Matt Araiza Signing With Chiefs 2 Months After Sexual Assault Lawsuit Dropped

Matt Araiza -- the former Bills punter who was cut by Buffalo in the 2022 preseason after a woman alleged he sexually assaulted her -- is now signing with the Chiefs ... roughly two months after his accuser dropped her lawsuit against him.

The 23-year-old football player's agents announced the move on social media Thursday afternoon ... praising the kicker for how he's handled everything since the allegations were first brought against him nearly two years ago.

"We are grateful to Brett Veach, coach [Andy] Reid and the @Chiefs organization for giving Matt this opportunity," JL Sports officials wrote on X. "Matt has been to hell and back in the last 18 months. He has handled himself with grace and humility that is truly inspiring."

They added, "Matt can now move forward knowing that this ordeal is behind him. He is thrilled to move forward as a part of the #ChiefsKingdom."

As we previously reported, Araiza's accuser claimed in a suit filed back in August '22 that when she was 17 years old, Araiza and two of his college football teammates raped her while she was attending a 2021 Halloween party at the punter's San Diego-area home.

Araiza was adamant at the time the claims were false ... and in December 2022, some four months after she filed the suit, prosecutors announced they would not be pressing charges against the NFLer.

"There is no path to a potential criminal conviction," they said in revealing their decision.

A year later, in December 2023, Araiza's attorneys announced the woman had dropped her suit after the parties reached an agreement.

"Matt is not paying the plaintiff any money," Araiza's lawyers said in a statement, "and he is reserving his right to pursue the plaintiff’s attorney, Dan Gilleon, and his law office for the harm that they have caused him."

Araiza was a sixth-round pick in the '22 NFL Draft ... and was slated to be the Bills' starting punter that season before the allegations came to light. He'll now compete to be Kansas City's starter -- after its longtime punter, Tommy Townsend, is expected to hit free agency this offseason.

Damar Hamlin Rockin' W/ K.C. In SBLVIII 'I'll Be Chiefs Kingdom On Sunday'

LIFE'S A JOURNEY
TMZSports.com

Damar Hamlin is pulling for the team that booted the Buffalo Bills from the playoffs on Sunday ... telling TMZ Sports he believes the Kansas City Chiefs will win their second-straight Super Bowl.

But, don't get it twisted -- #3 says he's rocking with Bills Mafia for life ... and he'll be right off that bandwagon after a brief three-hour run.

25-year-old Hamlin weighed in on this weekend's matchup with Babcock on the "TMZ Sports" TV show on FS1 this week ... and he gave us his exclusive take on who he'd like to see hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

It may be a bit surprising to hear ... considering the Chiefs have had the Bills' number in the postseason since 2020.

But, the safety explained Patrick Mahomes is the main reason behind his allegiance ... as it's truly hard to see the two-time Super Bowl MVP not coming out on top against the San Francisco 49ers.

We talked to Hamlin about much more than the Big Game -- he also chopped it up about his incredible return to the football field after nearly losing his life during "Monday Night Football" in Jan. 2023, his appreciation for NBA superstar LeBron James, and his newest partnership with the Don't Quit nutrition brand.

In fact, Hamlin explained his decision to team up with the company ... saying it was an organic move.

Andre Reed Stefon Diggs Could Take Pay Cut To Stay In Buffalo ... 'They Need Him'

AGAINST ALL ODDS
TMZSports.com

Andre Reed says he could definitely see Stefon Diggs returning to the Bills next season ... but he tells TMZ Sports the star wideout's wallet could be a little bit lighter if that's indeed the case.

Diggs' future in Buffalo appears to be in question this offseason ... as his 2024 cap figure has ballooned to nearly $30 million -- and, at times in his career, he's seemed upset with his role on the team.

In fact, even Diggs himself said at the Pro Bowl on Friday, "I can't tell you what the future holds."

Reed, though, tells us he's sure hoping Diggs comes back ... saying straight up, "They need him."

However, the Buffalo legend is clearly aware that Diggs might have to take a pay cut for it to happen.

"If anything, they'll ask him to do that to save cap space to bring some more guys in," Reed says. "Whether Stefon does that or not, I think he realizes where he is and what kind of team he's on. And, I can see him staying there."

