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NFL Linebacker

Killed in 100 MPH Car Crash

1 Other Driver Dies, Another Hospitalized

11/18/2013 4:01 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
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Thomas Howard – an NFL linebacker who was cut by the Falcons last week – killed himself and another person this morning when he slammed into a big rig truck at more than 100MPH ... officials say.

Witnesses told the CHP ... Howard -- a 2nd round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft -- was blazing down a highway in Oakland, CA when he lost control of his BMW 750Li and smashed into the back of a semi.

Howard's car went airborne and flew across the center median -- and eventually collided with a Chevy Monte Carlo AND a Honda CR-V.

The collision was bad, both Howard and the driver of the Honda -- a 55-year-old man -- died at the scene.

The driver of the Chevy was transported to a nearby hospital. The condition of the semi driver is unknown.

30-year-old Howard was drafted by the Oakland Raiders and blossomed into a star. He also played for the Bengals and most recently the Falcons. He was cut by ATL on November 12.

Story developing ...

Adam 'Pacman' Jones

Not Guilty

Vindicated in Woman Punching Case

10/8/2013 2:15 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
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Adam "Pacman" Jones was found not guilty today of punching a woman at an Ohio nightclub ... and surveillance video of the whole confrontation may be what saved his frequently arrested ass.

A judge ruled in Jones' favor in the misdemeanor assault case stemming from the June 5 incident ... where he appeared to punch, or at least slap, the alleged victim as she stood in an outdoor area of the club.

But the attorney for the Cincinnati Bengals cornerback argued Jones was only acting in self-defense because the woman had hit him with a beer bottle.

The surveillance video clearly shows her making the first move -- and although prosecutors claimed Jones started everything by calling the woman and her friends "fat and ugly" ... that wasn't enough to convict.

Translation -- the judge told the woman to follow 3rd grade rules: Sticks and stones ...

Pacman Jones

Makes It Rain With The Homeless

Still Owes $11 Mil to Strip Club Shooting Victims

10/1/2013 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details
0930-adam-pacman-jones-gettyGood News -- Adam "Pacman" Jones dished out a bunch of $100 bills to homeless people yesterday.

Bad News -- He still owes more than $11 million to the victims of a 2007 strip club shooting that left 2 men wounded, 1 of whom was paralyzed from the waist down.

The Cincinnati Bengals defensive back tweeted about his good deeds ... writing, "I just give 15 homeless people a 100 next I'm pay for 15 mothers bills that's in need."

He added, "That's what I'm doing for birthday. CauseI'mblessed."

It's a great gesture ... we support helping the homeless ... but there's a reason the Nevada court  ordered Jones to fork over millions to the shooting victims -- they need $$$ too.

In fact, just last year, a lawyer for one of the victims told a media outlet he was happy about the ruling because the victim could use the money to buy better medical equipment.

Of course, the strip club incident is infamous -- a scuffle broke out after Pacman "made it rain" and someone in his entourage fired gunshots that struck two bouncers.

Jones denied having a role in the shooting -- but nevertheless, he's still on the hook -- and sources tell us he has yet to settle his debt.

Adam 'Pacman' Jones

Arrested

Allegedly Ripped Cops During DUI Stop

9/23/2013 12:40 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
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Adam "Pacman" Jones -- aka the NFL's version of  DMX -- was arrested again, this time during a DUI stop where he wasn't even the suspect ... for once.

Jones was the passenger in a car Ohio State Patrol pulled over early Monday morning -- and he reportedly mouthed off to officers while they were conducting a field sobriety test on the woman was driving.

The Cincinnati Bengals' star cornerback was arrested for disorderly conduct and released. The driver was also arrested for OVI ... operating a vehicle impaired.

Jones has a string of legal issues -- 8 arrests since entering the league 2005 -- and could be suspended by the league or the team for this latest one.

Most recently he was caught on surveillance cameras hitting a woman outside a nightclub back in June -- and already has an Oct. 7 court date for that case.

'MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL'

Steelers vs. Bengals (MASCOTS)

WHO'D WIN IN A FIGHT?

9/16/2013 1:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
0916_monday_night_mascots_v2Here's the handsome Pittsburgh Steelers' Mascot "Steely McBeem" smiling for the camera (left) -- and the ferocious Cincinnati Bengals' mascot "Who Dey" pumping up the crowd (right). 

The two teams are set to face off on "Monday Night Football" tonight -- but the real question is ...

Linebacker Aaron Maybin

Art Business Is BOOMING

After 'Hard Knocks' Rejection

8/21/2013 11:02 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
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Aaron Maybin's career took a surprising turn for the better last night -- 'cause after the linebacker was 86'd from the Cincinnati Bengals on "Hard Knocks," demand for his artwork went through the roof ... TMZ has learned. 

