D'Onta Foreman Apologizes For Davenport Punch ... 'Deeply Regretful'

Panthers running back D'Onta Foreman says he was way out of character when he punched Saints star Marcus Davenport during Sunday's game ... and for that, he's apologizing.

The altercation went down after the defensive end tackled Foreman in the third quarter of the Panthers vs. Saints game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

After the tackle, Foreman pushed Davenport ... who responded by smacking the 26-year-old's helmet.

This pissed D'Onta off to the point where he ended up throwing a right hook ... and the punch landed directly in Davenport's facemask. Both players were then ejected from the game.

Foreman -- who signed a one-year contract with Carolina in March -- apologized on Monday for his behavior ... saying his actions "were totally out of my character."

"To the organization, my teammates, and our amazing fans, I sincerely and truly apologize for my actions in yesterday's game and not being available," Foreman said.

"I am deeply regretful of everything that happened and assure you it will never happen again. I absolutely love being a Panther and wholeheartedly look forward to this journey together."

Foreman wasn't the only NFL star to put out an apology today ... Packers star Quay Walker tweeted an "I'm sorry" statement after the rookie shoved a Detroit Lions trainer on the field.

Expect the NFL to submit penalties for these incidents soon.

Baker Mayfield Claimed By Rams ... After Panthers' Release

Baker Mayfield is headed to Hollywood ... the L.A. Rams have claimed the quarterback -- after he was released from Carolina on Monday.

L.A. confirmed the move with a cheeky tweet -- showing a picture of a baker, a calendar flipped to the month of May, and a field.

The roster decision, of course, is not a surprising one ... starter Matthew Stafford is on injured reserve -- and backup John Wolford is dealing with a neck injury.

Mayfield will now try to revive his career in the City of Angels ... after his short-lived tenure with the Panthers ended disastrously. The former No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft finished with a 1-5 record in six starts under center -- throwing six interceptions to just six touchdowns.

Things got so bad, Mayfield was eventually benched in favor of P.J. Walker and Sam Darnold.

Unclear if the Rams have plans to start Mayfield any time in the near future -- for now, Bryce Perkins appears to be the QB1 heading into their Thursday matchup with the Raiders.

Baker Mayfield Released ... After Five Months W/ Carolina

Baker Mayfield is looking for a new home once again -- the Carolina Panthers just announced they are parting ways with the former #1 overall pick.

Mayfield won the starting gig after getting traded to Carolina in July ... but went just 1-5 under center in 2022.

Baker -- the top pick in the 2018 NFL Draft -- played in just 7 total games before getting the boot on Monday ... throwing for 1,313 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions.

The move comes after PJ Walker moved into the backup role behind Sam Darnold.

It was supposed to be a fresh start for Mayfield, who requested a trade after the Cleveland Browns pursued Deshaun Watson.

Mayfield has played in 67 total games in his career ... and has a 30-35 overall record. He's thrown 98 touchdowns and 62 interceptions.

The timing is perfect for the San Francisco 49ers, who are in desperate need of a quarterback after Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a foot injury, leaving Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy as the lone healthy QB on the roster.

Perhaps Mayfield won't be jobless for long.

Greg Hardy Boxing Hasim Rahman Jr. ... After Vitor Belfort Pulls Out

Hasim Rahman Jr. has found a new opponent ... former NFL star turned UFC fighter turned boxer Greg Hardy is stepping in last minute to save the main event after Vitor Belfort was forced to pull out after getting sick, it was announced Tuesday.

DAZN broke the news this morning ... announcing Rahman will square off against the ex-Panthers defensive end in just four days.

“I’m excited, man, this is my chance to show that I belong in the boxing world,” Hardy said.

“I know plenty about the Rahman name as boxers, and I know he was preparing for Vitor, but I’m definitely confident and prepared to show people I can box.”

Hasim and Vitor were originally set to go toe-to-toe on Nov.19 in Austin, TX ... but the bout was called off after the Brazilian mixed martial artist contracted COVID-19.

Rahman will have his hands full with Hardy ... who aside from being huge (Greg would have to cut to make the 265 lb. limit as a UFC fighter), also hits like a truck.

