Blake Shelton I Forced Cards To Draft Kyler Murray ... Seriously!!!

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I TOLD KEIM!
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Is Blake Shelton the reason Kyler Murray is quarterbacking the Arizona Cardinals?!?

The country star sure made it seem that way when we got him out in L.A. this week ... 'cause he told us he straight-up forced the Cards' GM to take the Oklahoma QB!!!

"I told Steve Keim that we wouldn't be friends anymore if he didn't take [Kyler] No. 1 in the draft," Blake says.

FYI, Blake is a diehard Cards fan -- he says he's backed the team for more than 20 years -- and says he's got a hell of a relationship with A LOT of high-ranking execs on the team.

So, he really might've swayed Steve!!!

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Of course, the pick seems like a no-brainer now (Kyler's KLLIN' it this season) ... but at one point, a lot of people had their doubts about the Heisman Trophy winner.

In fact, Joe Theismann told us way back in April he thought Kyler was making a HUGE mistake by picking football over baseball!!!

SIZE MATTERS
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But, Shelton says he was always super confident that Murray would be a star for his favorite squad ... telling us, "I love Kyler Murray. I love him."

As for what he thinks Kyler is going to accomplish for the Cards this year ... Shelton gave us a big, fat guarantee -- saying Arizona will make the playoffs!!!

And hey, if Blake turns out to be right ... forget "The Voice" -- put him in the freakin' Cardinals war room next to Keim next year!!!

NFL's Darius Philon Alleged Gun Pulling Caught On Surveillance Video ... In Strip Club Parking Lot

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THE SURVEILLANCE VIDEO
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TMZ Sports has obtained surveillance video of the moment NFL D-lineman Darius Philon allegedly pulled a gun on women in a strip club parking lot ... but it's unclear if the guy ever committed the crime.

Earlier this summer ... a woman accused Philon -- a 25-year-old who was playing for the Arizona Cardinals at the time -- of threatening to shoot her and her friend in a strip club parking lot.

In the police report, obtained by TMZ Sports, the woman alleges that on May 17 ... she was dancing at V-Live in Phoenix, Arizona when Darius asked her and her friend to come to his car so he could pay her.

She alleges that when they got to his car ... he pulled a gun on them, pointed it at their chests and said, "Which one of you wants a bullet?"

She says when she told him to put the gun down and went to the other side of her friend ... he pointed the gun at her a second time.

In the surveillance video ... you can see Philon clearly speaking with the two women -- but it's difficult to tell if he ever brandishes a weapon.

Cops launched an investigation ... and eventually arrested Philon on Aug. 9 -- booking the 6-foot-1, 286-pounder for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

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A day later, the Cardinals cut Philon.

But, Philon is still waiting to receive formal charges in the case ... a rep for the Maricopa County Attorney's office tells us, "We received the case for review less than a week ago and are currently reviewing it for a charging decision."

Philon -- who's still an NFL free agent searching for another team -- signed a 2-year deal worth $10 MILLION with the Cards just months before his August release.

In his 4-year career, Philon has started 19 games and piled up 9.5 sacks.

NFL's Darius Philon Arrested For Aggravated Assault W/ Deadly Weapon Allegedly Threatened To Shoot Woman

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TMZ Sports

Arizona Cardinals defensive end Darius Philon was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon ... after allegedly threatening to shoot a woman outside a strip club, TMZ Sports has learned.

Philon -- a 25-year-old who was a 6th round draft pick in 2015 -- was arrested in Phoenix and taken to the Maricopa County Jail Friday morning.

The 6'1", 286-lb. DE is accused of pointing a handgun at a dancer in the parking lot of the VLive strip club on May 17 around 2:15 AM ... according to a police report.

The alleged victim told cops that Philon requested she and another female companion accompany him out to his vehicle where he kept his money. While at his white BMW, Darius allegedly grabbed a black handgun and pointed it at the alleged victims chest ... while saying "which one of you wants a bullet?"

