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Ben Leber, Former Vikings Linebacker | Vikings Radio Analyst

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
February 27, 2024 4:59 pm

Ben Leber, Former Vikings Linebacker | Vikings Radio Analyst

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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February 27, 2024 4:59 pm

Ben Leber joins Zach to talk about the Vikings potential Justin Jefferson problem, the future of Kirk Cousins with the team, and a look around the NFC North.

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Dana Carvey and David Spade here. You might know our podcast, Fly on the Wall, featuring guests from across the entertainment industry. We decided to do a spinoff called Superfly, and it's fun. It's just two of us riffing on current events, pop culture, catching up, impressions. Joe, Trump's trying to be a dictator. Yeah, he says, you know, bump on the tater tots.

Joe, no. Listen to and follow Superfly on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. Let's head out to the guest line right now and welcome in a former Vikings linebacker, now been a part of their broadcast team for a while, and that is our guy Ben Lieber, kind enough to join us back on The Zach Gelb Show on CBS Sports Radio. Ben, always appreciate the time. Thanks so much for doing this, and how you been? Always a pleasure to be on with you, Zach.

I've been good. You know, I'm actually talking to you from Hawaii, believe it or not. We've got our Twin Seas Live show is here in Hawaii on a viewer trip, so we have 175 viewers with us, and yeah, we're just kind of concluding our trip today, so it's a perfect timing. I'm very jealous that I didn't get invited to this.

I would love to go to Hawaii. You could have signed up, you know. You just pay attention to my social media. It's like I had the link out there. You could have signed up.

I was expecting like, hey, complimentary invite, put me up at the resort, you know, free of charge, get me some steak dinners and stuff like that. You know, I know you still got some NFL money in that bank account of yours, Lieber. Yeah, well, you know, we'll talk next year. We're getting ready to announce even a month or two our next big trip, so I'll keep you in mind. Yeah. Big bucks, Ben.

Just make sure you take care of it. Ben Lieber here with us on The Zach Gelb Show talking about big bucks. Justin Jefferson is going to get a lucrative contract extension. I was relieved today to hear Kwasi Adolfo Mensah nip the rumors in the bud in regards to him getting traded because I think I would have had a meltdown on the air and I'm not even a Vikings fan. I just love Justin Jefferson.

It would have been so stupid if they even entertain trading in this offseason. Yeah, I totally agree. I mean, you talk about a guy that you can you can build your franchise around, not just from a talent standpoint. I think we all know that he and you heard Kwasi talk about he's he's the he's the best player. That's not a that's not a quarterback in the NFL. And then he goes on to say any deserves to be paid like it. So he understands even the value that he has on the field.

But the one thing that I appreciate and I think a lot of Vikings fans, a lot of football fans appreciate is like how he approaches the game. You know, he's not he's not a diva wide receiver. I mean, the guy is what they call a dog.

I know that that word is used a lot, very much an NFL buzzword. But he really is a dog. He goes out there and he'll block. He plays a tenacity. He's got leadership to him as well. That he's the type of guy that you want the offense to resemble and reflect. And that really comes down to all the way down from the head coach as well.

He's got that grit to him as well. I know it's a lot of money, but I said this last year that they should not mess around here. They should have got the deal done last year. It's one thing to say you're not trading him, but you could still go through this season without giving him a contract extension and then wait until next offseason, which I think would be a mistake because then it's back-to-back years of not getting this done.

And then you get down the franchise tag road. Like are you fully confident that they'll get this long-term deal done this offseason? Because once the GM said what he said today, I don't see why this deal wouldn't get done then in the next few weeks. Yeah, I agree with you.

I am obviously there's mutual respect on both sides. I think it's, you know, maybe it's a little bit like Kirk Cousins situation where it's not so much about the money itself. It's about the terms and the conditions and, you know, maybe after they saw what and I understand it was Rick Spielman, but maybe after they saw what happened with Kirk, they're like, well, maybe we'll press the Vikings organization if the Will family is willing to do that. Let's go for a lot more guaranteed money.

