where I think this could be the best Michigan team and is the best Michigan team that we've seen in the last three seasons with this year factored in and then what we've seen in the past two years, Michigan has McCarthy who's ready to break out.
You got Blake Corum, Donovan Edwards, Colston Loveland is a really good tight end as well. This could be a dominant, dominant Michigan team where the last two years they broke through, but weren't able to get to the national championship game. There should be a team that should be in the national championship game. And I'm just wondering if anyone could dethrone them in the Big Ten.
Two, for a long time it was death, taxes, Alabama and Clemson in the college football playoff. Both teams last year missed the college football playoff. Now Alabama the year before that got to the national championship game. They beat Georgia in the SEC championship game and lose to Georgia in the national championship game. Supposed to be a monster year last year for Alabama. Bring them back Bryce Young, bring them back Will Anderson Jr. and they didn't even get to the college football playoff. And for Clemson, they won the ACC last year, but they didn't get into the college football playoff with a bad loss towards the end of the season. Now no more D.G.
Young delay. You officially start from the beginning of the season, the Cade Klubnick era. And I want to see in a year where things are open in college football, where it feels like Georgia and Michigan will definitely be in the college football playoff. And other spots up for grabs, two other spots up for grabs. Can Bama, where you have LSU who was in the SC title game last year against Georgia. Georgia, this has been, everyone's chasing them in college football. Can Bama find their way back into the playoff? And when you look at the ACC, it's really one other team in Clemson's way that's Florida State. Can you find a way to win the ACC again, but be a team that throws you right back into the college football playoff conversation and be one of the last four standing?
And finally, the biggest question in college football is Georgia going a three-peat. No more Stetson Bennett. We all know how much talent they lost the first time they won the championship. I know they returned Bennett and then they ended up having a better year, going undefeated and just being dominant. Now, you lose your quarterback and you have to put in a lot of new names.
And I know it's been a very crazy and a difficult off-season with a lot of problems off the field. But right now, and I don't say this as a slight to Nick Saban because I have so much respect for Nick Saban, Kirby Smart's the best coach in the country. Does that mean Kirby Smart is a better all-time coach than Nick Saban?
That would be Jack Assery. But entering this season, Kirby Smart is the best coach in college football. And can he find the way again to go back to back to back? Can he find that way to three-peat? And if he can, man, the way that we talk about Georgia right now is one thing.
It would go into a totally different level. So those are my five biggest questions entering this college football season. Five, can USC play any defense? Four, is Texas back? Three, will anyone throw Michigan in the Big Ten? Two, will Bama or Clemson make the playoffs? And then are we looking at a Georgia three-peat?
Hot take, Hickey, I'll turn it over to you. Any other questions that you have that you could kind of throw into the conversation here? Biggest questions entering this upcoming college football season? Four, actually. Wow, four.
Four more questions on top of your five. Number one, will Colorado, this is where, what is your expectations? How will Colorado look in year one under Deion Sanders?
I think they will take strides. I think we'll realize how good of a quarterback Shador Sanders is. I also think that Travis Hunter Jr., as Deion said with us last week, is going to be such an exciting player. He said the most exciting player in college football. I don't know about that, but what he does is he has this unique ability to play both sides, where a lot of coaches would just say, go play one side.
For Deion, he says, go be a lead in the secondary, go be a lead at wide receiver. So I think there will be excitement, there will be buzz, but I think a lot of people have to remember, even though the roster has done a complete overhaul, this is still a team for now that's in the Pac-12, which is a great conference, with their final year, let's just call it what it is, but heading into this year, on paper, they look to be a great conference, and this team last year only had one loss, one victory, excuse me. So when you only have one victory, even though it's a totally culture shift in that program, it's tough to do more than four or five wins. And if they get to four or five wins this year, I know that that would be below 500 and below probably the standard that Deion Sanders wants it, but that would be a really good job and show that Deion Sanders is working. And that's what I think you need to do this year, is where there's so much buzz and hype off the field and with the recruiting videos and the social media team, you can't be an embarrassment in year one, but if you get to four or five wins, that would be a heck of a turnaround when you look at a year ago, this was a program that only had one win in college football. Question number two, will Caleb Williams become the second ever player to repeat as Heisman Trophy winner? So clearly, here's the obvious take of the day, that he has a chance, but whenever you ask me, especially this early in the season, Caleb Williams or the field to win the Heisman Trophy, I will take the field. I'll say he's a finalist, but I don't think he will end up winning the Heisman Trophy again this year. Do you have a name right now?
