Drake Wins Big On Drake London Draft Bet ... 'Drake Betting On Drake'

It was a great night to be a "Drake" on Thursday ... 'cause Drake London got picked in the top 10 of the NFL Draft -- and Drake the rapper made a boatload of cash because of it!!!

Here's the deal ... a few months before Roger Goodell officially put the Jacksonville Jaguars on the clock in Las Vegas -- Drake decided to bet some cash on USC wideout and top prospect Drake London.

The "Toosie Slide" rapper threw down $100K -- saying "Drake betting on Drake just feels right" -- believing London would be the first wide receiver off the board. It was a bold bet, considering most had Garrett Wilson as the favorite for that honor.

Turns out, though, London was the top wideout picked -- going #8 overall to the Atlanta Falcons -- and according to Drake's betting slip, that earned him $225k!

London knew about Drake's bet ahead of the draft ... and told the Falcons' official team website that he and his buddies actually got a kick out of it before the event began.

"My friends were hitting my phone saying Champagne Papi bet on me," London said. "So, I thought that was funny."

Of course, placing -- and winning -- big bets is nothing new for Drake ... in fact, the 35-year-old recently got a huge payday for winning at an online roulette table.

But, he doesn't win 'em all ... remember, he famously lost $275k when he thought Jorge Masvidal would beat Colby Covington at UFC 272.

As for London, all bets side, he said he was thrilled to be picked by the Falcons on Thursday.

"I cannot wait to go out there and put on that jersey and just be a Dirty Bird at the end of the day."

Congrats to everyone!

T.I. Falcons Could Use Deshaun Watson ... Bring Back Julio, Too!!!

SEE-YUH MATT
TMZSports.com

Deshaun Watson would be welcomed with open arms in Atlanta ... 'cause rap legend T.I. says his beloved Falcons "could definitely use" the star Texans quarterback.

TMZ Sports spoke with Tip amid rumors Watson could be traded to the Falcons this week ... and he certainly seemed receptive to the thought.

"We could use him," T.I. said on Thursday. "We could definitely use him. I don't know who they talking about giving up, but we could definitely use his talent on the field."

Of course, bringing in a new Pro Bowl QB would mean it's curtains for Matt Ryan's time in Atlanta ... but T.I. says his comments about Watson speak for themselves when asked about the 2016 MVP.

Several NFL teams have reportedly expressed interest in the former Clemson standout -- with the Saints and Falcons appearing to emerge as the favorites to land the 26-year-old.

The Falcons would need to trade for Watson ... as he's currently still under contract with the Texans. But T.I. hints he's not too worried about what Atlanta would have to give up to get him.

We also asked T.I. what he thought about the Tennessee Titans cutting former Falcons superstar wide receiver, Julio Jones ... and he'd love a reunion.

"I love Julio, bruh," Tip said. "Julio's a personal friend of mine. I'd love to have him."

Warren Moon On Deshaun Watson ... I Think Falcons Could Get Him!!!

WELL DESERVED
TMZSports.com

Heads up, Matt Ryan ... Warren Moon tells TMZ Sports he believes the Falcons are a legit threat to land superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson in a trade this month.

"Atlanta is his hometown," the Houston Oilers legend said. "He's well-liked in that area, great organization and they could use a younger quarterback with fresh legs and everything."

Watson is on the verge of being shipped out of Houston -- and Atlanta has recently thrown its hat into the mix to try to score him in a trade.

Moon tells us he believes it's not just a ploy by the Falcons to drive up the price for the rival Saints and Panthers -- saying he thinks Watson has ties to ATL that shouldn't be ignored.

Notably, Moon says Warrick Dunn -- one of the Falcons' minority owners -- has a relationship with the former Clemson standout that could sway things.

"He put Deshaun in one of his houses [through his charity] many, many years ago," Moon said of Dunn. "So, there's a connection, a tie there with the Atlanta Falcons."

The Texans are also reportedly considering trading Watson to the Browns, in addition to the Falcons, Saints and Panthers.

Of course, a deal is imminent after Deshaun and the Texans had a messy breakup following allegations that he was sexually inappropriate with multiple female massage therapists.

Last week, however, a grand jury decided Watson will not face criminal charges over the claims in Harris County, Texas ... which paved the way for the MVP-caliber quarterback to return to the gridiron.

