Cleveland Browns linebacker Zac Diles is officially in the fashion game -- and his company is selling an Italian cashmere baseball cap ... FOR $1,200 EACH!!!
TMZ Sports has learned ... Diles is a part owner of Melin ... a company that specializes in high-end designer headwear.
The company uses everything from antique metals to genuine pony hair to pimp out their products -- with the top item, the $1,200 hat, boasting real ostrich leather.
We spoke with Diles who tells us ... his teammates have been incredibly supportive -- with guys like Johnny Manziel, Joe Haden and Donte Whitner rockin' various items.
"It's always great to see guys in the locker room supporting."
Diles says he's incredibly proud of the brand and how it's grown -- saying,"When I put on my Melin hats, I get that sense of achievement. The sense t hat this is earned."
Johnny Manziel Will Do Fine
... But I Want Him to Lose!
12/12/2014 5:59 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The Heisman Fraternity always sticks together ... mostly ... so says football legend Archie Griffin who tells TMZ Sports there's a good reason he hopes Johnny Manziel racks up a big "L" this weekend.
The 2-time Heisman Trophy winner (the only man to ever win twice) was out in NYC yesterday -- and while he wouldn't reveal his favorite for this year's statue, he says all 3 finalists belong at the ceremony.
But when we started talking about Johnny Football -- who won the Heisman during his freshman season at Texas A&M -- Griffin reminded us why he'll be rooting for the other team.
At least for this week.
'They Stole My Manziel Story'
12/11/2014 7:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Fox Sports insider Jay Glazer is FURIOUS with ESPN -- telling TMZ Sports why he believes the network "stole" his exclusive story about Johnny Manziel.
Glazer's beef is all over his report about Manziel getting the starting QB job in Cleveland -- news Jay says he BROKE on Dec. 9th.
Glazer claims ESPN posted the same exact story AFTER he put it up ... but didn't give him credit. Instead, J.G. says the network based the story on unnamed "sources."
When we saw Jay at The Grove in L.A. yesterday, he explained that he's pissed because breaking exclusive stories isn't a hobby, it's his job -- "That's how I provide for my kid."
"In life, you don't steal," Glazer says ... "don't be a thief."
We reached out to ESPN -- but the network had no comment.
Billy Bob Thornton
Hey Browns Fans ...
12/8/2014 6:14 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
They're still in the playoff race (technically), so Cleveland Browns fans need to QUIT THEIR BITCHIN' about the QB situation ... so says Billy Bob Thornton.
Billy Bob -- a huge Colts fan -- was leaving LAX yesterday after Indianapolis beat up on the Brownies ... when we asked if it was time to swap out Hoyer for Johnny Manziel.
Thornton essentially told us to RELAX when it comes to Johnny Football -- "He'll get in there one of these days."
But the best part ... "If I was a Browns fan and I had the record they have right now, I'd just be happy. you know? They're doing OK."
NFL Star Joe Haden
Help from Josh Gordon, Manziel
For Sneaker Shop Opening
12/4/2014 9:24 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Several Cleveland Browns superstars rallied around their teammate Joe Haden to help him open his new sneaker shop -- from Josh Gordon to Johnny Manziel ... and TMZ Sports has the pics.
As we previously reported, Haden opened "The Restock" in Cleveland last weekend ... a store that specializes in rare sneakers.
A bunch of the Browns showed up when Joe opened the doors ... including Josh Gordon, Donte Whitner and Andrew Hawkins. Cleveland Cavs star Tristan Thompson was also on hand.
And we're told the guys weren't just there to browse -- Josh picked up 3 pairs of Jordans ... so did Tristan Thompson. Hawkins ponied up for a pair of Balenciagas ... which ain't cheap.
Other Browns teammates donated signed jerseys to help decorate the store -- including Johnny Manziel, Brian Hoyer, Phil Taylor and more.
We spoke to Joe's business partner David Damier who tells us business has been great so far -- and Joe's extremely grateful for the support from the entire Cleveland community.
BACK TO THE BENCH
... Won't Start This Week
12/3/2014 8:32 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Apparently, LeBron and Drake didn't campaign hard enough ... because Johnny Manziel will NOT start for the Cleveland Browns this weekend ... so says Jay Glazer.
The "NFL on Fox" star says, "The Manziel Era is NOT beginning in Cleveland yet as Brian Hoyer has been informed he will start this weekend vs Indy."
LeBron had told the media his friend Manziel was "ready" to take over if called upon. And after his eyebrow-raising performance last week, it seemed Johnny time was gonna get the nod -- including Drake who flashed the money sign to support his BFF.
Guess he'll just have to wait.
Glazer adds, "Hoyer had widespread support inside the locker room. No brainer according to players in there."
It's Johnny Football Time
12/2/2014 7:16 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Drake wants Johnny Manziel to start in Cleveland this weekend.
How do we know? He told us ... with his hands.
The rapper was leaving Hakkasan restaurant in Beverly Hills Monday when we asked about the QB controversy in Cleveland -- Manziel or Hoyer?
Drake flashed the money sign. Duh.
Of course, Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine says he won't announce the starters until later this week ... but it feels like Manziel's got the edge ... especially with LeBron telling the media he's "ready to go."
Stay tuned ...
Johnny Manziel Accuser
I've Got Pics Of Fight Injuries
11/25/2014 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The man who claims he was attacked by Johnny Manziel and his "entourage" last week says he's still in pain from the alleged hotel beatdown ... and says he's got pics to prove it.