That's not the question, by the way. So I like Blake Corum. Now, it may end up being J.J. McCarthy because you have Corum and Donovan Edwards. The LSU quarterback and the Florida State quarterback, I could definitely see entering that conversation as well. So those would probably be three names that I would look at right now, and I know we had that conversation last week, but I would say Jordan Travis, Jaden Daniels, and Blake Corum would be three names to definitely look at. Question number three, which big name coach gets fired first, or fired in general?
Oh, that's a great question. Now, I think a lot of people would say Jimbo Fisher, but I don't think it's Jimbo Fisher's getting fired in season, especially with that buyout. Who's your answer on that, just wondering? I would say Jimbo, but... They're not going to fire him in season, though.
I should have dropped the first. Just fired in general is probably what I should have said, more what I meant. Jimbo is in there. I don't think Ryan Day will nor should get fired. Well, also you've got to remember, the only way he would get fired is if they lose to Michigan again, and that game is the final regular season game of the season. And if it happens, you've got a new AD coming in. I don't think it's going to happen, but also we've seen plenty of surprise college football firings that no one ever would have thought would have happened that have gone down.
That's one I think you look at. You wonder if Brent Venables has not turned around in Oklahoma as you're going into the SEC next year. Is he gone? Is Steve Sarkisian gone? And if Texas is not back and you're going into the SEC, a lot of big names out there on the hot seat. So Venables is a name to watch because last year was a disaster.
Sarkisian, because he has Arch Manning there, I think will buy him another season. To be totally transparent with you, I don't think the hot seat meter, and this will change when you get into a season, like when you fully get underway and you get five, six weeks in, the hot seat meter for me is not juicy for the college football coaches right now. Like Neil Brown actually could be the answer to that question, because West Virginia, I know he was annoyed that they were picked last in their conference, and he was like, oh, that's ridiculous. We won't be last. I guarantee that.
Look at the trenches, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Neil Brown with the new AD in there, a lot of people assume this is going to be his final year at West Virginia. That would be my answer to that question. I mean, look at some of these names here, like does Dino Babers really resonate nationally? Tom Allen, Neil Brown, you know, Jimbo does, but with the money, I don't think Jimbo is going to get fired in season. If you want to tell me Jeff Halfley at Boston College, like, a name to watch is Mel Tucker, though. I know they just gave that enormous contract, but year one, not good. Year two, great. Year three, not good.
That name has really started to fade as well. I would say right now it's Neil Brown, but I don't think this is a juicy hot seat meter as we enter the season. And finally, we've had it each of the last two years, if you want to call Cincinnati's surprise team in 2020, each of the last three years, a surprise team coming to nowhere to make the college football playoff. Any names, any leans early on here of who could be a surprise team in 2023? So my four right now, and Georgia, Michigan in that four wouldn't be a surprise. The other two right now, I have LSU and Ohio State.
I have two SEC teams, two Big Ten teams. Would any of those teams to you be all that surprising, Hickey? No.
Right? So I don't have a surprise team in terms of who I'm picking to get in the top four. Would you consider Florida State a surprise team to get in the college football playoff?
No. Because they should win their conference. It's either going to be them or Clemson. Big Ten team, preseason.
And Washington, like you're not going to say Washington. So what do you define as a surprise team, like outside of the 15? Is that what you're saying?
Yeah, in that range, yeah. That's fair. TCU is out of the top 15. Michigan out of the top 15. Last two years. You know what? I hate to agree with you here on this one.
Now, let me be clear. I don't think this team is going to the college football playoff. But Oklahoma's in at 20.
If we're looking at a team outside of the top 15, I can make the case that Oklahoma rises to the top of the Big 12 and only has a loss or two, and maybe they find their way in the college football playoff. And also, I don't think this would classify as a surprise team, but what about Notre Dame? They have three really tough opponents.
We've talked about them. Ohio State and USC and Clemson. You win two out of those three, you're going to have a pretty damn good resume. So, I don't think there is a surprise team that I love or a team that I could go, OK. Like, I could see teams being better than what they expect. But in terms of getting to the college football playoff where it's not 12 right now and it's four, that's going to be difficult. You know, I'm fascinated to see how we're talking about them at the end of the year. Tennessee.
Really good year last year. Unfortunate injury with Henton Hooker. In the SEC, everyone's talking about, of course, Georgia and LSU and Alabama.