As for Buffalo's head coach, Reed's obviously pleased ownership is sticking with Sean McDermott despite another disappointing playoff loss ... telling us he thinks the 49-year-old has what it takes to get the team over the hump next season.

He added that "these players respond to him" ... and he's now predicting a bounce-back in '24.

GLOBAL EFFORT
TMZSports.com

No matter what happens, Reed's going to be busy this Bills' offseason regardless ... he's recently joined the B.GOAT Whiskey team, and in addition to enjoying the fine booze, he's got hopes the brand will help bring not only football, but cricket, to a global audience.

Travis Kelce Confused Over Hamlin Fake Punt ... 'WTF Are They Doing?'

WTF???
New Heights / Wave Sports + Entertainment

Travis Kelce said what everyone was thinking about the Buffalo Bills' head-scratching fake punt with Damar Hamlin during Sunday's playoff game ... admitting he bluntly asked himself, "What in the f*** are they doing??"

The Bills were feeling spicy early in the fourth quarter of their 27-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs ... going for it on fourth and five from their own 30-yard line, which resulted in a turnover on downs.

Taylor Swift's boyfriend spoke about the interesting decision to try and pull a quick one on the defending Super Bowl champs ... and he was just as confused as everyone else.

"Initially, I'm like, 'What the f*** are they doing?'" Kelce told his brother, Jason, on their "New Heights" podcast. "Fourth and five, in your own territory at that point in the game, that's not time for a fake ... especially in the playoffs, where everything is on the line."

Kelce broke down what he eventually concluded about the move ... explaining he believes the Bills noticed the Chiefs only had 10 men on the field, and they had an audible in place for that specific scenario in hopes of maximizing on the opportunity.

Of course, Hamlin was stuffed after just a few yards ... and the Chiefs took over possession before eventually securing the win and a spot in the AFC Championship Game.

Both Kelces agree the Bills should have included a bit of misdirection or at least some trickery during the attempt ... but overall, Travis ain't upset one bit with how the play unfolded.

Travis Kelce My Heart Hands Were For Bills Fans ... Not Taylor Swift

SPREADING THE LOVE
New Heights / Wave Sports + Entertainment

Sorry, Swifties ... Travis Kelce just admitted his viral heart hands celebration on Sunday was NOT aimed at his girlfriend, Taylor Swift.

The Kansas City Chiefs tight end revealed on Wednesday's episode of his "New Heights" podcast that the gesture was actually for angry Buffalo Bills fans.

Kelce explained to his brother, Jason, on the show that as he was pulling up to Highmark Stadium in Buffalo to prep for the Divisional Round playoff game, Bills Mafia threw shade his team's way that he thought crossed the line.

"The Bills -- coming into their house, they want to make it rowdy," Kelce said. "Did it get a little disrespectful? One-thousand percent. One-thousand percent. Did it get a little extra? One-thousand percent."

TMZ INVESTIGATES
TMZ Studios

Kelce declined to say exactly what was said by the Bills backers ... though he did tell Jason, "Some things were said about the families -- some pretty inappropriate things were said about Pat Mahomes. It was pretty wack."

So, in an effort to make sure Bills fans knew the feelings weren't "mutual" ... he formed his fingers into a heart after scoring his first touchdown of the night.

"I don't hate you guys like you hate us," he said of what his intentions were with the celly. "It's all love, baby. It's all love."

Of course, Swift has made the move famous over the years ... and Kelce was actually spotted throwing it up to her fans at her show down in Argentina late last year.

Waiting for your permission to load TikTok Post.

But, seems Swift will have to wait at least another week to get some real-deal, on-field, in-game love from her BF.

Tyler Bass Fans Donate To Kicker's Charity After Missed FG ... Over $50K Raised!!!

update

8:38 AM PT -- The 10 Lives Club just gave us an update on the amount of donations for Tyler Bass' charity ... as of early Tuesday morning, they've collected over $50K for the Bills kicker!

"We've never received this much in a day ever," said 10 Lives Club spokesperson.

Football fans are throwing their support behind Tyler Bass with their wallets ... 'cause tons of donations are flooding in for the Bills kicker's charity after he missed a crucial field goal in Buffalo's playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

26-year-old Bass -- one of the best kickers in the league -- was targeted with heavy criticism after his 44-yard attempt went wide right in the closing minutes of the Divisional Round game on Sunday ... which helped seal the 27-24 win for the defending Super Bowl champs.