Darius allegedly lowered the weapon ... before again allegedly pointing it at the woman.

The alleged victim told cops she retreated to the club ... and Philon drove away, according to the report.

The alleged victim told police Philon returned to the club the following night -- telling her he "wanted to make things right -- and asked her to leave with him. She says she denied the request, and attempted to walk away … but claims Darius grabbed her by the arm and prevented her from leaving.

She told cops she was eventually able to get away from him and return to work … however, she says he followed her around for approximately 30 minutes before leaving the club.

The alleged victim did not immediately report the incident to cops. She waited several weeks before going to Phoenix PD … who then launched an investigation.

PPD concluded their investigation and arrested Philon Friday around 11 AM.

Philon -- who signed a 2-year $10 million contract earlier this year -- is in his 5th season in the NFL. Prior to joining the Cards, he played for the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers. He racked up 8.5 sacks over the last 2 years.

Philon is still currently behind bars … and is set to appear before a judge on Saturday

7:31 PM PT -- The Cardinals announced that they have cut Darius Philon.

Chandler Jones Predicts Huge Year For Kyler Murray 'He's Going To Shock The World!'

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SIZE DON'T MATTER
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One the best defensive players in the NFL says Kyler Murray is going to KILL it in his rookie season ... 'cause Chandler Jones tells TMZ Sports the QB is "going to shock the world!"

"You'll see," Chandler says.

The Cardinals took the Heisman Trophy winner with the No. 1 overall pick last April ... but some in the NFL world have questions about his future because the guy is just 5'10", 207 pounds.

But, when we got Chandler out at L.A. Live on Wednesday ... he told us he's got NO doubts his new teammate is going to be just fine.

"Size don't matter," Chandler says. "I mean, look at Russell Wilson."

In fact, Chandler says he has no problems with Kyler having the goal of leading the Cards to the Super Bowl this season ... saying, "He's very mature."

"People talk about his speed and how fast he is -- it's not about his speed," Chandler adds ... "He throws accurate balls. He's going to shock the world! You'll see."

By the way ... ya gotta see how our photog's interview with Chandler ended -- it involves a hilarious phone call with the pass rusher's super famous brother, Jon Jones!!!

Chandler Jones On Jon Jones I'd Beat His Ass!!! ... 'He Knows That!'

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BEATIN' UP BIG BRO
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Chandler Jones would BEAT THE HELL out of his famous UFC brother, Jon Jones ... so says the Arizona Cardinals DE himself, who tells TMZ Sports, "I'll beat Jon Bones' ass!!"

"Listen, he has the longest arms in the UFC," Chandler says ... "My arms are longer than his. That's my brother, I love him to death, but I'll kick his ass!"

The clip is hilarious ... but Chandler seems dead serious -- telling us his older brother would take the first real L of his career if the two really did square up.

And why? Chandler says it's all about his power.

"I would wrestle him. I'm more strong than he is," Chandler says ... "Listen, I'm not trying to brag, but I go against 300-pound men every day. Jon Bones is like, what, 235?"

Jon fights at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds ... while Chandler plays at 6-foot-5, 265 pounds. The tale of the tape is interesting ...

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As for Jon's input on the matter, Chandler says even the UFC superstar knows he'd get wrecked in the bro-on-bro fight!!

"Easy work," Chandler says.

BONUS -- Chandler also had some trash talk for Jon's rival, Daniel Cormier ... and thinks he'd be able to beat up Cormier in a fight too!!!!

Brett Hundley Gunning For Cards' Starting QB Job ... Despite Kyler Murray Pick

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STILL FIGHTING TO START
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Kyler Murray ain't going to have a cakewalk to the Arizona Cardinals' starting QB spot ... so says Brett Hundley, who tells TMZ Sports, "My No. 1 goal is to get that starting job."

"I don't play to be second," Hundley says.

Don't get it twisted ... Brett still respects the hell out of Kyler, saying the Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall draft pick is an "unbelievable guy" and a "very good young man."