Tennessee is ranked right now AP 12th team. You know, Joe Milton, to me, Hickey, is one of the more fascinating players in college football this year. People may forget he was at Michigan, that it was supposed to be the guy at Tennessee, that it ends up being Henton Hooker. And every time you see Milton throw the ball, and albeit for the most part, I know you saw him a little bit at the end of last year.
It's been in shorts and a T-shirt. That dude has a cannon of an arm. Like that ball that he threw at the Manning Passing Academy was ridiculous. And that's a team that, since the attention is somewhere else, I wouldn't call them a sleeper. But I like Hypel a lot. I just don't know what Milton's going to be over a full season. But in terms of intrigue of individual players, he's pretty damn close because of all the hype that has been there this past offseason, Hicks. The thing I would agree, with how good and basically up until really the last week of the season, or the last two weeks of the season when things kind of fell off the rails there for Tennessee, I just can't see them being better this year than they were last year.
They're intriguing for sure. They still have some talent there, but it's going to be one of those where I don't think expectations are high even though even preseason-wise they are still relatively high. Now, do you want me to follow maybe a trend here? And I'm not telling you I love this team.
Follow a trend in terms of what? But last year we saw Bo Nix go to Oregon. Bo Nix have a monster redemption season. We saw Michael Pennix go to Washington, have a monster redemption season. DJ Ungolay at Clemson, outside of that game up against Notre Dame where he filled in for Trevor Lawrence was a disaster. Now he's at Oregon State.
You have a Pac-12 where no one is really talking about them. Maybe he puts his crap together and that team ends up being a whole lot better than what we think, and they go make a push for a dark horse team to the college football playoff. I'm not sold on his consistency, but good defense for Oregon State and they're going to run the hell out of the ball. And so those are two things where they're going to take pressure off him. He's not going to be asked to do a lot, but at times he was at Clemson where there's not a great running game, not a great offensive line, and not a lot of great creativity. All right, we'll take a break here on the Zach Gelb Show on CBS Sports Radio.
Give me a big question you have entering the college football season. We just threw about 5,000 at you. 855-212-4CBS.
855-212-4227. When we come on back, another day of Jonathan Taylor conversation. And I just wonder, where are the pulses of hot take hickey?
We've got the Packers in the mix, the Dolphins, the Colts wanted some crazy offer from them, and this is continuing to get ugly, ugly, ugly, ugly, and will continue to get uglier as this does play on out. Zach Gelb Show, CBS Sports Radio. You're listening to the Zach Gelb Show. All righty, this is Zach Gelb Show on CBS Sports Radio. I'm getting real worried about my guy hot take hickey.
And hickey, here's why. Because I think you sometimes, and I think with this Jonathan Taylor situation, you were thinking logically. Like, you looked at it, and you said, well look at what the market is, no one's getting paid. So, Jonathan Taylor's best course of action, kind of what Dwight Freeney said, stay in Indianapolis, play your best, prove your worth coming off the injury, and then you hope that you get rewarded with a contract next year. And if it doesn't come from Indy, then someone else will trade for you.
But the thing that I sometimes see with you, is just what you think is the logical way, isn't the way that the athlete is going to think, because the athlete has an intense belief in themselves, and also there's an emotional component to this. And I think it's as clear as clear could be, that Jonathan Taylor is done, and has no interest playing for the Indianapolis Colts with the way that this has unfolded. Now with that being said, we've discussed a lot about it on the show, where I said I really do believe this ankle injury, he is good enough to come back and play, he had surgery in January, only supposed to take a month to recover from everything you keep on saying, and now he's going to start the year on PUP. And I saw that one of the Indy writers, what's this guy's name again?
Mike... Mike Chappell. Yeah, he said that he believes that this is a hold in by Jonathan Taylor. And it's about his anger in regards to the contract not being offered, compared to the actual legitimacy of the injury.
And you brought up a great point when I first brought that up to you. Why would the Colts play nice here? And I ultimately think if this comes and goes after four weeks, and Jonathan Taylor still doesn't want to get on the field, that this is going to get to a level of ugliness that we haven't even seen yet. Because the Colts tried to fight back a little bit, remember?
