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NFL Hall of Famer

It's Time to forgive Ray Rice

'He's a Good Man'

1/30/2015 6:49 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
013015_jonathan_ogden_launch_v2Ray Rice is a "good man" -- and has proven that he deserves a second chance in the NFL ... so says NFL Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden, who played with Rice on the Ravens. 

Ogden is out in Phoenix for the Super Bowl -- and laid out the case for the running back, telling TMZ Sports:

"We understand that the man made a huge mistake, but he's done everything he could over the past year to make up for it."

Ogden continued, "I think his record before that speaks to the fact that he really is a decent human being ... and hopefully somebody will give him a chance because hes a good running back and a good man."

Ogden says there's no way in hell the Ravens will resign him to the team -- but says, "Somebody should give him a chance."

Baltimore Ravens Player

WANTED MAN

... Arrest Warrant Issued

1/28/2015 9:18 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
0128-will-hill-ravens-twitterBaltimore Ravens safety Will Hill is wanted by NJ officials -- after allegedly stiffing his baby mama out of more than $16k in child support ... TMZ Sports has learned.  

According to official documents obtained by TMZ Sports, the 24-year-old is on the hook for $16,588.18 in unpaid support to a woman in New Jersey. 

Law enforcement sources tell us an arrest warrant has been issued. There won't be a "fugitive" style manhunt for the guy ... but if a cop pulls him over and runs his info, he'll be arrested on the spot. 

In fact, that's exactly what happened to Hill in December 2013 ... when he was arrested in NJ on a warrant for outstanding child support payments. 

Hill (who was playing for the NY Giants back then) eventually paid up ... and actually played in a game against the Detroit Lions just days later.  

Hill is considered a pretty solid player on the Ravens -- and had a key pick 6 interception against the Saints in week 12. 

We've reached out to Hill for comment -- so far, no word back.

Hines Ward

Single NFL Players ...

Have Bullseyes On Their Backs

1/26/2015 2:40 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
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Young, rich, single NFL players better get chicks to sign contracts before taking them out on dates ... at least that's how former Steelers superstar Hines Ward sees it. 

The ex Super Bowl champ went on Meredith Vieira's talk show and said single NFL players are being targeted by conniving women. Ward's point seemed to be that these women are falsely accusing players in domestic violence cases.  

Pretty bold statement -- and Ward even went on to suggest single players get something in writing with their dates.

As for the Ray Rice case -- Ward took a very strong stance against Ray ever returning to the NFL.

Torrey Smith's Baby

$5,000 Winner

In Gerber Baby Contest

1/22/2015 8:33 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
0121-torrey-smith-crawler-gerberHe's only 10 months old, but Torrey Smith's son has already DOMINATED his first modeling contest -- winning a $5,000 prize in a national Gerber Baby competition. 

The Baltimore Ravens wide receiver and his wife Chanel entered Torrey Jr. into Gerber's "Be Our Baby Photo Search" back in November -- competing for a $50,000 grand prize. 

As adorable as TJ is, he didn't win the grand prize -- but he did win in his "milestone" category ... receiving more votes than anyone else in the "Crawlers" division.

The prize -- a $5,000 check from Gerber.  

Chanel has previously said that she planned to split up any prize money between TJ's college fund and a children's charity. 

Congrats!

SB Champ Bernard Pollard

RAKING IN THE DOUGH ...

From Sink Shelf Invention

1/15/2015 2:15 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
0115-bernard-pollard-invention-money-fun-art-getty-01The next Thomas Edison could totally kick your ass ... 'cause NFL star Bernard Pollard tells TMZ Sports the counter-top organizer he invented last year totally BLEW UP in sales this holiday season.

Pollard, who won a Super Bowl with the Ravens in 2012 invented a bathroom counter-top organizer last year called the "Smart Sink Tray" that he says lets was inspired by the tiny sinks out in Baltimore.

"I first thought it up back in 2012 ... I'm a germaphobe and the counter space in Baltimore was so limited that I wanted something to expand it."

His Howie Mandelness has led to cold hard cash with Pollard telling us this holiday season business was BOOMING for the "Smart Sink Tray" -- with a sales spike of nearly 60%.

"It was really cool to see the orders come in. The east coast went crazy for it."

And Pollard says things are only looking up from here ... 'cause the tray has gotten so popular, it's drawn interest from hotels all over the country and outdoor retailer Camping World.

"We putting it your RV's."