Bass reportedly even received threats over the mishap ... which seemingly resulted in him deactivating his social media accounts.

But, in true Bills Mafia fashion, diehards are showing serious love for Bass to try and drown out the hate ... by making $22 contributions (as a nod to his No. 2 jersey) to the Ten Lives Club, a cat rescue charity he has worked with over the years.

So far, the organization has seen more than $25,000 come in from both Bills and Chiefs fans, according to WIVB in Buffalo.

The shelter also released a statement on social media ... calling for the negativity toward Bass to stop.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

"WE STAND WITH TYLER BASS. DON’T BULLY OUR FRIEND 👊," the org. said on Monday. "We just heard the terrible news that Tyler Bass is receiving threats after yesterday’s game and our phones are ringing off the hook from people who want to donate $22 to Ten Lives Club in Tyler’s name."

"Tyler doesn’t deserve any of the hate he’s receiving. He’s an excellent football player and an even better person who took the time to help our organization and rescue cats last year. Leave our friend alone."

Bass owned up to the miss right after the game ... taking blame for the Bills' exit from the postseason, but his teammates like Josh Allen had his back -- saying it was a group effort.

It's no surprise the Bills' passionate fanbase is rallying behind one of their guys with charitable contributions ... as they've helped raise money for Allen, Damar Hamlin and more in the past.

Originally Published -- 8:08 AM PT

Buffalo Official Denies K.C. Player's Claims No One Shut Off Chiefs' Hot Water

Buffalo is refuting claims that it shut off the Chiefs' hot water following their playoff game Sunday night ... a rep for the city tells TMZ Sports the allegations are "false."

Chiefs offensive lineman Donovan Smith went public with the accusation on his X page just after Kansas City upset the Bills, 27-24, at Highmark Stadium ... writing, "Damn caught a L and they shut our hot water off…"

However, a spokesperson for Eerie County -- which owns Highmark Stadium -- said in a statement Monday morning that the team and its officials did no such thing.

"This is false," Eerie County Press Secretary Peter Anderson said. "There is no way to turn hot water off on one side or the other. There are two huge hot water tanks which feed both home and away locker rooms."

Anderson said if the Chiefs did experience any issues, it was likely due to high demand following the frigid game.

"It is no different than in your home;" Anderson added, "when the water runs continuously, it will struggle to keep up with demand. Everything for hot water in the locker rooms was upgraded in recent renovations."

Of course, the alleged shower problems weren't the only thing K.C. players had a gripe with following the big victory ... they also didn't love that they were pelted by snowballs from angry fans as well.

Then again, video from inside of the team's locker room shows they clearly didn't care all that much ... as it sure seems like a trip to the AFC Championship assuages a lot of things!

Bills Kicker Tyler Bass Missing Game-Tying FG Hurts Bad ... 'I Feel Terrible'

Bills' Tyler Bass is kicking himself after missing the game-tying field goal against the Chiefs in Sunday's divisional round ... placing the blame for the loss squarely on his own shoulders.

"Ultimately you can put it on me," the 26-year-old kicker told reporters after the 27-24 loss. "I got to do a better job of keeping my target."

Of course, the Bills were down 3 with 1:47 left in the game when Bass -- who signed a 4-year extension last April -- attempted a 44-yard FG which sailed "wide right" (which have become the franchise's most dreaded words).

For all intends and purposes it was game over at that point.

The crushing loss marks the third time in the last four years that the Chiefs have sent the Bills home for the season.

"I got to do a better job of playing it a little bit more left to right," Bass said.

"I’ve been playing here long enough to know you got to do that. It just didn’t work out. I feel terrible. I love this team and this one hurts bad."

Despite fans ripping the kicker for the miss, his quarterback Josh Allen had his back after the game, comforting Bass, and reminding people it's time to comfort, not rip the kicker.

"Wish it wouldn't have been put in that situation," Allen said. "You win as a team, you lose as a team."

"One play doesn't define a game, it doesn't define a season."

Jason Kelce sin camiseta levanta a jóvenes fans para saludar a Taylor Swift

1/21/24
¡Hey taylor!
Storyful

Taylor Swift no es eclipsada muy a menudo, pero el hermano de Travis Kelce, Jason, puede haber hecho precisamente eso en el partido del domingo, donde se mostró sin camiseta y listo para celebrar.

