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Ray Rice

'I Understand Why People Commit Suicide'

2/28/2015 3:37 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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Ray Rice says he felt so terrible after the public backlash following last year's elevator attack  ... that "I almost felt like at one point that it wasn't worth living."

Rice sat down with the Baltimore Sun ... and says he was emotionally devastated after the video went public.

"The big picture of it all, being the person that I am, I really felt horrible. You almost want to punish yourself. I know I'm never going to win the battle of public opinion. Honestly, I almost felt like at one point that it wasn't worth living. I see why people commit suicide."

Rice continued, "It hurt that bad. I was low, real low. It hurt that bad because you worked your whole life to do all the right things and then you're the world's most hated person. It was really tough. My daughter, oh Lord, I grew up without a father, there's no way I could check out on my own family."

"Time does heal everything, but I don't think people are going to forget this. I want people to not forget about the incident, but I want people to see there's a human being on the other side. This is not a monster, a guy who's a repeat offender. I'm not the guy they stereotype me to be. I'm not excusing what I did."

Terrell Suggs

Sues Dead Agent

You Left Me Out In the Cold

2/15/2015 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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NFL stud Terrell Suggs is suing his former agent ... who died in 2011 ... claiming he shouldn't have to keep paying commission from his $62 million contract -- because he's been useless ever since he passed away.  

According to docs filed in federal court in Virginia and obtained by TMZ Sports, Suggs sued the estate of former super agent Gary Wichard ... the guy who negotiated Terrell's mega-contract with the Baltimore Ravens in 2009.   

Suggs says he was obligated to pay Wichard 3% of his salary for the entirety of his deal -- but in exchange, Wichard's agency would actively manage his career and take care of everything from seeking endorsement deals to booking doctor appointments. 

But when Wichard passed in 2011, Suggs says the agency kicked T-Sizzle to an "inexperienced and unqualified agent." 

Suggs says the new agent completely dropped the ball -- and when he had his best season in 2011, the agent failed to score him any major endorsement deals that usually result from "such outstanding on-field play."

There's more ... when Suggs tore his achilles in 2012, Terrell says he leaned on his agent to "take the lead on contacting doctors, setting up appointments, coordinating rehabilitation, and all other related matters" ... but got no help.  

Despite the allegations, Wichard's estate has demanded $192k from Suggs, which he refused to pay. The dispute went to an arbitrator -- who ultimately ruled against Suggs.

Now, Suggs is taking the matter to court -- hoping a federal judge will throw out the arbitrator's decision and wipe his balance to zero.  

We reached out to Wichard's estate for comment -- so far, no word back. 

Ray Rice

Apologizes to Baltimore

For 'Horrible Mistake I Made'

2/13/2015 5:56 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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With the one year anniversary of his infamous elevator incident coming up, Ray Rice has issued an apology to the city of Baltimore ... saying, "I apologize for the horrible mistake I made."

In an open letter which begins "Dear Baltimore," Rice says ... "This is not a farewell or goodbye. The last seven years that my family and I have spent in Baltimore have by far been the best of our lives."

He goes on ... "To all the kids who looked up to me, I’m truly sorry for letting you down, but I hope it’s helped you learn that one bad decision can turn your dream into a nightmare."

"There is no excuse for domestic violence, and I apologize for the horrible mistake I made. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me, and I hope to make a positive difference in people’s lives by raising awareness of this issue."

"Thank you, Baltimore Ravens, for all you have done for my family and I. I’m very grateful to Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh, and everyone at 1 Winning Drive. I love you all very much, and I’ll always be proud to say I played for the Baltimore Ravens."

It's interesting Rice thanks Bisciotti -- since the Baltimore Ravens owner essentially backstabbed him ... by accusing Ray of lying after he told Ray he had his back. 

As it turns out, it seems Ray never lied -- and the organization essentially hung him out to dry. 

Ray Rice

GETS $1 MILLION CONTRACT OFFER

... For Football Gig

2/13/2015 12:35 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0212_ray_rice_pro_league_tmzRay Rice has just received a $1 MILLION contract offer from a fantasy football website hoping to sign him as a spokesperson ... but there's a catch -- if you hit your wife, we get our money back. 

TMZ Sports has learned ... Rice has been contacted by ProDraftLeague.com to be an official PRO Draft League Fantasy Insider.

CEO Mark Tadros tells TMZ, "Mr. Rice has shown deep remorse for his act of domestic violence and I feel he deserves a second chance."

We're told the job is a 1-year gig which pays a $500k base salary and includes another $500k in bonuses based on membership milestones. 

Rice's job obligations would include: 

-- 2 TV commercials
-- 2 viral videos
-- 1 photo shoot
-- 30 media interviews
-- weekly column with personal analysis on which NFL players to play
-- field reporter work, interviewing various NFL players for the site

Now for the catch -- "It's been one year since Mr. Rice physically assaulted his wife and we are very confident that he will not do it again," Tadros says.

"But in the event that he does while being employed by Pro Draft League, his contract will be immediately terminated and the entire $500k must be returned PLUS an additional $500k in damages that our brand will incur for being associated with Mr. Rice."

So far, no word if Rice plans on accepting the offer. 

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.
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