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Janay Rice

'I Have the Best Husband In the World'

1/15/2015 6:51 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
0115-ray-rice-janay-rice-instagramRay Rice went ALL OUT to spoil his wife on her birthday Wednesday -- and Janay Rice was so impressed, she bragged about having the "best husband in the world."

Sources tell TMZ Sports ... the former Baltimore Ravens star organized a day-long celebration for Janay ... with a dinner party, private celebrity chef, fancy cake and a special appearance by a former teammate. 

0115-subasset-cake-ray-rice-janay-rice-instagramThe chef is former "Hell's Kitchen" competitor JR Robinson -- who cooked up lobster, lamb chops, mussels and some special dessert for Janay's family and friends. 

Among the friends ... Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith -- whose family has remained extremely tight with the Rice's over the past year. 

After the party was over, Janay put a message on social media thanking Ray -- "I literally have the best husband in the world. He went above and beyond to make my birthday special."

As for how Ray paid for everything, he reportedly just settled a grievance with the Ravens in which he wanted more than $3.5 million for cutting him over the elevator video

No word on how much cash Rice ultimately received in the settlement -- but we're guessing it covered the party. 

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Robert Mueller

NFL Ran a Half-Ass Investigation Into Ray Rice

1/8/2015 11:07 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news
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Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has just released his report about his 4-month investigation into the NFL's handling of the Ray Rice situation ... and essentially says the NFL dropped the ball. 

"We concluded there was substantial information about the incident even without the in-elevator video –indicating the need for a more thorough investigation."

"The NFL should have done more with the information it had," Mueller said. 

010815_ray_rice_nogif_launchMueller also called BS on an Associated Press report which claimed a female employee received the video before it was published on TMZ Sports

"Responding to a news story that a woman at the NFL confirmed receipt of the video in the April 9 call, investigators traced every outgoing phone call from the NFL, and took several other investigative actions that are detailed in the report.

"The investigators interviewed every female employee, contractor or vendor whose electronic badge recorded that she was in the league's main office on that day. Each was asked whether they made such a call or had any knowledge about the receipt by the NFL of an in-elevator video of the Rice incident." 

0907-ray-ric-elevator-gif-launch-the-aftermath-01Mueller says his investigators spoke with more than 200 NFL employees and searched more than 400 computers but didn't find a single digital trace or sign of the in-elevator video before we published it on TMZ Sports. 

The report also says, "League investigators did not contact any of the police officers who investigated the incident, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, or the Revel to attempt to obtain or view the in-elevator video or to obtain other information."

Mueller says investigators also set up an anonymous tip line for NFL employees -- but "we received no calls."

Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement, "While this investigation has now concluded, our focus on the underlying issues and our commitment to positive change remain as strong as ever. We have all learned a great deal in the past months and expect to be judged by how we lead going forward on issues of domestic violence and sexual assault."

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Ben Affleck

Ravens Are a Nightmare

But I Believe In the Pats

1/6/2015 4:41 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
010615_ben_affleck_launchBen Affleck says the Baltimore Ravens are the absolute WORST matchup for his beloved Patriots ... telling TMZ Sports he's got a healthy fear of Joe Flacco

A pumped up Affleck (seriously, this dude is SWOLL) was leaving Tavern in Brentwood when he told us he wishes Brady and company were facing a weaker opponent this weekend (a shot at the Steelers perhaps?). 

Check out the clip ... Affleck breaks down the NFL playoffs and even tells us the teams he fears the most. 

But when push comes to shove, Ben says he believes in his boys ... though he wouldn't go as far as his BFF Matt Damon -- who predicted a Super Bowl victory earlier this week. 

Stay tuned ... 

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Baltimore Ravens Accuser

Convicted of Fraud in 2006

1/1/2015 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
1231-m-t-bank-stadium-ravens-getty-01The woman who claims she was sexually assaulted by Darren Sanders -- Director of Security for the Baltimore Ravens -- has a rap sheet which includes allegations she lied to obtain prescription drugs ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

Here's what we know ... the woman has been arrested at least 3 times since 1999 ... all three incidents involve drugs. 

But the most relevant to the Ravens' case is a 2006 plea deal -- in which she pled guilty to possession of a forged prescription. 

It's possible Sanders could use her criminal record to attack her credibility ... especially since there's a case where she was convicted of fraud. 

