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NFL's Mike Tolbert Greg Hardy Will Be Heavyweight Champ

8/8/2018 2:45 PM PDT

Mike Tolbert only needed to see 17 seconds of Greg Hardy in an Octagon to make a HUGE prediction about his ex-NFL teammate ... telling TMZ Sports, "I could see him being the heavyweight champ of the UFC one day!"

The ex-Panthers fullback -- who was with Hardy for three seasons in Carolina -- tells us he was so impressed with Greg after his fight Tuesday ... he sees a belt in Hardy's future.

"I think if he stays true to it and puts all of his effort into it and continues training," Tolbert says, "... I think he'll be one of the top names in the UFC the next few years."

It's a big statement from Mike ... considering Greg's two fights in a UFC Octagon only total 74 seconds -- but Tolbert knows firsthand what Greg's capable of achieving.

"One of the most athletic people I've ever played with," Mike says.

Mike's also proud of the way Greg's turned his life around after domestic violence allegations and substance abuse issues ... telling us, "I'm so happy for him that he can better himself."

NFL Owner Jerry Richardson Fined $2.75 Mil For Being a Scumbag at Work

6/28/2018 10:30 AM PDT
Breaking News

Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has been hit with a $2.75 MILLION fine by the NFL for workplace misconduct -- misconduct which included sexual harassment and racist language. 

The NFL says an investigation into Richardson substantiated the claims made by Panthers employees who claimed Richardson sexually harassed female staffers and used the n-word. 

The NFL says the investigation -- led by former U.S. attorney Mary Jo White -- also showed the improper conduct in the organization was limited to Richardson. 

In other words, they don't believe it's a staff-wide problem. 

As for his punishment, the NFL says Richardson's massive fine will mostly go to organizations that support domestic violence and sexual assault victims ... as well as places that fight racial discrimination. 

Richardson is still technically the owner of the Panthers -- but he's agreed to sell the team to David Tepper and that sale is expected to be completed in the next few weeks. 

Antonio Brown & Cam Newton Sit-Ups And Routes In Miami ... 'So Much Juice And Swag!'

6/26/2018 8:20 AM PDT
Breaking News

Antonio Brown and Cam Newton worked out with each other in Miami this week ... and as the Panthers star QB put it -- there was "so much swag and juice" on the videos of it all ... "your phone probably leakin' right now!!"

Before you get ahead of yourself ... Cam's in the middle of a monster 5-year deal with Carolina, and A.B.'s in a huge 4-year contract of his own with the Steelers ... so this ain't a preview of anything.

But still ... it's one of the top QBs in the NFL with the best wideout in the game ... and it's awesome to see.

If you're unfamiliar ... A.B.'s been in Florida this offseason, grinding away with a crazy trainer -- and he's had fellow NFLers tag along sometimes. This week was Cam's turn.

They banged out abs with weights ... then hit the football field, where Newton dropped some heavy long balls to the Pittsburgh wideout.

Sadly ... unless A.B. posts more clips these next few weeks -- you won't see this on a football field again, 'cause there's no way in hell their teams are trading them away.

But, hey, there's always Madden 19!

Carolina Panthers Let 13-Year-Old Girl Practice with Team ... She Hits Hard!!

6/22/2018 1:35 PM PDT
Breaking News

The Carolina Panthers just fulfilled a badass little girl's wish ... and they might have found the team's future linebacker in the process.

And, we're only kinda kidding.

13-year-old Kyleigh -- who's battling a severe endocrine disorder -- worked with Make-a-Wish Foundation to not only MEET the Panthers, but train with them as well ... and she crushed it. 

Superstar linebacker Thomas Davis hooked Kyleigh up with a helmet, jersey, gloves and team uni ... and let her rip into one of Carolina's OTA practices.

Turns out, she's pretty damn good.

"Kyleigh hit harder than Cap! Kyleigh hit harder than Cap!" Davis said, referring to DB Captain Munnerlyn.