But, Brett -- who signed with the Cards this offseason after spending the 2018 season as Russell Wilson's backup in Seattle -- says he wants to be Kliff Kingsbury's No. 1 guy in the desert.

"For me, my goal always has been to start, no matter where I'm at, no matter what the position is in," Hundley says ... "You know, I don't play to be second."

The competition will officially kick off in August during training camp ... but, in the meantime, Hundley's been enjoying his offseason with some serious traveling.

SO MUCH LEFT TO SEE
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The 26-year-old has been moving all around Israel and Greece this month, and says he's still got trips planned for Egypt and South Africa in the coming weeks.

Brett tells us he's really fallen in love with all the globetrotting ... and says this will be his hobby once his playing days are done.

EXPLORIN' JORDAN

Kyler Murray Congratulates MLB Draftees ... No, I'm Not Playing Baseball

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Kyler Murray congratulated the guys who had their names called in the MLB Draft by posting a pic of himself in an Oakland Athletics uniform .... and killed all the fun by clarifying he's not playing baseball.

The A's drafted Murray with the 9th overall pick in the 2018 draft ... but after winning the Heisman and going to the Arizona Cardinals with the top pick in the NFL Draft, he decided to put baseball on hold.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Murray posted the pic Monday night in his A's threads ... but made it clear he's not having second thoughts on choosing the NFL.

It's probably a smart decision financially, considering he inked a $35 million deal with the Cards ... but there were people like Joe Theismann who said he shoulda stayed on the diamond.

"Congrats to everyone who got drafted today! #JustAPic #History #NoNeedForTheSpeculation #AllLuv," Murray said.

That's no fun, Kyler. At least give us a day to talk about it.

Chargers' Tre'Von Johnson Choked By Sister Cops Say In Fight Over Laundry

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The sister of LA Chargers linebacker Tre'Von Johnson was arrested back in March after cops say she choked the NFL player in a fight over laundry ... TMZ Sports has learned.

According to police documents, Tre'Von and his sister, Tkeyah Johnson, got into a scrap when she wanted to wash her clothes at Tre'Von's Denton County, Texas home ... but he prevented her.

Cops say Tkeyah grabbed Tre'Von by his neck in a rage over not being allowed access to the washing machine ... and when he had trouble breathing -- he pushed her, causing her to fall to the floor.

Cops say marks were visible on Tre'Von ... and when they determined on the scene that Tkeyah was the primary aggressor in the altercation -- they arrested her.

Tkeyah was charged with domestic assault involving choking -- a felony in Texas -- and later posted bond.

Tre'Von has bounced around the NFL since signing with the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent out of Weber State in 2017 ... playing for the Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks and Chargers the past 2 years.

The 24-year-old -- who played in 4 games for the Chargers this past season -- has 3 career tackles.

Marco Rubio Stoked For Rosen Best Dolphins QB Since Dan Marino!

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ROSEN TO THE RESCUE
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Marco Rubio is PUMPED Miami traded for Josh Rosen ... telling TMZ Sports the former Arizona Cardinal is now the best QB the Dolphins have had in TWO DECADES!!!

"He's the most talented passer we've had on the roster since Marino," the Florida Senator says.

Miami unloaded its second-round pick in last week's NFL draft to get JR from Arizona ... and Rubio is ALL FOR IT -- telling us it's basically a win-win for his favorite football team.

And why? Rubio says because Rosen came with such a team-friendly contract ... there's no risk at all for his squad.

"If it works out, great!" Rubio says ... "If it doesn't, we'll have to draft someone next year."

It's been a rough start for Josh's NFL career ... dude completed just 55 percent of his passes and threw just 11 touchdowns to 14 interceptions last season.

But, it seems Rubio thinks Josh will be able to turn it all around in South Beach, saying, "That's a good deal, man!"

Josh Rosen Standing Ovation From Cards Fans After Trade to Miami

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Josh Rosen got major love from Cardinals fans one last time before heading off to Miami ... getting a standing ovation at Larry Fitzgerald's celeb softball game just hours after getting traded.