El centro de las Águilas -cuya temporada ha terminado después de que su equipo perdió en los playoffs la semana pasada- estaba pasando el rato con T-Swift y un montón de otros amigos y familia en una suite privada en el Highmark Stadium cuado Travis y los Chiefs se enfrentaron a los Bills de Buffalo en un gran juego.

Se podía decir que Jason estaba listo para la fiesta desde el primer momento, porque muy rápidamente perdió su camiseta y estuvo a pecho descubierto durante gran parte del juego, aplastando cervezas y rugiendo.

Por supuesto, Tay-Tay también estuvo a su lado, gritando como loca, mientras bebía con Brittany Mahomes y otras amigas, como Cara Delevingne. Por lo que se ve en las fotos de su celebración, se lo estaban pasando muy bien allí.

Ahora, en un momento en que las cosas se calmaron, algunos fans llamaron la atención de Jason -al parecer eran jóvenes swifties que querían saludar a su ídola- Jason vio esto, bajó hacia ellas (de nuevo, sin camisa) y accedió a su petición.

Cogió a las dos chicas y las llevó a la ventana, donde pudieron saludar a Taylor y a todos los que estaban dentro... Jason se limitó a hacer el papel tipo simpático que facilitó todo.

Fue un momento bastante dulce, debemos decir que el chico es bastante relajado, y así son sus padres.

tmz investiga
TMZ Studios

Taylor, Travis y todos los demás se fueron juntos después del partido, los detalles son un poco confusos acerca de dónde fueron a celebrar, pero hay una foto dando vueltas que muestra Trav y compañía posando en una foto grupal.

Los buenos tiempos siguen rodando para esta tripulación, próxima parada, Baltimore.

Jason Kelce Lifts Young Fans to Say Hi to Taylor ... & Other Shirtless Highlights

1/21/24
HEY TAYLOR!!!
Storyful

Taylor Swift doesn't get upstaged very often -- but Travis Kelce's brother, Jason, may have done just that at Sunday's game ... where the dude was shirtless and ready to rage.

The Eagles center -- whose season is over after his team lost in the playoffs last week -- was hanging out with T-Swift and a bunch of other friends/family in a private suite at Highmark Stadium as Travis and the Chiefs took on the Buffalo Bills in a huge game.

You could tell JK was ready to party from the get-go, because pretty quickly ... he lost his shirt, and was going bare-chested through much of the game, crushing beers and roaring.

Of course, Tay-Tay was there next to him too ... screaming her head off, all while knocking back drinks with Brittany Mahomes and other gal pals in tow, like Cara Delevingne. From the looks of the photos of their celebration, they were having a damn good time in there.

Now, at one point when things settled down, some fans caught Jason's attention right below their box -- namely, young girls who apparently had some Swiftie signage they wanted to show off. Jason saw this, climbed down to them (again, shirtless) and obliged their request.

He picked both girls up and took 'em to the window, where they were able to wave hi to Taylor and everyone else inside ... and Jason was just playing everyone's cool uncle.

Pretty sweet moment, we must say ... the guy's totally comfortable, and so are the parents.

TMZ INVESTIGATES
TMZ Studios

As for what Taylor, Travis and everyone else got up to after the game -- where everybody was riding high off of a nail-biting win -- there's a photo going around showing Trav and co. posing for a group pic.

The good times keep on rolling for this crew ... next stop, Baltimore. Then, maybe SB!

Patrick Mahomes Bills Fans Pelt QB With Snowballs ... After Playoff Win

Patrick Mahomes was forced to make a speedy exit from Highmark Stadium on Sunday night ... this after angry Bills fans continuously chucked snowballs at his head.

The Kansas City star was trying to celebrate the Chiefs' 27-24 divisional round win in Buffalo ... but when he got close to the crowd, Bills Mafia made him run for cover.

Video from the game's broadcast showed the flying objects came so often, Mahomes actually had to jet from the area while defending his head with his hand.

When he eventually got near a stadium tunnel to get into his locker room, he had to evade a few more snowballs too.

Fortunately for the quarterback, it didn't seem any tagged him too hard -- and he didn't seem too annoyed by the situation either, wearing a big smile nearly the entire time.

But, one of his teammates, Drue Tranquill, certainly appeared to be more than bothered by the matter.