I don't know if that's the sticking point, but I feel like it was probably the terms and the conditions versus the actual total value of the money. And it sounds like, yes, they were very close. So if they were very close at the beginning of the season, they also, you know, obviously throughout the rest of the season, I know that he got injured, but, you know, he came back and still played with that fire in his belly and they understand the importance of him on the team.

They know that they have to get something done. They know from a fan standpoint, I think they'd lose the fans. They would have a lot of people jump off this Vikings bandwagon or whatever you want this fandom if they let Justin Jefferson go via trade. Talking to Ben Lieber right now, how about Kirk Cousins? I know you brought it up a little bit, his future. I've been saying all off season, it does make sense to bring him back, but I kind of feel as if he's going to be playing somewhere else next year.

Zach, I go back and forth on this one. You know, when I see somebody like PFF put out some numbers of like, oh, well, you know, maybe he'll take, what about this deal? And it's like, okay, you know, two years, 70 million, you know, it's not fully guaranteed.

I would like to bring him back. I feel like that's a good deal for both sides. You know, when we heard this like fully guaranteed 45 million per year a couple of weeks ago, I'm like, absolutely not.

I wouldn't do it for that. I really think that they're going to have to sniper shot this deal. It's going to be a small window. It's going to have to be somewhat of a fair market value. I do not think that Kirk Cousins is going to give some sort of hometown discount. I think that he's he's going to look at the market. He's going to understand what his value is. He's going to want something close to that. I don't think you're going to give him guaranteed money.

So if that's what he wants to stand on, well, then I think you have to let him go. I I think that the Vikings will bring him back. I think they want to bring him back. I think that they will still go out and draft a quarterback that they think could be his successor. But that quarterback that they draft is going to know that you're going to sit behind Kirk Cousins for at least one season. You know, it's interesting that you say that they want to bring him back because it feels like Kwasi Adolfo Mensa wants to move up in that draft. They tried to do so reportedly last year for Anthony Richardson. It maybe seems like, OK, you know what Kirk is. He's good, but they're looking for that future plan.

And once again, I think that would then fall in line with the argument of, all right, you let Kirk walk and then you got to find the way to pounce up from where they are in the draft now to get into that top three and maybe make a trade with New England. Well, listen, I think hold on one second. Yeah, man.

No, I'm good. Thank you. What do you got room service coming in there? You know, it's the guys trying to take bags, you know, like they were flying out later today.

And I don't I don't need to drop my bag off yet. So, OK, so what was the question? So it's all good. Ben Lieber here with us on CBS Sports Radio. This is what happens when we bring someone on from Hawaii. They're having a good time.

They're trying to get to a bunch of places. But basically what I was saying was I it's interesting that you think they want to bring him back because it feels like every sign the last two years, whether they're trying to trade up for Anthony Richardson or even the draft report this year would say that they're going to try to go move up in the draft once again. Well, look, I'm still in the camp of all these things are not mutually exclusive. I don't think that if you signed Kirk Cousins like, well, we're taking the first best defensive lineman or edge rusher at number 11. I still think that you can leverage that situation. You can still try to move up in the draft and get the quarterback that you want. Again, knowing that that quarterback doesn't have to play right away. You get a little bit of a break and say, like, we're not going to put a ton of pressure.

You're going to be our future guy. Kirk's going to understand that the I'll push back a little bit on the Richardson thing as well. Nobody knows.

I mean, we always hear about these things months and months after the fact. The fact that the Vikings wanted to move up. Did they? Did they like, OK, they put in a phone call. Maybe the phone call was like, yeah, right. That's a ridiculous offer.

Hang up. And then you can come back months later and say, well, look, look, fans, we tried to move up in the draft. It didn't work out. We don't know how hard they really tried to move up.