For his part, Sanders claims he did nothing wrong at M&T Bank Stadium on December 14th -- despite allegations he groped the woman while she was escorting him to another part of the stadium.

Ravens Head of Security

Allegations He Was Drinking At the Stadium

12/31/2014 12:34 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
1231-darren-sanders-youtube-01The woman who claims she was sexually assaulted by the Baltimore Ravens Director of Security claims Darren Sanders had been drinking before groping her at the stadium ... this according to new docs obtained by TMZ Sports. 

In court docs filed in Maryland, the accuser gives her side of the story in great detail ... and claims she first came into contact with Sanders at M&T Bank Stadium on Dec. 14th around 7:30 PM ... hours after the Ravens defeated the Browns. 

In the docs, the woman -- who claims she works for a company that provides custodial/janitorial services for the Ravens -- claims Sanders hit on her ... telling her she was sexy and that he liked her. 

The woman claims, "I could smell alcohol on him." 

The woman claims Sanders groped her butt multiple times -- each time she swatted his hand away.

When she told Sanders he was out of line, he allegedly responded that he "did what he wanted around here."

After the incident, the woman says she immediately contacted her boss -- who contacted police ... and they immediately launched an investigation.

Cops ultimately found there was enough evidence to book Sanders with 4th degree sexual assault.

As for Sanders, he's on paid-leave from the Ravens -- but denies any wrongdoing.

Darren's attorney just issued a statement saying he will not appeal the Ravens' decision because he doesn't want to be a distraction -- but says he's innocent and "looks forward to his day in court."

Ravens Head of Security

Alleged Sexual Assault Happened During Game

12/31/2014 9:17 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
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update_graphic_red_bar
10:20 AM PT --
Sanders has been placed on paid leave, per the NFL's personal conduct policy ... according to team officials.

He will not travel to Pittsburgh with the Ravens for the playoff game vs. the Steelers on Saturday. 
update-grey-gray-barDarren Sanders -- the head of security for the Baltimore Ravens -- is accused of sexually assaulting a woman at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore during a game ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

We obtained the police report filed by a woman who claims she was working at the stadium on December 14th -- when the Ravens were playing the Browns -- and was asked to escort Sanders to another part of the building.

The woman claims while doing the escort, Sanders "hit and/or groped her buttocks more than once as they walked down the third level hallway."

The woman claims the abuse continued when they got to the 3rd floor lobby ... when he "pressed his body against her's and kissed her neck and attempted to force her to grab his penis."

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The woman says she was able to walk away -- and immediately told 4 co-workers about the incident.

Cops investigated the situation and eventually charged Sanders with a 4th degree sexual offense. Investigators say at least one witness "observed part of the interaction" between Sanders and the woman.  

Sanders lawyers are adamant -- Darren did nothing wrong. A hearing is set for Feb. 9th. 

Sanders was famously involved with the Ray Rice investigation -- he had claimed he asked police and Revel Casino security for a copy of the elevator footage ... but failed to obtain it.

NFL Star Steve Smith

My Cleat Game Is Sick!!!

12/24/2014 7:51 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
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Baltimore Ravens superstar Steve Smith Sr. pimped the hell out of his feet this season -- with at least 7 pairs of INCREDIBLE custom cleats ... and TMZ Sports has the pics. 

As we previously reported, cleat customization is all the rage in the NFL this season -- with huge stars like DeSean Jackson, Marshawn Lynch, Reggie Bush and others going to famous sneaker artists for some added flair. 

And Smith is no exception -- tapping David Zambrano ... aka DEZ ... for several pairs of personalized kicks ... with some of the coolest designs we've ever seen. 

Dez also whipped out a pretty badass pair for Steelers linebacker James Harrison. 

As Deion Sanders once put it ... "If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good. If you play good, they pay good."

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Ray & Janay Rice

Handcuffed and Making Out

After Elevator Fight

12/19/2014 3:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

More ABC News Videos | ABC World News

Ray Rice and then fiancee Janay Palmer were handcuffed the night of the Atlantic City elevator fight ... and even kissed each other in an elevator as police escorted them out of the casino.

The surveillance video posted by ABC News shows cops seated with Ray and Janay at separate tables in the Revel Hotel and Casino.

About 1 minute into the video police start to walk Ray and Janay out, they put them both together in the same elevator. Remember this isn't long after Ray knocked out Janay in an elevator.

Both Ray and Janay were arrested for assault, but charges were quickly dropped against Janay.

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