Maybin's demise from the team was chronicled on the HBO docu-series last night -- along with his passion for painting. Cameras rolled as he worked on two pieces ... and his stuff was actually pretty good.

In fact, after the show ... Maybin tells TMZ his online gallery had “one of, if not THE biggest nights” of sales he’s ever seen. 

AM says he was bummed out that his release from the team was televised -- telling us, "I turned my phone off last night, I just didn’t want to talk to anyone.” But when he turned it back on, Aaron says he was bombarded with messages from people asking how to get their hands on his artwork. 

Maybin says he's feeling much better about his future today -- saying, "Regardless of whatever happens football-wise, I'm probably gonna make more money in my art career."

Dude could have a point -- we're told some of Aaron's pieces have sold for up to $20,000.

'Hard Knocks'

Broken Leg Rookie Vows

I'M COMING BACK

8/17/2013 12:43 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE


You saw the injury ... you saw the tears ... but Cincinnati Bengals lineman Larry Black tells TMZ he is DETERMINED to get back into the NFL after mangling his leg in a freak accident captured on "Hard Knocks."

Millions watched as Black's promising rookie campaign came to a heart wrenching end last week when he suffered a dislocated ankle and broken fibula during a routine practice drill.

The big man's tearful phone call to his parents to pick him up from the hospital was... gulp, tissue... was the most poignant scene in the gritty behind the scenes show's history.

"The outpouring of support has been crazy ... thousands of tweets and letters coming from all over the world."

Black says doctors estimate his recovery will take between 6 and 12 months ... but he's confident, the injury won't stop him from pursuing his NFL dreams.

"If for some reason I don’t make it back – I've got a degree in Sports Management from Indiana and I’ll try to get a job with either a college or pro team helping to work with the athletes."

"But honestly I’m not even thinking about that right now.  I’m just focused on getting back as quickly as possible.  I’ll definitely be back."

There's a silver lining for the big man, who was an undrafted free agent ... because the injury was sustained on the field, he'll still get paid for the season -- and will pull in a figure just north of $200k ... in addition to his medical care.

In the meantime, Black says he's still rooting hard for the orange and black -- telling us he expects nothing less than a Super Bowl season.

As for Black's coach -- Marvin Lewis tells TMZ, "It’s an unfortunate thing. He’s a good kid and a good prospect. I met his family the other day. Guys get hurt, but it is something he can come back from. He gets that medical redshirt, and we’ll see where he goes from there.”

Adam 'Pacman' Jones

Pleads NOT GUILTY

to Woman Punching

6/11/2013 10:14 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news
0611-pacman-jones-gettyCincinnati Bengals star Pacman Jones just pleaded NOT GUILTY to assault ... after allegedly socking a woman in the face outside of a Cincinnati nightclub last week.

Jones insists he was "protecting himself" during the June 5 incident ... after a woman appeared to pour a drink on the 29-year-old cornerback outside of a Cincinnati nightclub.

Just yesterday, surveillance video of the incident surfaced ... appearing to show the woman lunging toward Jones with a drink in her hand. The person believed to be Jones reacts by clocking her in the face ... hard.

The woman pressed assault charges ... police characterized her injuries as minor ... and just yesterday, Pac turned himself in to police. 

Now, with Jones entering a not guilty plea ... it's clear he's digging in for a legal war. 

Adam 'Pacman' Jones

EXPLOSIVE VIDEO

NFL Star Appears to Punch Woman In Face

6/10/2013 2:50 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
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New surveillance footage has surfaced appearing to show NFL star Adam "Pacman" Jones bashing a woman in the face outside of an Ohio nightclub after she seemingly poured a drink on him.

Pacman insists he was merely "protecting himself" during the Wednesday night altercation outside of a Cincinnati nightclub ... and judging from the video, it seems the woman made the first aggressive move.

The footage (around the 1:55 mark) shows a woman reaching over to Pacman with what appears to be a drink in her hand.  It seems the woman poured her drink on Jones ... and he reacted by unleashing a punch to her head.

The woman filed a police report accusing Jones of assault -- and earlier today, the Cincinnati Bengals player turned himself in.

Pacman has defended himself on Twitter -- writing, "Just got arrested for protecting myself ...  I will not let this break me or change what I have work so hard for ... ."

Pacman Jones vs. Chad Johnson

WHO'D YOU RATHER?

6/10/2013 1:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
0610_pacman_jones_chad_johnson_ratherCincinnati Bengals cornerback Pacman Jones (29) and former Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson (35) have both found themselves on the wrong side of the law in the past 24 hours.