When it was this back injury that was being reported, and then all of a sudden it was, oh well we'll put you in the NFI and then financially it affects you. If he's not back after four games, I think the Colts, who actually, I don't think they're fully in the right here because they should have offered him a contract extension, and since he never got offered at least a contract extension to see how far off you are, I understand Jonathan Taylor's frustration. But after four games, if this is true that he's not hurt enough where he should be missing these four games, that he doesn't come back and play and play nice, then I think this gets to a level where the Colts start to show some pride and fight back. And then we thought this has been just ugly. It will get to a whole different level of really what is a contentious relationship.
A lot there. I guess what I'll say is this. Chris Ballard said today that the relationship is still repairable. I believe him. I think he is right. If the Colts give Jonathan Taylor a contract extension, is he not going to sign it? I don't think so. But are they going to give him that? I don't think Jim O'Rourke is going to do that.
But I think that if they do give it to him, he would absolutely sign it and take it. So it's not I hate Indy. It's I hate that I'm not getting paid. And right now the Colts are the villainous team because they're not giving him the contract he wants. But also when you look around and no one's training for you, that's also sobering feeling of no one's paying running backs right now. Well, there was teams that were interested. There were teams that that made offers. It just the Colts really wanted a first round pick, which goes to show they weren't ready to trade them or willing to trade them, which is fair because you're not going to get a first round pick for a running back right now. And I don't know the details of all these offers, like the Colts asking the Dolphins for for Jalen Waddle, like that's not being realistic as well from the Indianapolis Colts standpoint. I did find it funny how the Packers, of course, the Packers are the team through like the last five years.
A deal doesn't get done. And they're always the first team to be basically say, oh, yeah, we were interested, which the Packers in this case make no sense. I know Jonathan Taylor's a heck of a player. You have Aaron Jones and you have AJ Dillon.
I'm all for adding young talent around your quarterback, but you don't need Jonathan Taylor right now. The Packers are really the dude that goes to the bar, talks to like five girls and then tells his buddy, oh, I really had a shot to go home with those girls, but I I just didn't feel like it. That's what the Green Bay Packers are. The Green Bay Packers tell you they're interested in everyone and they had a real shot with everyone and they never end up getting that big star player. Like in years past, when you would throw out names, at least understand the names, because there were wide receivers to go compliment Davante Adams and go make Aaron Rodgers happy. But I don't get the Packers whatsoever if that's true, that they were interested in Jonathan Taylor.
Like, what's the point to even float that out there? Because that's got to be coming from Green Bay. You have to imagine Danny Ainge of the NFL and always the bridesmaid, never the bride in any of these trades. So you really still believe that even with the way that this is going down, that this situation can still be fixed between Jonathan Taylor, Jim Irsay, who did not help whatsoever here, and Chris Ballard. My biggest takeaway from Chris Ballard's press conference today is that he wants to pay Jonathan Taylor. He's not allowed to. But does he want to pay him right now?
I would think so. Yes, I think he does. He is someone who wears his emotions on his sleeve. He was very frustrated today. I think in large part because he wants to do it. Jim Irsay obviously being the owner is the one who's saying, no, we're not doing it.
And it's basically created this giant S storm, if you will, with his tweets and with his press conferences. I think Chris Ballard's trying everything. I don't feel able to do it. But these at least two months, I think, are at least an opportunity to open the door back up to try to get an extension done. You're in season? Yeah. There's no shot this deal's getting done in season.
OK. No shot. And why would Jim Irsay, why would he change? Why would he change?
If he didn't want to do it now and this whole offseason, the guy's also not playing the first four weeks of the season. What's going to change from now until October? That right there. Anthony Richardson struggles. Offense looks terrible. Your team's going to stink anyway. Here's Jim Irsay.
He is someone who is definitely, you know, he rules, if you will, with emotion. If they're 0-3, which probably could be without Jonathan Taylor. Yeah, I could see him panicking and making a desperate move. So there's a difference in doubling his salary for this year. You're talking a long term extension.
Yeah, in part because the market's so depleted. I mean, three years, $40 million probably gets it done. Three years, $50 million. In the grand scheme of things, it's not a big salary we're talking about.
We're talking about, in terms of positions, extension-wise, the smallest extent you're going to give somebody. Three years, $50 million would be an enormous extension. That'd be $60 million a year.
Really not. Like for running back, sure, but it's really not in the grand scheme of things, not that big of a contract. But for the position it is. And for guaranteed money, you can move off it pretty easily. It's a contract that almost, again, it's hard to have it backfire. It's basically impossible to have it backfire.
It doesn't play. You cut them in two years. OK, you try. It didn't work out.