So I don't really put a lot of stake in some of those rumors. I think that you look at the way Kirk played this year, you gave him a better offensive line. You got him another wide receiver. That is phenomenal.

As a rookie, that's going to be even better. The run game wasn't even complimentary. And yet Kirk was playing at an MVP level and defense got a lot better, which was huge. And you look at the defense and you and you see what they did.

And we all understood. You're looking at this defense. We're winning because a scheme we're winning because the X's and O's. Yeah, we have some players, but we need to really bolster the talent and the depth of that defense. And we're still much better than we were last year.

So I think this team knows that we are very close with the coaching staff that we have with some of the players that we have. That why throw it all away in this window of the next two to three years with the rookie quarterback and not bring back Kirk Cousins. So I think this can be a very competitive team, a playoff team if they bring bring Kirk Cousins back.

All right. Let's go around the rest of the division. Just some quick hitters with Ben Lieber before we let him run bears. They're going to trade Justin Fields, you think, and they're going to take Caleb Williams as one at one.

Yeah, I think so. I think they have to do that. I mean, you know, just resetting the time clock on paying a quarterback, especially with with all these deals are going to go up because of base off percentage of the salary cap. You're going to have to pay these guys, even whether you think the talent is there or not.

You're going to have to pay them when their time is come. So I think they reset the clock on the quarterback situation. They go with probably a more dynamic player in Caleb Williams, and I think they will find a way.

And we heard Ryan polls talk about how, look, if this deal is going to get done, we're going to do right by Justin Fields as well. They're not going to do him dirty. So I think that they'll let him figured out a little bit on his own as well. And, you know, still get something for him, but I think put him in a good spot. So I think they'll trade him.

We have seen before, right? Bledsoe go from the Patriots to the Bills. We have seen McNabb go from Philadelphia to Washington. Is there any chance a deal gets done bears Vikings inside the NFC North where Justin Fields next home is Minnesota?

No, I don't think so. I think that if again, if you're going to bring a guy like that on and feel like he does well enough to where you have to pay him. I don't think that the Vikings want to do that. I think they're fine with maybe a two a two year deal with Kirk Cousins, but going long term commitment on a 567 year deal with a veteran quarterback and have to pay that quarterback money. I think I think they go right back into the same boat that they're in with the salary cap.

I think they want to go younger cheaper eventually and build the team with the extra cash. Wrap it up with Ben Lieber. I know that the NFC North had about an offseason where they were able to celebrate the demise of the Green Bay Packers.

But now it looks like the Packers have found their next franchise quarterback in Jordan Love. I see you shaking your head. That probably makes you feel like, man, they've done it again, right? Yeah, absolutely. It pisses me off. I thought for sure.

Here we go. We're going to watch all these these poor Packer fans actually have to feel like the rest of the NFL where you have to kind of work your way through another quarterback situation. But, you know, credit to their whole organization and Jordan Love.

He is he's been phenomenal for for going through the season ups and downs early in the season. You saw some flashes. You saw some struggles. And then that second half of the season, he just figured it out. They figured it out.

And and, you know, good for them. I want this. I want this division with the Lions in there. And what let's see what happens with the Bears that they get Caleb Williams. I want this to be the premier division in football. I know that every team wants probably an easy path to the playoffs, but I want the Minnesota Vikings to have a tough road in the division.

That way they're battle tested and they go into the playoffs knowing that they're one of the best teams in the league and they can compete. So bring it on, man. Bring it all on.

Yeah. Where's your confidence long term? It was incredible what we've seen out of the lines the last two years. They got hot at the end of last season and this season. They could have just protected that lead in the second half. Who knows what would happen. Maybe they would have won the whole damn thing.

But they're in the NFC championship game. Do you feel like now Detroit that they're here for the long term with Dan Campbell and company? Yeah, I think so.

I really do. I I think that they have bought into his message. I think that's from the top down with the GM and everything. I really think that what's holding them back is is some of their defensive scheme and adding some talent back there, especially in the secondary if they can figure that out.