Moon -- who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006 -- tells us he doesn't think Watson will have any rust when he eventually suits up for his next team ... adding that he's happy the signal-caller will get to continue his career.

"I met him a number of years ago, he's a really first-class young man," Moon said. "Hopefully he gets back on the field sooner than later."

As for who Moon thinks will land Watson if the Falcons somehow don't ... watch the clip, he seems pretty sure another NFC South squad will get him.

Troy Aikman On Calvin Ridley's Ban ... 'It Seems Like An Awful Lot'

THAT'S A BAD BET
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Troy Aikman appears to believe the hammer the NFL dropped on Calvin Ridley for betting on NFL games was too strong ... telling TMZ Sports the one-year ban "seems like an awful lot."

Ridley was just suspended for the entire 2022 season ... after the NFL says he bet on contests while away from the Atlanta Falcons on the non-football illness list this past November.

Ridley said the totals of his bets were only $1,500 -- and while he reportedly bet on Falcons games, he was said to have never bet against his team.

Still, the NFL barred the star receiver for all 17 of next season's games, and left the door open to banning him even longer.

When we asked Troy this week for his thoughts on the length of the suspension -- he seemed to think the league could have, and perhaps should have, gone softer.

"On the one hand, you have the league encouraging everybody to gamble," Aikman said, "and yet, here Calvin Ridley is suspended for an entire season."

The Dallas Cowboys legend said he does see the NFL's side of the situation, saying the league should take betting on games very seriously ... but he added, "When you look at it against some of the other suspensions, I would agree that it seems like an awful lot."

Ridley -- who totaled up 3,342 receiving yards in his first 49 games in the NFL -- has taken the ban in stride, tweeting, "Just gone be more healthy when I come back."

Matt Ryan Pens Emotional Goodbye Note To Greg Knapp 'Will Be Missed By So Many'

Matt Ryan says he's devastated over the death of his former coach, Greg Knapp ... writing in an emotional note Friday that the guy was "one of the most positive, consistent, and caring coaches I have ever been around."

Knapp -- who tragically died Thursday from injuries he suffered in a horrific bike crash in California last weekend -- was Ryan's QB coach in Atlanta from 2018 through 2020 ... and he clearly had a huge impact on the Falcons star.

"He made it a point to know our families and for us to know his," Ryan said on his social media page. "My heart goes out to his family."

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

In each of his three seasons playing for Knapp, Ryan threw for more than 4,400 yards and 25 TDs.

"Greg made a significant impact on everyone he came into contact with and while he will be missed by so many he will never be forgotten," Ryan said.

"I'm so thankful for the time we were able to spend together."

Knapp was just 58 years old.

RIP

2 Chainz 'Bummed' Over Julio To Titans ... But I'll Rock His Jersey!!!

IT'S A BUMMER
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Rap star 2 Chainz says he's sad as hell to see the Atlanta Falcons trade his good friend Julio Jones ... but tells TMZ Sports he's still gonna support his guy by coppin' his new Titans jersey!!

Of course, the "Grey Area" MC is a diehard Dirty Birds fan ... and has been tight with JJ over the years.

Now that the Falcons are entering their first season since 2011 without Julio ... we had to ask how 2 Chainz is holding up.

"I'm bummed out about it, man," Julio told us outside Amiri on Rodeo Drive. "I'm a Falcons fan, but "I'm a Julio fan. He's a great friend of mine."

"I'm a huge Julio fan," he added. "Somebody today called me about the suites up there at the Falcons. I don't know how I feel yet."

2 Chainz explains Falcons fans had a strong relationship with Julio ... which is why it stings to see him go.

But, good news for Julio -- 2 Chainz says he's gonna be sure to get Jones' new #2 jersey with the Titans ... after all, the number couldn't be more perfect.

We also chatted about the Hawks and just how much money he's been making off their wins ... and how much he threw down for Friday night's game!!

Chase Claypool A Steelers' Trade For Julio? ... I Would Love It!!!

NEVER TOO STACKED
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There ARE enough balls to go around for Julio Jones in Pittsburgh ... so says Chase Claypool, who tells TMZ Sports he'd LOVE it if the Steelers traded for the superstar WR!

"I would love him in Pittsburgh!" Claypool said outside The Farm in Beverly Hills this week.

Of course, Pittsburgh would have to get creative with its salary cap ... and it'd have to offer up a LOT to get Julio from Atlanta, but Claypool made it clear to us, there'd be no fight in the Pittsburgh receiver room if Jones was acquired.