Kyleigh's a legit athlete ... having won two wrestling championships ... and T.D. says the Panthers can learn as much from her as she can learn from them.

"She's a champion ... and when you have championship pedigree, I feel like it rubs off on everybody and she definitely rubbed off on a lot of us."

Carolina Panthers To Be Sold to New Owner ... Not Diddy

5/15/2018 6:05 AM PDT
Breaking News

Was Diddy successful in his bid to buy the Carolina Panthers? Uh uh, uh uh.  

Despite teaming up with Philadelphia 76ers owner Michael Rubin, Diddy's ownership group was NOT selected to purchase the NFL team ... instead, the new owner will be hedge fund manager David Tepper

Remember, Diddy publicly said he wanted to be the first black owner in the NFL -- and hoped the move would inspire and empower black America. 

He even got support from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft who said, "I'm a big fan of his."

But it was all for naught ... with Tepper reportedly sealing the purchase for more than $2 BILLION from Jerry Richardson, who paid $206 million for the rights to start the team in 1993. 

As for Tepper, he's not exactly an outsider ... he was already a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

The next step for Tepper ... league owners would vote to approve the sale later this month -- it's pretty much just a formality at this point. Consider it a done deal. 

Christian McCaffrey Sends Panthers Gifts To Hiker He Rescued

5/2/2018 11:58 AM PDT
Breaking News

The 72-year-old man who was rescued by Christian McCaffrey and his brother just got hooked up AGAIN -- this time the NFL star sent AWESOME Panthers gifts to celebrate being discharged from the hospital. 

As we previously reported, Christian -- along with his brothers and friends -- spotted 72-year-old Dan Smoker, who had suffered serious injuries after falling 20 feet during a hike in Colorado. 

Christian's group rushed to help -- with one of McCaffrey's friends performing chest compressions when the inured man stopped breathing. Christian called 911 and prayed with the man and his grandson until help arrived. 

Smoker suffered major injuries -- including several broken bones and bleeding on the brain -- but he's made a spectacular recovery and was recently released from the hospital. 

To celebrate, Christian sent Dan and his family a gift basket with autographed jerseys and an invite to a Panthers home game! 

Gotta love a story with a happy ending! 

Cam Newton Helps Special Olympics Athletes In Awesome Shopping Spree!

4/13/2018 6:55 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

Cam Newton did a really cool thing in Atlanta on Thursday ... rolling through a DICK'S Sporting Goods store to help a bunch of Special Olympics athletes crush a $200 shopping spree!!!

We're told there were 17 athletes at the store -- all local kids (from the same area where Cam grew up) ranging in age from 5 to 18.

Each athlete got $200 to spend in the store ($3,400 in total) -- from shoes to training gear or jerseys -- and Cam made sure each kid got the best stuff!

In fact, when one of the athletes (a Golden State Warriors fan) was having trouble deciding between a Steph Curry jersey and a Kevin Durant jersey ... Cam helped the guy make up his mind. 

Wanna guess which one he chose?  

BTW, props to Cam, the Cam Newton Foundation and the Special Olympics ... very cool stuff. 

Christian McCaffrey Hiking Accident 911 Call: 'Everybody Say a Prayer'

3/9/2018 12:30 AM PST

TMZ Sports has obtained the harrowing 911 call Christian McCaffrey made to help save a stranger's life ... and it details how serious the accident was.

Christian, a friend, and his brother, Max -- a 49ers WR -- were hiking at Castle Rock, Colorado on March 3 when they spotted a 72-year-old man fall off a cliff ... landing on a rock 12 feet below.

McCaffrey sprang into action ... personally calling 911 and pleading for help to arrive ASAP.

The situation was clearly dire with CM telling the operator, "He's breathing barely."

While they waited for help, Christian can be heard telling people at the scene ... "Everybody say a prayer."

The man was transported to the hospital in critical condition where he remains. The son of the climber credits the guys with saving his dad's life.