But, Hasim's also dangerous. The 31-year-old boxer -- whose dad was a heavyweight champ -- has a pro record of 12-1 (6 knockouts).

NOT IMPRESSED
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Of course, Rahman Jr.'s been one of the fighters feuding with Jake Paul of late. The men were scheduled to fight, but the bout fell apart weeks before. Hasim has been adamant the Problem Child's ducking him.

Hardy vs. Rahman Jr. goes down Saturday night!

Baker Mayfield Headbutts Panthers After Win ... You OK, Bro?!?

Baker Mayfield lost his mind -- and maybe even pieces of his forehead and scalp -- following the Panthers' win on Thursday ... headbutting his helmeted teammates -- repeatedly!!!

Carolina's backup QB performed the insane act just seconds before his squad officially beat the Falcons, 25-15, on "Thursday Night Football" ... and the move was so weird, even his own teammates appeared to be caught off guard.

Check out the footage from the game's broadcast -- you can see Baker, in nothing but a baseball cap, slamming his head into his teammates' over and over again as they came off the field.

Nearly every guy that he hit looked at him with a "what're you doing, bro" expression ... but Mayfield didn't seem to care.

Of course, the Panthers had only won one game since September prior to Thursday night -- and Baker's had a brutal year, getting hurt and then being benched in favor of P.J. Walker -- so maybe he didn't quite remember how to act following a victory?

Either way ... perhaps just go for the handshake next time, Bake.

Christian McCaffrey Pens Goodbye Note to Panthers ... 'Carolina, I Will Always Love You'

Christian McCaffrey officially became a San Francisco 49er on Thursday ... and the superstar running back gave a touching tribute to his first NFL home after being traded, saying, "Carolina, I will always love you."

The blockbuster transaction went down Thursday night ... with the Panthers shipping away their 2017 8th overall pick in exchange for a handful of draft picks.

The 26-year-old thanked Carolina for embracing him for more than half a decade before heading to the Bay Area ... saying, "I'm forever grateful for all of the people who have helped make these past 5 1/2 years so special for me."

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Carolina, I will always love you💙 #KeepPounding."

McCaffrey has been the center of trade rumors for weeks ... with the team looking to go in a different direction. Head coach Matt Rhule got canned for going 1-4 to start the season, and Robbie Anderson was traded to the Arizona Cardinals.

Now, the franchise just gave up its most successful and popular player since Cam Newton.

The Los Angeles Rams were also in the running for CM ... but surprisingly, the Buffalo Bills -- who were reportedly interested in landing the playmaker -- were not.

McCaffrey's model girlfriend, Olivia Culpo, also posted about the trade ... saying, "So many emotions right now."

She also posted a pic holding Christian's hand ... captioning it, "Ready for anything with you."

Culpo and McCaffrey first went public in 2019 ... and she has hit up as many Panthers games as she could over the past few seasons.

On the bright side, OC will have a much shorter flight from L.A. to Niners games now!!

McCaffrey finishes his Panthers career with 3,980 yards and 32 touchdowns on the ground ... and 3,292 yards and 18 TDs in the air.

Carolina Panthers Fire Matt Rhule ... After 1-4 Start

UPDATE

11:04 AM PT -- Rhule isn't the only coach getting the boot in Carolina -- defensive coordinator Phil Snow has also been let go, according to Ian Rapoport.

The Matt Rhule era in Carolina is over -- the Panthers just announced they're parting ways with their head coach after a 1-4 start.

It's no secret -- the Panthers have been a mess so far this season ... and have really struggled during Rhule's tenure, going 5-11 and 5-12 in his first two years on the sidelines.

The decision comes just weeks after Panthers owner David Tepper said the organization would be "patient" with Rhule.

The Panthers lost 37-15 to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday ... and after the game, he was questioned about his job security.

"I've got nothing to say about that now, just here to talk about the game today," Rhule said. "Would never want to make this about me."

Rhule had four years left on his $62 million deal ... but it was clear the organization felt it was time to make a change ASAP.