The KC linebacker wrote on his X page that he almost threw a snowball of his own at a fan who heaved one his way ... before he fired off a jab at Buffalo's diehards.

"Truth is," Tranquill said, "my four year old throws a meaner snowball than #BillsMafia."

TMZ INVESTIGATES
TMZ Studios

While the Chiefs escaped Buffalo unharmed ... they might have to face a similar issue this weekend -- they're slated to Baltimore in the AFC Championship on Sunday ... where snow could certainly be a possibility.

Taylor Swift, Brittany Mahomes Crazy For K.C. ... Rage In Suite During Chiefs' Playoff Win

Taylor Swift and Brittany Mahomes couldn't calm down as the Kansas City Chiefs punched their ticket to the AFC Championship Game on Sunday ... celebrating throughout the huge win with tons of shouting, drinks and impromptu photoshoots.

The two famous WAGs returned to their usual suite seats for K.C.'s Divisional Round matchup against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium ... and this time around, they had new company from Travis Kelce's All-Pro brother, Jason, his wife, Kylie, and Swift's gal pal, Cara Delevingne.

Naturally, the A-list box had plenty of booze for the occasion ... and Swift and Mahomes took advantage of that by giving each other a "cheers" before sipping some adult bevvies.

TMZ INVESTIGATES
TMZ Studios

Mahomes documented the experience on her Instagram ... showing the whole group in great spirits as the Chiefs came away with the 27-24 victory -- and Swift was right in the middle of the pack for the shot.

Of course, Swift had a front-row seat for Jason's shirtless antics ... and cameras showed her absolutely stunned as he hopped out of the suite to make his way to the normies' section of the stadium.

The broadcast also cut to Taylor and Brittany after Kelce scored a key touchdown ... with the two hugging it out in celebration -- which was met with mixed reviews (after all, haters gonna hate, hate, hate).

Swift might be considered a good-luck charm at this point ... and TK clearly has her on his mind on the field, with many thinking he threw up some heart hands in her direction after one of his TDs.

The Chiefs will now travel to Baltimore to face off against the Ravens on Sunday ... and judging by Swift's warm welcome with Chiefs Kingdom over the course of the season, there's no way she's gonna miss that one, either.

We covered it all on the latest episode of The TMZ Podcast, available on all podcast platforms.

Taylor Swift Supporting Her Man in Buffalo ... Blowing Haters Kisses

UPDATE

5:52 PM PT -- Travis is clearly appreciative of his better half showing up to support him ... after he scored a TD, he seemed to blow a kiss and toss a "hand heart" up toward the suite where Tay's chilling with the fam.

His brother was freakin' stoked too ... though Jason went with a pretty different kind of celebration -- ripping off his shirt and downing a beer while the boos rained down on him!!!

3:17 PM PT -- So far, so good on the all-important "meeting" of the sibling ... Taylor and Jason look pretty comfortable chatting -- which makes you wonder if they've maybe hung out before.

Taylor Swift's landed in Buffalo and Bills Mafia is giving her a hard time ... but the pop star seems to be taking all the jeering in stride.

TS' beau's playing in chilly upstate New York this afternoon, and her arrival at Highmark Stadium received the requisite amount of fanfare ... lots of pictures, video and a little trash talk from the other team.

One fan screams out "Bills by a billion" and Taylor seemingly blows a smooch back to him in response ... pretty dang cool response for the megastar.

Tay's basically a pro at attending Chiefs games at this point ... she's been hitting them up regularly since September and even braved frigid temperatures to watch her man's first playoff game last week -- and seemed totally enthralled with him after.

PLAYOFF PUPPY DOG EYES
X / @Leabonics

And, there's another relationship milestone Taylor's reaching tonight ... a public appearance with Jason Kelce, Travis' brother, who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles and was spotted landing in Buffalo earlier Sunday. She's already been spotted with JK's wife Kylie ... so it shouldn't be too long.

As far as we can tell ... Taylor spent a ton of time with Travis' mom, Donna, and even hung out with his dad, Ed, but she and Jason have never been spotted hanging out publicly -- which doesn't mean they haven't had a covert meeting over the last couple weeks.

Now, Chiefs fans might not be so stoked on Taylor's appearance at the game ... remember, she pulled up for the match back in December where the Bills won by just three points -- and Patrick Mahomes had something of a meltdown after the L.

