Don't count out Michael Vick just yet -- the guy could still be a STARTER in the NFL, so says the former Governor of Pennsylvania ... who says he wishes Vick well after his stint in Philly.
FYI -- Vick is a free agent and there's rumors that he's accepted the fact he might have to resign himself to being a backup if he wants to keep playing in the league.
But ex-Gov. Ed Rendell is taking issue with that ... telling us the guy could still be the #1 for a handful of teams including the Jets, Raiders and Vikings.
His sports knowledge is actually pretty damn impressive for a politician (especially when he starts talking about the 76ers).
Terrell Owens should take note -- not every ex-Eagle gets run out of town.
Throwin' Gang Signs
with Rapper Nipsey Hussle
3/10/2014 1:21 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson is a Crip ... and he ain't afraid to show it -- flashing gang signs with rapper (and fellow Crip) Nipsey Hussle.
Jackson and Nipsey were hanging out after a show in Philadelphia this weekend ... when they posed for a photo -- and DeSean threw a hand signal for Rollin' 40s Crips.
FYI -- Nipsey is a member of the Rollin' 60s Crips.
It ain't the first time Jackson has thrown the sign in public -- in fact, this past football season, he threw up the sign during a game against the Washington Redskins.
1:44 PM PT -- Our bad ... initially, we reported DeSean was at the YG party in L.A. In fact, the YG party was the following night in L.A.
Nipsey was at the YG party. DeSean was not.
Clowney Needs to Prove Himself
ON THE FIELD!
2/26/2014 6:58 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
He's big, he's strong and he's fast as hell ... but it doesn't mean JACK SQUAT until Jadeveon Clowney proves himself on Sundays ... so says DeSean Jackson.
The Philadelphia Eagles speedster was leaving Supperclub in L.A. last night -- when we asked if he was impressed with Clowney's blazing fast 40-yard dash time at the NFL combine.
"Faster than me? I don't think so," Jackson said.
"I can just congratulate him for being 260 and doing his thing ... but this Jackson speed right here is rollin' on anything in the NFL ... put it that way, you feel me?"
We feel you.
There's more ... "I just need to see him get to the NFL and do his thing ... the NFL is a big man sport."
"I know he's 260 ... that fast sh*t cool ... but I got homies right here that's bigger than that, that poundin' sh*t in the streets. So, if he gonna get on that field and pound sh*t, I can't do nothing but respect him."
*Note -- we know our guy totally botched Jadeveon's name ... sorry.
I Buried the Hatchet with McNabb
And I'm Still Jacked
2/26/2014 12:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The feud that divided the Eagles is officially OVER .... so says Terrell Owens who tells TMZ Sports he's buried the hatchet with Donovan McNabb ... ten years after they were at each other's throats.
T.O. was out in Venice to shoot a promo for a piece of workout equipment called "The Rack" -- dude's still frickin' ripped btw -- when we asked about the beef with his old QB.
FYI -- McNabb and Owens hated each other back in the day ... and famously went after each other in the media after losing the Super Bowl.
But the beef has been dying down in recent years ... and McNabb even considered attending an event that honored Owens in Philly earlier this month.
Despite the olive branch, T.O. couldn't help himself from taking one last shot at D.M. ... and it's all over soup. Check out the clip.
Bow Wow to Mike Vick:
I CAN'T HELP YOU SELL BRUSHES
To Black People
2/25/2014 12:35 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Bad news for Mike Vick ... his friend Bow Wow won't be helping him sell special hair brushes to black people ... after a high-profile business deal fell through, TMZ Sports has learned.
It was just last year that Vick announced plans to release a line of "wave brushes" called WaveMasterz -- brushes that come complete with a mirror on the back so users can ensure they look fresh at all times.
Bow Wow was reportedly involved in the project ... and at one point, his name was on the top of the WaveMasterz website ... but now, the rapper tells us the plans have changed.