Prior to the Panthers, Rhule was the head coach Baylor University, where he turned the program around. In his first year the team went 1-11. In 2018, his second year, they went 7-6. Then, in 2019, the team, ranked as high as 7th in the nation, went 11-3, and played in the Big 12 Championship.

He won the Chuck Neinas Coach of the Year Award in 2019, which is voted on by fellow coaches.

Before Baylor, Rhule coached at Temple ... going 28-23 and bringing success back to the program.

Steve Wilks will serve as interim head coach.

Originally Published -- 8:22 AM PT

Baker Mayfield I Didn't Say I'd 'F*** Up' Browns ... Denies Report

Baker Mayfield is clearing the air on allegedly saying he'd "f*** up" the Cleveland Browns in Week 1 ... claiming he didn't even come close to hurling the bulletin board material.

Earlier this week, NFL Media's Cynthia Frelund stated she spoke with the new Carolina Panthers QB after their preseason game against the Buffalo Bills ... and claimed he told her he was going to get revenge on his former team with an NSFW statement.

It's a comment that almost certainly lit a fire under his old teammates' asses ... with Myles Garrett saying the Browns were going to "take it and use it."

But Baker spoke with the media at practice on Wednesday ... and he says the conversation didn't go as Frelund claimed.

"Well, first, I didn't say it," Baker told reporters.

"That is not how I phrased it. That's not even what I said."

Bake claims he "didn't even say anything" other than wanting to get a win in Week 1 ... which isn't nearly as eye-opening as the initial statement.

If Mayfield is telling the truth, it was a pretty believable quote nonetheless -- after all, this is the guy who went #1 overall in the 2018 draft but still played with a chip on his shoulder.

As for Frelund, she later admitted she should have kept the conversation private ... but stood by her intent -- which was to show support for the QB.

Something tells us the Browns are still gonna have that motivation come September 11.

Bills Punter Matt Araiza Sitting Out Of Preseason Game ... Amid Rape Allegations

Bills punter Matt Araiza will NOT be participating in Buffalo's final preseason game ... after a woman made serious rape allegations against him in a lawsuit earlier this week.

22-year-old Araiza -- AKA the "Punt God" -- was originally slated to suit up and play in the Bills' matchup against the Carolina Panthers on Friday night ... but before kickoff, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the team reversed course and will sit him down.

The decision comes following a civil lawsuit in which a woman accused the former San Diego State star of raping her with his SDSU football teammates during a Halloween party in October 2021.

In the suit, the woman -- who's 18 now but said she was 17 at the time of the incident -- claimed she was sexually assaulted by the punter (who was 21 at the time) and two other Aztecs football players for over an hour at his SD home.

The Bills released a statement on Thursday ... saying the team was aware of the allegations and was investigating the situation.

Araiza's attorney denied the allegations in a statement to the Los Angeles Times, saying, "It's a shakedown because he's now with the Buffalo Bills."

"There is no doubt in my mind that Matt Araiza ever raped that girl," the attorney added.

San Diego Police are investigating the incident, though no arrests have been made.

Baker Mayfield's Wife Emotional Over Leaving Cleveland ... 'A Lot of Tears'

Emily Mayfield is sad to leave Cleveland behind after Baker's trade to the Carolina Panthers ... admitting it's been an emotional process with "a lot of tears."

The former #1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft spent his first four pro seasons with the Browns ... but was shipped to Charlotte as a result of Cleveland's controversial trade for Deshaun Watson.

As the 2022-23 season approaches, Emily is reflecting on all the memories she made with her husband ... saying she had no idea she'd be saying goodbye already.

"It's obviously been an emotional couple of days," Emily said on Instagram. "Baker and I left last season, truly expecting to come back for another season (like the previous 4 years).

"No part of me thought it'd be the last time we'd leave that house together or the last time we'd shut it down to head out on our off-season adventures."

Emily reminisced about all the experiences they shared at their first house as a couple -- from barbeques and bonfires to holiday gatherings.

"I am leaving Cleveland with such fond memories," she added. "I'm leaving this house with a full heart. This week brought A LOT of tears. It brought tons of nostalgia. But I'm so happy I felt those feelings... it means it was a good ride."

Mayfield says she's excited to create new memories in Charlotte, but admits "there's just something about that first place ..... Thank you, CLE. You'll forever hold a special place in my heart."