Well, that's what I've been saying this whole time. Give him $56 million over four years and you guarantee like $28 million. If he doesn't want to accept that, then that's on him.
That's a fair offer. But once again, the Colts haven't made him an offer yet. So I think with the way that Ursae played this, not make him offer, he was disrespected by that.
Also, the RV thing was pure stupidity. He got into it with the agent as well by popping off and making comments about the running back market. I really do believe this relationship is fractured beyond repair because the owner's not going to pay him. And if you go through this year without paying him, I know you could slap the franchise tag on him next year, but I think you'd rather try to go get that deal somewhere else than have it be done in Indianapolis. Let me play two Chris Ballard cuts here.
Chris Ballard says the Colts and Jonathan Taylor can still make peace. And Hickey is believing this in a big way. Our relationship, I would tell you, is look, even when it gets hard, I won't quit on the relationship.
I won't do it. I think too much of the young man. I think too much of what he's given our organization and how hard he's played for us. And what sucks, I mean, the situation. I'm not going to sit here and give you some rosy picture like, oh, this is just everything's OK. No, it sucks. It sucks for the Colts. It sucks for Jonathan Taylor. And it sucks for our fans. It just it does. And it's it's where we're at and we've got to work through it and we're going to do everything we can to work through it.
Relationships are repairable. You are right, Hickey, where he does want to pay. And Jim Erce does it. And you know, I think the next step that follows here, Chris Ballard loses his mind, keeps on bringing up how he wants to pay Jonathan Taylor. And eventually Jim Erce says, you haven't won enough games here. And then they end up firing him at some point this offseason that I could I could see. I think it's more likely Ballard gets fired this offseason than it is that Jonathan Taylor reaches a long term extension with the Indianapolis Colts. Hate to say it, probably a blessing for him at this point. How Jim Erce has been operating the last year, hiring Jeff Saturday, doing this whole song and dance, throwing basically Chris Ballard to dry.
If he's fired, I bet she's not that upset. Yeah, but he's also have to take some of the blame, too, because the last two years, this team has just been constructed poorly. Finally, here is Chris Ballard and why Jonathan Taylor hasn't received a contract extension yet. The running market is what it is. But look, great players are what they are, too.
So I think that all works. I think there's a great player. We won four games last year. We won four games. I could tell you that if they believed in the quarterback and let's say this wasn't a quarterback on a rookie deal, they only won four games, you could guarantee they'd be paying that quarterback as well. It is the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. We'll come on back. We'll talk more about the running back market. Phil Simms going to join us at the top of the hour.
But standing by with the latest CBS Sports Radio update first. And a very nice blue shirt. Look at everyone today. Hickie's in a nice green shirt.
Axe in a nice blue shirt. I'm in some rag today. But standing by.
Step it up. Let's go. You're listening to the Zach Gelb show that could be my favorite rejoined. It is the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio and the man behind that rejoined. The great Phil Simms will join us at about 12 minutes right here. Only on the Zach Gelb show.
All righty. The running back market. We just talked about Jonathan Taylor, the mess that are the Indianapolis Colts and the way that they've mishandled this entire situation. You now look at this off season. You had Tony Pollard probably with the least amount of drama where he just signed the franchise tag early. Saquon Barkley. We thought it was going to continue to be the summer of Saquon.
Where it was going to be hold out, hold out, hold out. Once he didn't get the deal on July 17th. Gets a small increase in incentives for this year that are tied to the Giants also making the playoffs. And then he was a good soldier and showed up for all of training camp. Josh Jacobs, I thought he was smart. He set out the entire training camp or for the most part, a good chunk of it. And then this past week got a little bit of a bigger bump than Saquon. But now is back in the building wearing a new number, by the way.
Did you see he's now wearing number eight where the first few years of his career he was wearing twenty eight. So you get a little change there in the Josh Jacobs number. Austin Eckler, friend to show he was allowed to seek a trade similarly to Jonathan Taylor.
No one. I don't want to say no one was willing to bite, but the Chargers wanted a whole lot more in return. And they gave him a few million dollars in incentives. And now the Jonathan Taylor situation was the most contentious because Tony Pollard.
Right. If he's healthy, he's going to be there week one. Saquon Barkley is going to be there week one. Austin Eckler going to be there week one. Josh Jacobs going to be there week one. Jonathan Taylor won't be there week one. And he's talking about this ankle injury. And is he going to is it really a legitimate injury now where we're almost in September?