Rosen was traded to the Dolphins on Friday after the Cardinals took Kyler Murray with the top pick in the draft ... but that didn't stop him from supporting his now ex-teammate at his charity home run derby the next night.

Not only did Rosen get a positive send-off from Cards fans, he gave them a show too -- winning the home run derby AND the MVP award from the softball game.

“I just want to say thank you to everybody,” Rosen said at the event. “We didn’t win as many games as I would have hoped, but I had a great time and an unbelievable year."

"I’ll always be a Cardinal and root for you guys for as long as I’m on my feet.”

Kurt Warner To Josh Rosen If Cards Draft Kyler ... Prove You're Better!!!

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HOF ADVICE
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Josh Rosen, listen up ... if the Cardinals DO draft Kyler Murray tonight, Kurt Warner is handing out some sage advice -- JUST PROVE YOU'RE BETTER!!!

"Bottom line is it's just part of it," Warner tells TMZ Sports out in Nashville ... "You gotta go and just prove you're the best guy for the job."

Of course, Arizona drafted Rosen last season thinking he'd be the guy for the franchise's future ... but now, with Kliff Kingsbury at the helm, they're expected to take Murray tonight.

Many have wondered if JR should be upset if the draft pick does go down ... but Warner says Rosen should actually see it as a chance to prove he's the right guy for the job!!!

"I don't think you can ever be offended by a team trying to figure out the best thing for their organization to get better. And your job is to compete."

Josh should take the advice ... Warner bounced around the league for several years -- even after MVP seasons with the Rams -- proving he was a Hall of Fame caliber guy at nearly every stop.

For his part, Warner says Rosen's done a great job of handling it all so far, telling us, "He's going to get an opportunity to play somewhere. Just be ready for that opportunity and continue to shine."

Chris Johnson I Coulda Ran a 3.9 40-Yard Dash ... At NFL Combine!!!

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I COULD HAVE BEEN FASTER!
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Remember Chris Johnson's EPIC 4.24 40-yard dash at the 2008 NFL Combine???

Yeah, CJ2K tells TMZ Sports he coulda ran it in UNDER 4 seconds!!!

Chris says he came into the annual pre-draft event weighing around 200 pounds ... but says if he had shed 30 or so lbs for the drills -- he would've gotten into the 3s zone on that historic day!!!

"I think [I could have run it]. If I would have went to the combine at 165 ..."

So, why didn't the former NFL superstar do it!?!

"I probably would have dropped," Chris tells us ... "Ain't nobody wanting to draft a first-round running back that weighs 165!"

Yeah, good call.

Chris ended up having a stellar career after his ridiculous 40-yard dash time regardless ... becoming one of only seven players EVER to rush for more than 2,000 yards in one season.

In fact, Johnson tells us he's still got it ... the 33-year-old says if he really trained for it, he could still run a 4.2!!!

#LEGEND!!!!!!!!!

Robert Nkemdiche Fired Up Over Kingsbury Hire ... 'I F*cking Love Him'

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WATCH OUT FOR US
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Is Kliff Kingsbury the secret to finally getting Robert Nkemdiche to realize his massive potential??

Nkemdiche certainly thinks so ... 'cause the Cardinals' 2016 1st-round pick is absolutely JACKED UP over Arizona's new head coach.

"I f*cking love him," the Cards' D-lineman tells TMZ Sports at Jay Glazer's Merging Vets & Players Super Bowl Party Wednesday night.

"I think we're going to do some great things with him. I can't wait until we start with him. And, I don't care, the Cardinals are coming with some f*cking attitude and fury! And, we're going to come, BANG!"

Neither Bruce Arians nor Steve Wilks could get Nkemdiche to play up to the level that made him one of the top prospects in the country a few years ago ... but seems Robert believes Kliff will.

In fact ... Robert's so confident Kingsbury will pull it out of him and the rest of the team -- he's GUARANTEEING the playoffs for the Cards next season!!!

"We're going to be there. So, just watch out for us. Watch out."