But, on the bright side, Emily says a flight attendant noticed her puffy eyes on her flight from Cleveland ... and gave her "the most massive pour" of wine.

Some people actually like Cleveland after all.

Panthers, Patriots Brawl At Joint Practice ... Fan Injured In Melee

The Patriots and Panthers' joint practice Wednesday looked more like a WWE match ... 'cause the two teams got into a huge brawl -- and the skirmish was so big, a fan was actually injured in the melee.

The fight initially started after Carolina star running back Christian McCaffrey was pissed over a tackle Patriots defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr. put on him during 11-on-11 drills.

The 26-year-old got up after the hit and threw the ball at the Pats D-lineman ... and that's when all hell broke loose.

Video shows a bunch of Panthers players going after Wise and his teammates right near fans who were sitting in the bleachers -- and, at one point, players were thrown into the spectators.

According to Pat's reporter Tom Curran, a woman sitting in the stands was injured after one of the players' helmets hit her foot.

She reportedly refused any medical help, and did get an offer for tickets to a game later this season.

This is the second brawl between the Panthers and Pats this week -- on Tuesday, several players, including Pats' Kendrick Bourne, Kristian Wilkerson, and Panthers' Kenny Robinson, went at it.

Their preseason game on Friday just became a must-watch!

Mark Wahlberg Still High On Baker Mayfield ... After Panthers Trade

LOOKIN' TOWARDS THE FUTURE
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Mark Wahlberg is still pulling for his guy, Baker Mayfield ... telling TMZ Sports the new Carolina Panthers quarterback has a "bright future ahead of him" -- even if it's not in Foxborough.

Remember, Wahlberg previously told us TWICE he saw #6 as Tom Brady's successor with the New England Patriots ... saying Mayfield was the "heir to the throne."

7/6/19
HEIR TO THE THRONE
TMZSports.com

Of course, that was before a guy named Mac Jones came along ... and while he's "absolutely" still a fan of Bake, Mark is coming to terms with the fact he won't be seeing him in a Patriots uniform anytime soon.

"It's a very stacked field at the quarterback position," Wahlberg said in New York this week. "It also has to do with the coach and the team, but he's got a big, bright future ahead of him."

6/9/18
DOWN TO BAKE
TMZSports.com

Mayfield was recently traded to the Panthers after a bad falling out with Cleveland ... which was sparked by the Browns' pursuit of Deshaun Watson.

Baker says he felt disrespected by the Browns' handling of the situation ... but says he's moved on and is excited for a fresh start in Charlotte.

As for his beloved Pats, Mark says they had an okay season last year ... and understands they're rebuilding to return to dominance.

Rashard Anderson Dead At 45 ... Panthers 1st Rd Pick

Rashard Anderson, former Carolina Panthers first-round draft pick and Jackson State football star, has died, university officials confirmed to TMZ Sports.

He was 45.

The cause of death is currently unknown.

Jackson State's athletic director released a statement on the tragic news, saying, "Rashard was one of the best players in the history of our football program and an outstanding person."

"He attended our spring football game in April and was excited about the program returning to championship status. Rashard will always be remembered by Jackson State University, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time."

A product of Forest High School in Mississippi, Anderson was a standout at JSU, where he played cornerback for the Tigers from 1996-99.

Anderson was a member of the Tigers team that won the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship in 1996 ... and the SWAC Eastern Division title in 1999.

Selected No. 23 overall by the Panthers in the first round of the 2000 NFL draft, Anderson played in 27 total games during his two seasons with Carolina.

Anderson's NFL career, however, was short-lived. The DB missed the entire 2003 season after getting suspended for a substance violation.

The league reinstated Rashard following the suspension, but he never caught on with another team.

But, Anderson's dream of continuing to play pro football didn't stop there ... he signed a contract with the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League, but the former college star was released soon after.

Rashard was inducted into JSU's Hall of Fame ... and to this day remains the last player from the university to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.

R.I.P.

Baker Mayfield #6 Jersey's Mine!! ... Struck Deal w/ Hekker

7/12/22
STICKING WITH SIX
Carolina Panthers

New team. Same number.