"It was supposed to go down," Bow Wow said ... "but all deals don't go down the way you want them to."
Bow Wow says he didn't want to spread himself too thin -- since he's already involved in a clothing line, a vodka line and hosting "106 and Park" on BET.
BW -- who was at Last Kings clothing store in L.A. -- said there are no hard feelings between him and the QB ... explaining, "Michael Vick is still a close friend of mine, I wish him the best."
Considered Terrell Owens Roast
Then Backed Out
2/21/2014 3:34 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Donovan McNabb's people were IN NEGOTIATIONS for the former Philadelphia Eagles QB to appear at the roast of his arch-enemy Terrell Owens Thursday night ... but things fell apart days before the event, TMZ Sports has learned.
We spoke with comic Joe Conklin -- one of the organizers behind the charity event -- who tells us roast honchos initially reached out to McNabb hoping to reunite the former teammates.
We're told McNabb's people responded -- and said D.M. was interested ... for the right price. We're told McNabb's people threw out a number and roast organizers considered it for a couple of days.
But when roast organizers finally called back to agree to Donovan's rate -- the QB changed his mind and decided it wasn't worth it ... and ultimately, didn't appear at the event.
According to Conklin, there was talk that McNabb didn't bail because of T.O. -- but rather because he heard boxer Bernard Hopkins was considering attending the event and he didn't want to be in the same location. FYI -- B-Hop's been talking all sorts of smack about McNabb lately.
We reached out to McNabb's camp for comment -- so far, nothing back.
Ex-NFL Star Brian Westbrook
I CAN STILL FLY
Faster Than Most Running Backs!
2/4/2014 6:23 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
He may be retired, but former Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook says he's still a SPEED DEMON ... and could put up a 40-time that's faster than most pro backs.
In fact, the 34-year-old tells TMZ Sports ... he's FASTER now than he was as a rookie in 2002, when he clocked a 4.57 at the NFL combine.
It's unlikely Westrbrook is thinking about coming out of retirement at this point, but if he's telling the truth ... he would make a HELLUVA flag football teammate.
... if anyone's looking.
There Are 5 Plays I Regret
Like the Time I Snapped a Guy's Finger
1/28/2014 7:27 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Ex-NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski tells TMZ Sports ... there are a handful of dirty plays from his NFL career he wishes he could take back -- like the time he SNAPPED A DUDE'S FINGER!!!
Bill -- one of the most ferocious defensive players of all time -- is out in NYC for the Super Bowl ... and says he still feels bad about the time he was in a pile with running back Dave Meggett, grabbed the guy's finger and "cracked it like a chicken bone."
"I heard it and felt it ... and then heard the scream at the bottom of the pile."
Still, Bill admits, "There are probably 5 plays I'd love to take back ... but I can't."
"I had fun hittin' em though."
Gettin' Cozy with Porn Star
1/26/2014 12:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
With his ex-GF out of the picture (she's all yours Bieber), TMZ Sports has learned Philadelphia Eagles superstar DeSean Jackson has been hangin' out with a new chick in Hawaii ... a bigtime porn star.
We've learned ... DJ's been getting close with Michelle Maylene (34B-24-32) ... star of such films as "Da Vinci Load," "Fine Ass Bitches 4" and "Slant Eye for the Straight Guy 2."
Sources tell TMZ Sports ... the two are not "official" or anything -- just enjoying each other's time. They're currently in Hawaii where DJ is playing in the Pro Bowl.
We broke the story ... DeSean's ex-GF Chantel Jeffries was the passenger in Justin Bieber's Lambo when he was arrested last week.
Apparently, DJ has moved on.
'Villain to Hero Playbook'
8/16/2013 6:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
If you were considered the #1 villain in America ... a dog fighting, law breaking bad guy ... would you pay $111K for an image makeover? Michael Vick sure did ... and it was the best money he ever spent.