Or is it that his feelings are hurt and he's using the ankle as an excuse because he didn't get a contract extension? But really, this all season was a massive L for all running backs because there's a lot of noise. And you knew it was going to be a massive L because right out of that big running back meeting where you had guys like Austin Eckler and Derek Henry and Nick Chubb on the call with all the big running backs in the league. Nick Chubb just came out and said it because we know we really have no leverage right now.
It sucks, but he admitted that. So you look at this situation right now. And the big takeaway is if you're a running back, most of these teams, because I do think eventually someone will pay Jonathan Taylor because he's young. But most of these teams look at you as you'll be on your first contract. And then after that, they're going to try to slap the franchise tag on you twice.
Before they even really want to go out there and even contemplate paying you and then by then you may be past your prime. And I know Eckler's a little bit different because he already got one contract and now he's looking for his next contract. But he's really developed as a player where now he's one of the better running backs in the league. And you look at the last two extensions for running backs long term, it was McCaffrey and then the last one was Nick Chubb all the way back in 2021.
And here's what's going to be interesting to watch in this Jonathan Taylor situation, Hickey. As I said, I think he's gone. I think he's going to get traded at some point. And I really do believe he'd rather sign somewhere else now than in Indianapolis. But the thing with Jonathan Taylor that we still don't know is how much does he want?
I don't think that has come out there yet. And then is he willing to take less and kind of understand where the market is at? And the reason why we can't answer those questions is two, two things. Number one, we don't know what he's been asking for. But then also, we don't know how far apart the Colts and Jonathan Taylor are because the Colts haven't offered him a contract yet. So like you look at this, there's still a lot to be told in this Jonathan Taylor story. And the biggest question is, what is the extension, whether it's in Indianapolis, someone else going to look like? And we don't even know what Jonathan Taylor wants right now and what the Colts will be willing to give him.
So a lot of this is a bunch of noise. And it's just you keep on punting and punting and punting. And eventually you would think Jonathan Taylor's got to go out there and play because he does sit out this entire season. Another team is going to use that against them. But at that point, if he knows that he doesn't want to be in Indianapolis, maybe he's OK with losing some of that money if that expedites him going somewhere else to get a big payday on somewhat in terms of the guaranteed dollars. When it comes to the running back mark, I think Jonathan Taylor is going to impact like what's his future. I think he's going to greatly impact either good or bad where this market goes, because if you look at it right, the Colts have a rookie quarterback and Jonathan Taylor is the best player on offense. So if the Colts come out in the first four games when he's on pup and Deon Jackson and Evan Hull are running the ball great and the Colts don't need Jonathan Taylor, you have a young 24 year old running back who, again, was the best offensive player and the Colts now with a rookie quarterback are homing on offense and don't need him. Only going to push the value down even more and make it even harder for any running back, Bijan Robinson in a few years, whoever, to get any sort of leverage or get any sort of deal. On the flip side, if the offense stinks and you can't complete a pass and you can't run the ball whatsoever, that at least emphasizes in certain situations the running back is still important and Jonathan Taylor will get what he wants from the Colts or from someone else.
I think it comes down to two things and I think it has nothing to do with the performance of the Colts without or with Jonathan Taylor. I think it comes down to did you use an early first round pick on a running back? We've seen Zeke get an extension, early first round pick. We've seen Christian McCaffrey get an extension, early first round pick. I think if you're taking a running back in the top 10 or even the top 15, which we've seen two teams do this year, when it's not popular, Bijan Robinson 8 to the Falcons and then 12, Jameer Gibbs with the Detroit Lions. I think that's a big thing. And then also age does matter. Regardless of what Jonathan Taylor does this year, there will be a team that will give him an extension. Let's just say, and I do believe the Colts will have to be franchise tagged after this year, but they would be willing to give him an extension because he's 24 and he still has some good mileage and a lot of good mileage, you would think, where, like you said, if you give him a four year deal, you kind of construct it, where after two years, if he's shot, it's not that tough to get out of.
So the thing to look at is how early were you taken? First round pick being a big one, which Jonathan Taylor wasn't. And then also the age of the player. Those are two big things to look at when I think we talk about what running backs end up getting paid and what running backs end up getting told by their team. We'll use you, we like you, but we're not going to be giving you a long term deal. Phil Simms joins us next is that Gelb show right here. CBS Sports Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-30 20:26:20 / 2023-08-30 20:44:05 / 18