There's more ... Nkemdiche also tells us why the Rams being in the Cardinals' division doesn't matter -- and gives us his take on why Larry Fitzgerald is the G.O.A.T.

Larry Fitzgerald Praises Kliff Kingsbury But, I'm Not Sure I'm Coming Back

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HE'S A GENIUS
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Larry Fitzgerald tells TMZ Sports he's excited to meet new Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury -- but there's one slight problem ... he might not be playing for him next season.

The 35-year-old wide receiver will be a free agent in 2019 -- but has said if returns to the NFL, the plan is to remain a Cardinal for life.

Now that AZ is transitioning to a new head coach in Kingsbury, we asked Larry for his thoughts on the situation.

"Hell of a coach," Fitz told us at LAX ... "Look at his resume. He's innovative offensively. That's somebody with a future right now. So, I'm excited for the chance to meet him."

So far, Larry says the two haven't talked -- but they've exchanged text messages.

As far as Larry's career goes -- "I don't know yet. Taking time to figure it out still."

We asked if he had set a deadline for himself to make a decision, but Larry tells us he's not sure yet ... he's taking it day by day.

Fitzgerald had played in the NFL for 15 seasons since being drafted 3rd overall in the 2004 Draft. He's been selected to the Pro Bowl 11 times.

He led the NFL in receptions in 2005 and 2016 ... and in receiving TDs in 2008 and 2009.

Fitzgerald also won the "Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year" in 2016.

USC's Clay Helton Praises Kliff Kingsbury ... 'I'm Happy for Him'

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USC head coach Clay Helton says there's no hard feelings with Kliff Kingsbury for leaving the coaching staff to take an NFL head coaching job ... saying he doesn't blame the guy for jumping ship.

Of course, Kliff -- who was fired from Texas Tech -- signed a contract to become USC's offensive coordinator just last month ... only to back out this week when the Arizona Cardinals expressed interest.

Kliff officially signed with the Cards on Tuesday -- and his short-lived boss, Clay Helton, finally broke his silence about all of the drama that's been going down behind the scenes.

"I am happy for Kliff," Helton said in a statement.

"Any time you get an opportunity to be an NFL head coach, it is special. He is a talented coach, that’s why we brought him here. I wish him nothing but the best."

Helton continued ... "USC has always attracted the best coaches in the country from all levels. We will spend the upcoming weeks finding the best possible fit for USC and our program."

Kingsbury reportedly had to pay $150,000 as a buyout for leaving SC ... but the Cardinals are expected to be handling that payment.

Ex-LSU Star Early Doucet Accused of Brutally Attacking Wife ... Again

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Early Doucet -- a former superstar LSU wide-receiver-turned-NFL-draft-pick -- was hit with a temporary restraining order in November after allegedly brutalizing his wife for the second time.

TMZ Sports has obtained court docs filed in Louisiana which show the 33-year-old was ordered to stay at least 100 yards away from the alleged victim and her 2 children after an incident in which Doucet allegedly attacked the woman and smashed up their home.

The accuser told officials Doucet physically assaulted her in early November -- causing bloody injuries to her face and chest. She also claims Doucet smashed holes in the door and walls.

The judge set a follow-up hearing for December where both sides could tell their side of the story -- but no word yet on if the judge has extended the restraining order.

We do know it's the second time the accuser has gone to authorities with violent allegations against Doucet.

We've also obtained a police report from April 2017 showing Doucet named as the suspect for assaulting the same woman, who he was dating at the time.

Police took photos which show the woman bloodied and bruised and missing a tooth. Cops' photos of Doucet's hands show bloody knuckles.

We've reached out to officials to find out what happened with that case -- so far, no word back.

We've also reached out to Doucet for comment but have not heard back.

Doucet was a key part of the 2007 LSU national championship team. He caught 7 passes for 51 yards and a TD in the BCS title game against Ohio State.

Doucet was later selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the 3rd round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He never really panned out in the pros and was out of the league by 2013.