Despite an uber-talented WR roster that includes Chase, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson and James Washington ... Claypool said he'd still welcome Julio with open arms.

"We're stacked," Claypool said. "But, you can never get too many superstars."

As we previously reported, Jones wants out of Atlanta ... even telling Shannon Sharpe on live television this week that his days as a Falcon are done.

BYE-BYE FALCONS
FS1

Atlanta has been reportedly shopping him around ... but it's unclear if Pittsburgh is a true frontrunner to land him.

One thing Chase says he knows for sure is that if Julio does come on board ... Jones will be a fan of his new QB -- with Claypool telling us Ben Roethlisberger is still his "G.O.A.T."

Your move, Arthur Blank.

Julio Jones I'm Done with the ATL Falcons 'Right now, I Wanna Win'

BYE-BYE FALCONS
FS1

It's over for Julio Jones in Atlanta -- the Falcons superstar just confirmed he wants out during a phone call on LIVE TV!

You've probably heard the rumblings about a potential breakup between the two sides ... well, so did Shannon Sharpe and he straight-up took out his cellphone and called the WR live on Monday's 'Undisputed' on FS1.

Sharpe started off the convo by asking about rumors that he wants to play for the Dallas Cowboys ... or would he rather stay in Atlanta?

"Oh man, nah ... I'm outta there, man," Jones told Shannon.

Shannon followed up -- "Ideally, where would you like to go?"

Julio replied, "Right now, I wanna win."

Shannon: "Well don't go to Dallas, you ain't winning in Dallas, Julio!"

Julio: "Man listen, c'mon, man. You already know I know! Haha!"

DAMN!!

That's a lot to unpack ... first, seems he's definitely set on leaving Atlanta and second, taking shots at the Cowboys too?!

Of course, the Falcons have reportedly been looking to trade the 32-year-old All-Pro after 10 seasons in ATL ... with both sides looking for a fresh start.

It could be tough to find a team willing to take on Jones' $15.3 million in guaranteed money this season ... but you'd have to imagine someone would want a 7-time Pro Bowler around.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says it's not as nasty as it may seem -- explaining, "[Jones] requested a trade from the organization a few months ago, sources say, and the team then agreed to listen to offers. That’s how it began and why it continues."

"This is why Julio Jones told Shannon Sharpe he’s 'out of there.' Because he knows he requested a trade and the team is open to considering it. But it doesn’t mean he will get traded."

Stay tuned ...

Takk McKinley Cut By Atlanta Falcons ... After Twitter Outburst

UPDATE

1:24 PM PT -- 11/9 McKinley is no longer a member of the Atlanta Falcons ... with the team officially waiving the former first-round pick on Monday.

UPDATE

The team previously said it would consider all options in determining McKinley's punishment following his Twitter outburst ... but ultimately decided it was best to part ways.

Atlanta Falcons star Takk McKinley's Twitter fingers just cost him a chunk of change ... with the team reportedly fining the defensive end over his recent Twitter outburst.

McKinley -- a 2017 first-rounder -- seemingly called the Falcons front office clowns after the trade deadline this week ... claiming the team should have pulled the trigger when he wanted out of town last season.

"These @AtlantaFalcons turned down a 2nd round draft pick when I requested to get traded last year," Takk tweeted Wednesday.

"The same @AtlantaFalcons turned down a 5th and 6th round draft pick from multiple teams when I requested to get traded this year. I only have 17.5 career sacks."

"🤡🤡🤡"

While the team denied any actual offer was presented, interim head coach Raheem Morris made it clear he was NOT happy about McKinley's decision to air out his frustrations on Twitter.

"Takk will definitely be held accountable for his actions and everything that goes with it," the coach said.

Now, we know what that means ... with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting Takk was fined an undisclosed amount for the tweets.

Whether the two sides will be able to make up is doubtful -- the team has already declined his 5th-year option and hasn't ruled out cutting McKinley's playing time or suspending him.

As for Takk's tweet ... it's still live on his account.

No regrets??

Originally published -- 11/5 3:26 PM PT

NFL's Keith Smith Admits Chipotle Addiction ... I Eat It 5 Times A Day!!!

Pour one out for Keith Smith's poor toilet ...

The Atlanta Falcons fullback admitted this week he has a SERIOUS affinity for Chipotle ... explaining he gets bowls from the Mexican food joint 4 or 5 times a day!!