I don't see why, you know, again, you go back to quarterbacks situation, you know, he's going to be up there a little bit and age as this goes along, you know, how's that going to shape up? But their formula for selecting players via the draft and building through the draft has been phenomenal. And so I think if they can keep up with that, they don't get to two above their skis and and get too cocky with what they are. I think they're building for a long term success.

Yeah, it's kind of crazy. There's some similarities with the Vikings were the last few years, right? They had that NFC championship game appearance.

They got blown out by Philly. Then they get Kirk Cousins and they were in and out of the playoffs. But it's like both of those quarterbacks. I think Kirk's good. I think Jared Goff's good.

No one's going to really call them great. And then you look at the defense. It's like, okay, can they get their acts together? You know, and I think there's some similarities that were both the states of those two franchises.

Yeah, I think so. I mean, I think that there is, you know, Mike Zimmer when he was with the Vikings. I mean, he brought he brought that edge. You know, he brought a little bit that Dan Campbell to him. And I think what what KOC is trying to do is not forget that. I think, you know, that I think that's a big misnomer when you think about Kevin O'Connell and what his system is and how he is a head coach.

I think a lot of people see, you know, this great smile. He's great with the media. He's very approachable, but he wants a very tough minded team. I mean, he wants he wants a defense that's going to get after you, which is, you know, why they made the higher which is why they were they were a different looking defense and even offensively, you know, even though they passed the ball around. They want to bloody your nose and it's just a little bit of a different approach. It looks a little bit different, but I think the core value of it and the essence of it is not to throw away the mentality that Mike Zimmer had brought on.

It's it's really the old school feel the Minnesota Vikings and KOC KOC knows that he's been Lieber Ben always appreciate the time. Thanks so much for doing this safe travels home. All right. Yeah, thanks, man.

Always good to see you know, keep you in mind for the next trip. You know, maybe I can get you a comfortable or something. You know what, maybe I could get your bags out of the room. All right. I'll put some work in turn my keep. All right. That sounds good. Yeah, that sounds good.

That works out. Hey, Rob Bradford here. I have set out on a mission with my good friends at FanDuel to prove what I have known for some time. Baseball isn't boring. Now I have a daily podcast to prove it with some of the most notable people in the baseball world screaming baseball isn't boring for the mountaintops or at least agreeing to come on our show players, managers, GMs and yes, even the commissioner of baseball, Rob Manfred. It has been a constant wave of baseball for powerful voices. So join the revolution subscribe and soak in baseball have been boring. Listen on your Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast.

You'll be glad you did. Very is Ben Lieber former Vikings linebacker also started his career with the Chargers that is a great job on the sideline for the Minnesota Vikings radio network joining us on CBS Sports Radio. It's that time of year cash the ticket Jim Costa with Mike Valenny we shift the focus from football to college hoops play in that system. That's not a system but sure plays like a system leading up to the tournament. We're looking for that value with the daily dimes. We look for the gross lines getting us ready for the tournament where we're going to break down all the matchups and have an eye on some future plays to this time of year baby search cash the ticket on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts a new year is full of surprises, but one thing is always predictable postage costs go up stamps.com gives you crazy discounts of up to 89% off USPS and UPS services. So when postage goes up your business will barely notice the change stamps.com is like your own personal post office wherever you are, you can even take care of orders on the go with the mobile app. No lines no traffic no waiting schedule package pickups automatically find the cheapest and fastest shipping options and seamlessly connect with every major marketplace and shopping cart. There's even a supply store where you can stock up on mailing supplies labels even printers stamps.com has been indispensable for over 1 million businesses just like yours. All you need is a computer or phone and printer, take a chunk out of your mailing and shipping costs this year with stamps.com sign up with promo code program for a special offer that includes a four week trial, plus free postage and a free digital scale. No long term commitments or contracts that stamps.com code program.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-27 19:09:00 / 2024-02-27 19:17:33 / 9

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