Diddy I'm Serious About Buying Panthers ... Doing It For Black America

1/18/2018 11:14 AM PST
Breaking News

Diddy says he's 100% serious about buying the Carolina Panthers, and the reason he's doing it couldn't be more important ... 'cause he says it's all to inspire and empower black America.

Puff sat down with the crew on "The Breakfast Club" when he was asked if there were any updates on his efforts to purchase the squad.

Diddy made it clear it's totally real -- he's putting an investment group together -- and told everyone why he thought it was important for the black community to have NFL ownership.

"It was never about me buying the Panthers, it was always about we. It was always about we need a team. I jumped out there to make sure that they understood that they have to consider some black ownership right now with 80%, 70% of the league being African-American. It's just time."

Diddy goes on to say he gets why some people think he won't be able to do it ... there's a lot of yellow tape -- but it's clear he doesn't think anyone can stop him.

And we already know he won't stop.

T.I. NFL Ownership Sucks ... Here's Why

1/11/2018 7:10 AM PST

T.I. says he does NOT want in on Diddy and Steph Curry's bid to buy the Carolina Panthers ... 'cause owning a team ain't all it's cracked up to be.

The rap star broke it down for us out in Beverly Hills ... telling TMZ Sports he wouldn't wanna blow his bankroll when the league rules with an iron fist.

"I don't wanna spend a bunch of money on something that I can't do what I want, when I want," T.I. said.

"If I spend tens of millions or hundreds of millions, I want full rein and jurisdiction over everything ... you can't do that with the NFL."

Don't get it twisted -- the King of the South says he's glad Steph and Diddy have a real shot to buy the squad ... but he clearly ain't interested in teaming up.

Steph Curry On Buying Panthers: 'I'll Do Whatever it Takes'

1/8/2018 12:34 PM PST
Breaking News

The Carolina Panthers are officially for sale now that their season is over ... and Steph Curry says he's willing to do "whatever it takes" to be one of the team's new owners.

After TMZ Sports caught up with the NBA superstar on Friday and asked about joining Diddy in pursuing the Panthers ... Steph doubled down on his serious interest to reporters at Warriors practice on Monday.

"It's a pretty interesting opportunity. I've had conversations with many people about the right way to go about it and different approaches I can personally take."

Steph says he's already had talks with Diddy about the "different opportunities and options" they can pursue together ... but it definitely sounds like Curry is serious about being involved.

Cam Newton Famous CTE Expert Calls BS ... That's a Concussion

1/8/2018 6:29 AM PST
Breaking News

The co-founder of the Boston University CTE Center believes Cam Newton suffered a concussion during Sunday's NFL playoff game ... and says Cam's excuse for going back in the game is a joke. 

The Panthers QB was rocked in the 4th quarter of the Wild Card game against the Saints -- collapsing while jogging toward the sideline. 

He was examined by medical personnel and was cleared to reenter the game. Newton later said he did NOT feel like he had a concussion, but suffered an eye injury from his helmet slipping down. 


Enter Chris Nowinski, Ph.D. -- one of the most famous and esteemed CTE experts in the world ... who also played college football and wrestled for the WWE. 

"This 'Cam Newton's visor poked him in the eye' is the greatest storyline in the history of sports," Nowinski said. 

"And I'm saying that as a former WWE wrestler. Watch the video, you don't collapse after that him because you need ice on your face. It's a #concussion."

Diddy Full Support from Al Sharpton ... 'Perfect' for NFL

12/21/2017 6:21 AM PST

Diddy has another big supporter in his corner in his quest for NFL ownership -- with Al Sharpton saying the business mogul could fix a BUNCH of the league's PR problems. 

"He would be the perfect mixture of business acumen and pizzazz," Sharpton said -- pointing to Diddy's success in music and fashion. 

Sharpton also thinks Colin Kaepernick deserves a place at the owner's table -- saying his knowledge as a "football scholar" would pair perfectly with Diddy. 

But most importantly, Sharpton says -- the two men could break NFL owners out of "last century mentality and culture."

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