Of course, Taylor didn't cause that loss by any means ... but sports fans are superstitious -- so you just know she's gonna take a lot of flak if Josh Allen's squad can pull out a win.

TMZ INVESTIGATES
TMZ Studios

The game's kicking off here at 3:30 PM PT ... so grab a seat and blast "Cruel Summer" in honor of the hottest couple around!!!

Originally Published -- 2:59 PM PT

Buffalo Bills Selling T Swift-Themed Food At Chiefs Game ... Karma Is A Quesadilla!!!

Bills and Chiefs fans with a blank space in their tummies are in luck this weekend  ... Buffalo's food service partner just revealed it's going to sell some Taylor Swift-themed snacks at the big game Sunday!!

Delaware North -- which has brought tasty treats to Highmark Stadium all season long -- announced this week it's packing two new options for the divisional round playoff game against Kansas City with odes to Swift in them.

One of the meals is called the "Bad Blood waffle fries" ... and it features two feet of fries topped with a grip of Buffalo and Kansas City food staples -- including blue cheese and BBQ pork.

The other option is named the "Karma Quesadilla" ... and it's got chicken tenders, bacon and pork belly all over it.

It's not quite clear if Swift will get the opportunity to enjoy the grub -- it hasn't been confirmed yet if she'll make the trek to Orchard Park to watch her boyfriend, Travis Kelce. But, considering she battled the snow to catch his game last weekend against the Miami Dolphins, it seems like it's a good bet.

What's interesting, the team has yet to make a food option with a nod to Josh Allen's GF, Hailee Steinfeld ... though something tells us if the home squad gets the win over K.C., Bills Mafia will not care less.

Bills, Steelers Fans Snow Way We're Missing This Game!!!

DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW
X / @C_AdamskiTrib

A little bit of snow -- okay, a TON of snow -- wasn't gonna stop Bills and Steelers fans from making their way to the stadium for Monday's Wild Card game ... with diehard supporters trudging to their seats in time for kickoff.

The playoff matchup was originally slated to go down on Sunday ... but Mother Nature had other plans, as a snowstorm forced the N.Y. governor and NFL commish Roger Goodell to push it back a day.

The Bills pulled out all the stops in hopes of getting Highmark Stadium ready in time for the contest ... even offering folks $20 an hour to help clear out the snow.

Despite the efforts, there was plenty left over from the storm ... but judging by videos of spectators walking through knee-deep piles in order to get to their seats, they didn't care one bit.

In fact, when Buffalo tight end Dawson Knox caught the first touchdown of the game, Bills Mafia made use of the extra snow by throwing it up in the air to celebrate.

All things considered, the field looks damn good for the game ... with not one snowflake in sight.

The Bills -- who are no strangers to uncooperative weather -- have the early lead over Pittsburgh ... but there's still plenty of ball left.

Damar Hamlin Honored With NFL Community Award ... After Holiday Toy Drive

The NFL is shining a light on Damar Hamlin's recent charitable efforts -- the Buffalo Bills safety was just selected as the Community MVP for Week 18 after giving back to his hometown during the holidays.

Hamlin received the honor for his 4th annual toy drive that went down last month ... where he distributed more than 2,000 toys, hundreds of books, and 50 bikes to hundreds of kids in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Hamlin has been helping out those in his area since before his NFL days, but this one was extra special -- it was the first toy drive since he suffered cardiac arrest against the Bengals on Jan. 2, 2023.

Hamlin said one of his first memories waking up after the incident was seeing the $9 million raised for his fundraiser. With the exceeded amount, Hamlin did his own personal Santa Claus impression, donning the big man's classic red suit and spreading some holiday cheer.

In a year that began with turbulence, this was one of the brightest moments for Damar ... which he explained when speaking about the drive.

"I just couldn’t wait for this," Hamlin said. "I've received so much love, so many blessings. I just couldn’t wait to pay them all forward."

The full $9 million raised after Hamlin's medical emergency won't just help his toy drive -- he said it will also go toward improving his community through CPR education, sporting events in the summer, and turkey drives.

Hamlin may earn another award in the near future -- he's currently the front-runner for the NFL Comeback Player of the Year honor.

Old news is old news!
Be First!

Get TMZ breaking news sent right to your browser!