Baker Mayfield will be wearing his customary number 6 this upcoming season ... thanks to his new teammate, All-Pro punter Johnny Hekker, who agreed to let the polarizing QB have the number he sported throughout his college and NFL career.

Mayfield was introduced by the Carolina Panthers at a press conference on Tuesday ... when a reporter asked him about the importance of number 6, and whether he'd be rocking a new digit this season.

"I guess it's time to break the news," Baker said. "I made a deal, did my own negotiating with Johnny [Hekker]. Obviously when it comes to a 4-time All-Pro, [I] had to ask permission. [He] was willing to make those sacrifices."

"Six is special to me, not because it was ever my favorite number. It was the number I was given as a walk-on at Texas Tech and when I transferred, the people at Oklahoma thought it was my favorite number, so they just gave it to me again."

"It's just stuck with me," Mayfield added.

The former No.1 overall pick said the No.6 "symbolizes my story" and that it's "something special to him now," adding, that he's incredibly thankful Hekker -- a 10-year NFL veteran and stud punter -- was willing to accommodate his request.

It's unclear what the number cost Baker ... 'cause it almost certainly wasn't free. Over the years we've seen everything from cash, vacations and fancy gifts exchanged for numbers.

Baker also touched on the transition from Cleveland to North Carolina ... and talked about what the possibility of playing his old team -- the Browns -- Week 1 would mean to him.

"I'm extremely excited for this new start in Charlotte," the 27-year-old said. "It's just an exciting time for myself and my family and this new chapter."

"No animosity toward Cleveland. It's a good football town that gave me the first 4 years of my career."

Baker Mayfield Traded To Panthers ... After Messy Breakup With Cleveland Browns

Baker Mayfield's time in Cleveland is officially over -- the former first overall pick is heading to the Carolina Panthers, according to reports.

27-year-old Mayfield is being shipped to Charlotte in exchange for a 2024 conditional 5th-round pick, per Ian Rapoport.

The trade -- which is pending a physical -- comes after months of speculation ... with Mayfield penning a heartfelt goodbye to Browns fans amid Cleveland's pursuit of quarterback Deshaun Watson.

The Browns will pay $10.5 million of Mayfield's salary this season ... with the Panthers shelling out $5 million.

Mayfield joins a familiar face in the QB room -- fellow 2018 top pick Sam Darnold -- as well as rookie Matt Corral and P.J. Walker.

Mayfield played in 60 games over 4 years for the Browns ... leading the franchise to a playoff win against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2021.

His most recent season was riddled with injuries ... going 6-8 with 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

Despite being undoubtedly the best Browns QB since the franchise's return in 1999, Mayfield previously said he felt disrespected by the organization as they traded for Watson, whose NFL future remains uncertain amid claims of sexual misconduct by multiple massage therapists.

The best part about the trade -- Baker's Panthers will face off against the Browns in Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season.

Getcha popcorn ready.

NFL's Damien Wilson Arrested ... Reportedly Threatened To Kill Girlfriend

NFL linebacker Damien Wilson -- who was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 2015 -- was arrested last week ... after he reportedly threatened to kill his girlfriend with a tire iron.

Police confirmed to TMZ Sports the arrest happened in Frisco, Texas. Cops added in a statement to the Dallas Morning News that Wilson was booked on a charge of assault with bodily injury of a family member.

No further details surrounding the arrest have been released by law enforcement.

Wilson's girlfriend, Ryan Sokolosky, however, told the Dallas Morning News the arrest happened after the 28-year-old football player flew off the handle at her home after she had broken up with him.

Sokolosky reportedly said Wilson "emerged from bushes holding a tire iron" at her place and threatened to end her life.

Wilson's attorney, Toby Shook, said in a statement that Wilson "did not commit any type of assault." He added, "We look forward to all the facts coming out so his name can be cleared."

Wilson started 22 games in four seasons for Dallas from 2015 to 2018. He then played for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Jacksonville Jaguars, before signing with the Carolina Panthers in March.

The Panthers said in a statement to the Dallas Morning News they were aware of the allegations against Wilson but had no further comment.

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