Question is ... 

Nick Lachey Accuser

He Choked Me And

Called My Wife a B*tch

12/4/2012 6:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
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Nick Lachey isn't just a heckler ... he CHOKED a San Diego Chargers fan at Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday and called the guy's wife a "f**king b*tch" ... this according to multiple people involved in the incident ... but Nick says it's all BS.

TMZ has obtained new video ... which shows Lachey getting aggressive with a Chargers fan who was wearing an Igor Olshansky #99 jersey (Igor played for SD from 2004 to 2008). 

We spoke to the guy in the jersey ... who tells us Lachey and his buddies -- all die-hard Bengals fans -- had been talking trash to him about the jersey for most of the 2nd half of the game.

The Chargers fan says Lachey made one particularly offensive comment about Olshansky that crossed the line ... and that's when the fan's wife shot back to Nick, "Well, he lasted longer than your boy band."

We're told Lachey flipped out and called the wife a "f**king b*tch" ... along with "a host of other profanities."

Tensions exploded ... and the Chargers fan says Nick lunged towards him ... grabbed him by the throat and shoved him to the ground. The fight can be seen in the footage obtained by TMZ.

As we previously reported, stadium security quickly responded and ejected Nick and his buddies. The Chargers fans were NOT asked to leave.

After the incident, Nick went to Twitter and BRAGGED about the situation -- saying, "Just got kicked out of the chargers stadium and couldn't be prouder! Go Cincy Bengals."

He later acknowledged the altercation ... tweeting, "i simply don't appreciate someone turning around and putting their finger in my face. call me crazy, but that deserved a reaction."

We're told the Chargers fan plans to file a police report against Lachey.

Nick's rep tells TMZ, “This was a verbal exchange between sports fans of opposing teams that went too far. While Nick isn't proud of what happened, he did not choke anyone or use defamatory language to any women at the stadium -- which the video tape clearly supports."

The rep also says police interviewed Nick outside the stadium and released him without charges.

Nick Lachey

Kicked Out of NFL Game

for Talking Smack [Update]

12/3/2012 2:20 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
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2:15 PM PT --
Lachey has issued a statement about the situation on Twitter ... saying, "For the record, i was not kicked out of the chargers game for excessive 'trash talking'. no, that honor belonged to the guy in front of me!"

He added, "i simply don't appreciate someone turning around and putting their finger in my face. call me crazy, but that deserved a reaction."

Lachey also praised Chargers fans ... saying, "aside from a few exceptions, i had a great time hanging with Charger fans all afternoon. honestly, some of the nicest fans around." 

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Nick Lachey -- a HUGE Cincinnati Bengals fan -- was escorted out of the stands at the San Diego Chargers football game this weekend ... after security decided his TRASH TALK crossed the line.

It's unclear exactly what Nick said to piss off stadium security ... but after he was ejected, the former boy-bander actually BRAGGED about getting the boot, tweeting:

"Just got kicked out of the chargers stadium and couldn't be prouder! Go Cincy Bengals"

A short time later, AFTER Cincy defeated the crappy Chargers, Lachey tweeted again:

"Bengals win again. i'd talk trash to everyone in SD, but what's the point? you already had me kicked out of the stadium and you still lost."

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As for the kid in the Chargers gear in the photo with Nick, he was just a random fan -- and after the game, the kid's dad fired off a tweet to Lachey:

"Thanks for taking the pic with my son and being cool to us. Congrats on the Bengals win!"

FYI -- you can probably expect MORE trash talk from Lachey this season, his Bengals are 7-5 and are tied with Pittsburgh in the race for the 2nd Wild Card playoff spot in the AFC.

NFL Star Jerome Simpson

Cops Confiscate 8.5 POUNDS

Of Pot in Drug Sting

9/22/2011 9:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
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Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Jerome Simpson (left) is now the target of a massive drug investigation -- after police confiscated a mind-blowing 8.5 POUNDS of marijuana from his Kentucky home.

To put this in perspective -- casual pot smokers typically purchase by the gram ... and there are over 453 grams in a pound.

According to reports, cops searched Simpson's home after snagging a package that was shipped to his house -- containing 2.5 pounds of Mary Jane -- and then found another 6 pounds of weed, packaging materials, scales, and smoking devices.

A rep for the National Marijuana Initiative -- which coordinates marijuana enforcement operations around the country -- believes the house was set up as a "potential distribution network."

Bengals tackle Anthony Collins (right) was also present when police raided the home -- and he's being investigated as well. Police detained the two players during the search, but neither was arrested.

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