"You probably won't believe it," Smith said on the "Endless Hustle" podcast this week. "But, most people who know me know that it's legit."

The 6-foot, 240-pound NFLer explained he uses the restaurant as a way to sort of meal prep.

Smith -- who turned 28 back in April -- says he gets his bowls compartmentalized ... getting the chicken, rice and beans all separate so he can concoct the deliciousness whenever he's ready.

"Like, this is not a joke," Smith said. "Like, 4 or 5 times a day, I got my bowl. Same thing every time."

As for why Chipotle and not El Pollo Loco or some other spot? Smith says it's simple ... "You know what you going to get. The consistency."

In case you were wondering, a modest Chipotle chicken burrito bowl has around 800 calories in it. So, do the math -- that's roughly 4,000 calories of Chipotle PER DAY!!

Yeah, we're all praying Atlanta's locker room is well stocked on TP!

Andre Rison I Should Replace Quinn As Falcons Coach ... I Can Fix Them!!!

TIME FOR CHANGE
TMZSports.com

And, the next head coach of the Atlanta Falcons is ... Andre Rison???

The former NFL All-Pro tells TMZ Sports he wants to replace Dan Quinn as the head man in Atlanta ... and he says he's dead serious about taking over the reins.

DQ hasn't been officially relieved of his duties yet ... but after blowing ANOTHER huge lead Sunday -- this time a 16-pointer to the Bears -- many believe Quinn's time as Falcons coach will be over soon.

And, Rison tells us he's got hopes Arthur Blank will give him a legit shot at the job whenever that happens ... saying he's qualified to help turn Atlanta back into a Super Bowl contender.

"I'm waiting on that call!" Rison says.

It might sound crazy on the surface ... but Rison tells us he's quietly been building up a coaching resume since he retired from the NFL two decades ago.

Andre's been a high school head coach as well as part of Michigan State's staff ... and he thinks that, combined with his playing history, makes him more than qualified for the job.

"I'm primed for it," Rison says. "I'm ready for it."

Michael Irvin Lost His Mind Over Cowboys Comeback ... 'Spit On The Grave!!!'

"Just when you thought you were ready to spit on the grave of the Dallas Cowboys, that's when we raised our hand up and said, 'We're not dead yet!!!'"

Michael Irvin went INSANE breaking down his former team's epic comeback victory over the Atlanta Falcons ... and his impassioned speech is MUST WATCH!!!

Irvin went on NFL Network on Sunday night to talk football just a few hours after the Cowboys came back from down 26-7 to beat ATL, 40-39 ... and the former WR let his emotions fly!

Ya gotta watch the clip ... Irvin gets so fired up over the win -- he straight-up has to tell himself on camera, "Calm down, Michael! Calm down!"

As for the game ... it probably deserved the reaction from Irv -- the Cowboys not only needed to make up a 19-point deficit, but they also needed a miracle onside kick to do it.

Turns out, Dallas did both things ... and Irvin and just about everyone else in the NFL world couldn't believe it!!

In fact, even Charles Barkley had to chime in on the game while was doing his NBA on TNT show ... saying the Falcons choked it all away!!

"They outdid themselves today," Barkley said of Atlanta. "That was the biggest choke job, what the Atlanta Falcons did today. I'm not giving the Dallas Cowboys any credit. That was a choke job!"

Sorry, Atlanta.

NFL's Calvin Ridley Honors Baby Daughter ... With Diamond Chain!!

Atlanta Falcons star Calvin Ridley will be reppin' his new baby daughter everywhere he goes ... courtesy of a brand new diamond chain!!

TMZ Sports has learned ... the 25-year-old former Alabama receiver wanted to do something WAY better than a picture in the wallet to show off his daughter, so he hit up Al the Jeweler of Labelle Jewelry in NJ to come up with the special piece.

The final product is a massive charm featuring Cree Michelle's name and birthday -- 06-27-2020 -- sitting on an NFL logo.

We're told the piece is made of more than 70 carats of VS clarity diamonds between the pendant and chain it sits on ... in other words, high-quality stuff!!

Ridley isn't the only one getting treats ... check out the Louis Vuitton blanket his baby girl was laying on when he introduced her on IG!!

Ridley -- who is still on his rookie contract -- has made about $9 million in his 3 years in the league so far ... but expect that number to rise if he continues to ball out!!