TMZ has obtained court documents from Vick's bankruptcy case which show the NFL star paid top dollar for an elite crisis management team in the wake of his dog fighting scandal in 2007 ... and the documents read like a playbook on how to resurrect a shattered image.
Here's how Sitrick & Company executed the greatest image makeover in NFL history:
Step 1 -- "Develop media list and identify friendly media sources."
Translation: Who can we most easily manipulate?
And the media outlets they chose to communicate with -- the "Today" show, "60 Minutes," People Magazine, Newsweek and "Larry King Live."
Step 2 -- Put Vick through intense media training "aimed at regaining initiative in PR war."
Step 3 -- "Prepare list of sympathetic parties in media and community" ... hey, ya gotta know who's on your side.
Step 4 -- Knowing when to shut up. On July 31, 2007 Sitrick advised Vick's legal team on "need to avoid further interviews ahead of planned PR offensive."
Step 5 -- Execute. Vick appeared on "60 Minutes" on August 16. He then faced the media in a news conference on August 27 ... and hit it out of the park, accepting blame, accepting punishment and vowing to learn from the experience.
He appeared on "Larry King Live" later that day.
When Vick emerged from his 19 months in prison, his image had been repaired enough that the Philadelphia Eagles gave him a shot with the team. Two years after that, Vick signed a contract worth up to $100 MILLION.
In the end, Sitrick's services ran Vick a cool $111,317.13.
Best money he ever spent.
FIRED FROM ESPN
Allegedly Called Co-Host 'Uncle Tom'
8/13/2013 11:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Former NFL superstar Hugh Douglas has just been FIRED from his gig on an ESPN show in the wake of reports he called his co-host an "Uncle Tom."
Douglas -- a former Philadelphia Eagles defensive stud -- had co-hosted ESPN's "Numbers Never Lie" ... along with Michael Smith.
But according to several reports, Douglas and Smith got into a heated altercation at the National Association of Black Journalists Convention in Orlando last Tuesday ...with Douglas allegedly hurling the racially charged insult at Smith, who is black.
Douglas never confirmed the incident ... but ESPN had previously told media outlets they were "aware there was a disagreement" between the two men.
Moments ago, ESPN took action -- 86'ing Douglas from the network, effective immediately.
Douglas tweeted about the move -- saying, "I am very disappointed to be leaving ESPN and will have more to say about this situation and my future at the appropriate time."
Riley Cooper's Grandma
He Made His Racist Bed
... He's Gotta Sleep In It
8/3/2013 7:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
N-word hurling Philadelphia Eagles player Riley Cooper isn't getting any sympathy from his own grandma -- who tells TMZ, Cooper screwed up big time ... and it's his mess to clean up.
Riley's Grandma Betty didn't make excuses when we spoke to her ... saying, "[Riley] brought it upon himself and he has to deal with the consequences."
As we reported, Cooper has already taken leave from the Eagles to pursue counseling after his n-word threat at a recent Kenny Chesney concert -- when he said he would fight "every n***er" at the show.
Grandma says Riley was raised in a good household that never condoned racism of any kind -- so she's surprised by his behavior, especially because she says he's never gotten into any kind of trouble before.
That said, Grandma Betty is optimistic about Riley's future, telling us it's good he's nipping this problem in the bud now before it gets any worse.
Granny B, everybody!
Leaves Philadelphia Eagles
After N-Word Threat
8/2/2013 10:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper needs some serious n-word counseling ... so much so he's taken a leave from the team.
A rep for the Eagles was blunt and to the point: "Riley Cooper will be seeking counseling and we have excused him from all team activities."
The rep says Riley needs to understand how his racist threats -- to fight every n***er at the Kenny Chesney concert -- are hurtful.
The team is hedging over whether Cooper will be welcome back.
For his part, Riley says, "The organization and my teammates have been extremely supportive, but I also realize that there are people who will have a tough time forgiving me for what I’ve done. The best thing for me, and for the team, is to step away for a period of time."