TMZ Sports spoke with Chris Gonos ... who claims his left elbow was jacked up by Johnny's crew during a fight at The 9 hotel in Cleveland late Friday night.
Gonos says the picture shows severe swelling and a nasty bruise -- but claims he also suffered a swollen lip and and injuries to his eye.
Gonos says he's not sure who hit him -- but he's confident the assailant was part of Johnny's crew.
Police are investigating the incident ... but so far, no arrests have been made.
As for Johnny, he tells a very different story ... saying he was "accosted by a very aggressive man and his associates" at the hotel that night.
Manziel also says he was never rolling with an "entourage."
I Was Accosted
By an Aggressive Fan
11/24/2014 2:19 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Johnny Manziel is painting a completely different picture of the alleged fight that he was involved in over the weekend ... instead claiming he was the victim of an aggressive fan.
Manziel who is being accused of taking part in the beatdown of a fan who claims he was just trying to shake his hand -- said through his agent on Monday that there was no "entourage" with Manziel on the night in question.
Instead, Manziel -- through his agent, Erik Burkhardt -- claims he and his roommate were returning from dinner with Johnny's mom when they were "accosted by a very aggressive man and his associates."
Manziel claims he let Browns management know about the incident "immediately."
The accuser, Chris Gonos, previously told TMZ Sports he was simply trying to shake Manziel's hand when Johnny Football's entourage jumped him.
No arrests were made at the time, but police are investigating.
NFL Star Joe Haden
Opening Dope Sneak Shop
... On Black Friday
11/21/2014 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Cleveland Browns superstar Joe Haden is such a huge sneakerhead -- HE JUST BOUGHT AN ENTIRE STORE ... and TMZ Sports has learned he's having a massive grand opening party on Black Friday!
Here's what we know ... Haden has been wanting to get into the shoe biz for a while -- and bought out an existing sneaker shop in downtown Cleveland, which he renamed "The Restock."
We spoke to Joe's business partner David Damier, who tells us ... "It's a consignment-based store. We specialize in offering shoes that you can no longer find in stores. Rare shoes are our specialty."
Doors open on Black Friday -- and David says Joe will definitely be on hand to celebrate ... even though the Browns have a game in Atlanta that weekend.
"They don't fly out until Saturday, so Joe will definitely be there. There will be a bunch of athletes there."
No word if Haden will be selling anything from his personal collection -- which is stocked with some of the most sought-after sneakers ever made ... including Air Yeezys, South Beach LeBrons, Corks, and some ultra-rare Air Jordan VIIs.
Ends Car Dealership Job
'He Was a Helluva Salesman'
11/17/2014 6:09 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Josh Gordon's 10-week stint at an Ohio car dealership was NO JOKE ... the guy worked his ass off and was a big part in several car sales ... multiple employees tell TMZ Sports.
The Cleveland Browns wide receiver has been reinstated -- and is officially back with the team -- which means he will no longer be working with the sales team at Sarchione Auto Group in Ohio.
It seemed like the gig was a joke at first ... but we're told Gordon took the job seriously and treated the whole thing like a very serious apprenticeship.
"He was totally into it," one employee tells us ... "He was very patient with customers. He answered their questions. Josh knows a lot about cars."
We're told Josh often shadowed one of the owners -- spending most of his time at the Chevrolet dealership -- and showed real potential when it came to working in the car biz.
"He was working a full schedule. 8AM to 8PM Mondays and Thursdays ... 8AM to 6PM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. He also worked 8-3 on Saturdays."
We're told several of Gordon's teammates visited the WR on the lot -- unclear if any of them actually bought a car.
But get this ... Cleveland Cavs player Mike Miller leased a car from the dealership ... and we're told Gordon had a lot to do with the sale.
"You can tell he's looking at the business long term. He's a really nice kid."
Hot GF Scores Modeling Gig
11/4/2014 12:35 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Johnny Manziel's career might be in idle ... but his super hot GF is crushing it -- scoring a modeling gig with a clothing company ... TMZ Sports has learned.
Colleen Crowley just inked a deal with a brand called No Rulez NY -- which makes hats, shirts, sweaters, etc. -- and she's already knocked out a photo sesh featuring some of the items.
The man behind the company is 19-year-old Brian Wolfe -- who says he met Crowley through a mutual friend earlier this year and thought she'd be a perfect fit for the brand.
So far, the decision to sign Crowley is already paying off ... with not only Manziel sporting the gear, but Browns teammate Donte Whitner has also been seen rockin' the clothing out in public.
Wolfe says he does not have a deal with Manziel but hopes he can work out a deal with 35 in the future -- "I’m such a fan. He’s such a motivator for kids to make it and become successful. It would be an honor if he’d endorse it."
Curses Out Referee
At Cavaliers Game
10/31/2014 3:35 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
****** WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE ******
Johnny Manziel went on a cursing rant on an NBA referee during LeBron James' homecoming game in Cleveland last night ... and his rage was captured on video.
Johnny Football was pissed off after what he clearly felt was a BAD call, and repeatedly yelled -- from his courtside seat -- "Bulls**t" and "F**k" ... for a solid minute.
Here's the question, though -- is Manziel really that passionate about Cavaliers hoops ... or does the Browns backup QB just want Cleveland fans to THINK he loves 'em that much?