Congrats on the baby!!

Todd Gurley Lists L.A. Pad for $2.3 Mil Waterfall and Basketball Court!

Wanna live like an NFL running back but don't have the talent?

Well, you can buy Todd Gurley's L.A. pad if you've got $2.3 mil to spend.

The ex-Rams star -- who signed with the ATL Falcons -- is selling the 5,100 square foot crib in Chatsworth where he's lived for the past 3 years after buying an ever BIGGER place nearby from 'Twilight' actor Taylor Lautner.

Gurley's old crib was famous for hosting celebrity pickup games on his private court ... featuring stars like Cam Newton, YG and Quavo.

But, now that Gurley scooped up Lautner's 10,560-square-foot mansion just down the way ... he's looking to unload the smaller place.

It's a nice spot -- custom-built in 2005 and features a cool resort-style pool, waterfall and hot tub.

And, there's another celebrity connection -- Snoop Dogg's son Julian Broadus is working with the listing agents, Tai Savetsila and Michael Chambers of Agents of LA.

We're told Julian is interested in real estate -- and will help out in an "apprentice" role so he can learn the business.

As for Todd, the 26-year-old Gurley has reportedly made close to $40 million in contract money is his 5-year career ... which means he shouldn't have ANY problems finding a sweet new pad in ATL if he wants to expand his real estate portfolio.

CAROLINA PANTHERS Crap All Over Falcons New Unis ... Ya Look Like 'The Longest Yard!!!'

The first win of the 2020 NFL season goes to the Carolina Panthers social media team ... which RUTHELESSY destroyed the Atlanta Falcons' new uniforms in a Twitter exchange for the ages.

It's no secret ... the Falcons pretty much fumbled its new jersey reveal -- the threads leaked a week before the big scheduled debut, which forced the team to push everything up to Wednesday morning.

A lot of people wish the team hadn't gone through the trouble at all ... with the general consensus (on social media at least) being the jerseys SUCK and never should've seen the light of day.

To add insult to injury, the Falcons' NFC South rivals got in on the fun ... with the Panthers Twitter comparing the new look to the Mean Machine jerseys from "The Longest Yard" in a hilarious video.

Incredible work.

Of course, the Falcons tried to recover by using the famous Cam Newton quote he used after getting cut this past offseason ... even including his signature crazy font.

"#šhïñëTHRŪthëŠHÄDĒ," the Falcons' Twitter responded ... but the damage was already done.

Someone in the Panthers' social media dept. needs a raise ... 'cause seriously, the comparison is spot-on.

Terrell Davis I Doubt Gurley Can Return To Form ... Same Knee Issues I Had

HE'LL NEVER BE THE SAME
TMZSports.com

Terrell Davis tells TMZ Sports he's concerned Todd Gurley might never regain his old form in Atlanta ... saying a similar knee issue in 1999 caused him to lose a permanent step.

"I was never the same," the Denver Broncos legend says.

Gurley tore his ACL in college at Georgia in 2014 ... but didn't have problems with the surgically repaired knee up until 2019 -- when the Rams RB dealt with arthritis.

Gurley was still able to run on it, but he clearly wasn't the same guy ... and following this past season, the Rams straight-up cut him over the decline in his play.

Fortunately for the tailback, the Falcons believe he's still got some juice left --- they signed him right away -- but Davis tells us he's skeptical Gurley can be a premier RB again in the future.

"They said he had an arthritic knee," said Davis, who tore his ACL playing for the Broncos in 1999. "And, I said, 'I've had that. I understand what it feels like.'"

Davis was forced to retire before the 2002 season ... saying his arthritic knee made it impossible for him to feel like the same dude that won a Super Bowl MVP just a few years prior.

"What happens is you feel like your knee -- like you have just enough swelling in your knee, just enough, to where it doesn't stop you from running, but you don't have the full flexibility or mobility and you just feel like you're just a second slower," TD says.

"When you think about making a cut, it's like the signal from your brain to your knee is like, it just comes just a fraction of a second too slow where your knee doesn't respond to it. And, that's what was happening for me."

Don't get it twisted ... Davis still thinks Todd has more than enough gas left in the tank to be an effective NFL RB -- he's just wary about the prospects of TG returning to superstar status.

"If he could come out of this one year and have the attitude that, 'I want to prove everybody wrong' -- which I feel Todd will -- he could have a really good year."

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