Patrick Peterson is hoping to be locking up receivers all the way until 2026 ... telling TMZ Sports he wants to play in the NFL for the next half-decade!!!
"If you ask me," Peterson says, "I got about five left. So, that's a lot of games."
Of course, the new Minnesota Vikings star is only 31 years old -- so the goal ain't exactly farfetched -- but, remember, he's been in the league for 10 years already.
Peterson, though, sounded confident he can play that long ... which will end up being a VERY good thing for at least one Peterson fan.
The reason? Patrick tells us he's launching a new NFT for charity -- explaining the person who wins will not only get the sweet piece of one-of-a-kind digital art ... but they'll also get two tickets to EVERY ONE of his games going forward.
Peterson says to enter to win the contest ... all his fans have to do is buy entries -- which will ultimately end up benefitting the Patrick Peterson Foundation for Success.
"All the donations, all the funds go to low income, inner-city kids," Peterson says. "Giving them opportunities for resources and to help them reach their full potential."
As for the NFT -- it features his old LSU #7 jersey and his new Vikings #7 jersey ... which, by the way, Peterson says he's stoked to be wearing in 2021.
In fact, Peterson wasn't having any bit of any QB who criticizes the new jersey number rule change (looking at you, Tom Brady) -- offering up one small piece of advice for them ...
"Don't throw at the opposite color!"
Can't argue with that.
Benny The Butcher's "Bills Mafia Anthem" song is getting a bit of a remix ... 'cause the rapper tells TMZ Sports he's droppin' a new music video -- featuring Buffalo players!!!
Buffalo's own Benny -- who signed a management deal with ROC Nation -- put out the first music video in January, right before the Bills' AFC Championship run.
Check out some of the lyrics:
"You know who the beasts in the AFC East
We gon' grind this thing out for seventeen weeks, yeah
You hatin' on them Bills, then you way off
Talk is cheap, meet us in the playoffs"
The Mafia and the team LOVE it -- so much that Benny tells us he's putting out another music video of the song this season.
"I got the video coming out Week 5," Benny says, "We shot it at the stadium. We was in the Bills players' locker room. I had my own locker in there, it was crazy!"
And, Benny -- who was on La Brea following a photoshoot with LRG -- says it features THREE Bills players -- "My boy Tremaine Edmunds, my boy Dion Dawkins, of course, and Cody Ford!"
Sorry, no Josh Allen ... but Benny says he's working on that.
"We need Josh Allen in one the Benny The Butcher videos," Benny says.
"Josh Allen, man, come to the east side of Buffalo. We know the rest of Buffalo love you, come to the east side of Buffalo!"
We also talked football with Benny -- the loyal fan tells us Josh is taking home TWO titles this season ... MVP and Super Bowl champ!
If Allen gets the Bills to the SB, he'd be the first QB to do so since Jim Kelly, who appeared in four (1990-1994) ... but of course, Buffalo came up short each time.
"Them four Super Bowls and Jim doing that for us, the city was forever grateful so we can never forget Jim for that, but Josh Allen can take it to new heights and we expect him to."
To all those Chiefs fans who ain't feeling Travis Kelce's new baby-face look, we're sorry in advance ... 'cause the K.C. star tells TMZ Sports he might go beard-less -- ALL YEAR!!!
The 31-year-old broke down the plans for his facial fuzz out at LAX this week ... saying even though he got roasted for whipping out the razor recently -- he might just keep the fresh-faced drip all season.
What's interesting, though ... Kelce actually had some stubble going when we got him -- but he insisted that was merely a temporary thing.
"Nah, I haven't got a cut in a while," Kelce told us.
As for why he initially decided to trim his famous fur -- which he's become known for in his rise to NFL stardom in Kansas City -- he said bluntly, "Sometimes you gotta see your face!"
When we asked if he planned to keep that mentality all season, he added ... "We'll see!"
Beard or not ... we're pretty sure Kelce's going to ball out this season -- and he clearly feels the same way, telling us before jetting away from the airport, "We gon' get after it, baby!"
We certainly don't doubt it.
"Whatever Tom has left," Chris says, "I think that's what Rob has left as well."
As for why ... Chris says it's simple -- he just can't fathom Rob sticking around and catching passes from a different style of signal-caller.
"I just can't see him playing with another quarterback," Chris tells us. "It's tough to get that chemistry. It's tough to win once you lose that QB."
Tom has said his goal is to play until he's 45 years old and then reevaluate things ... which means he's looking to strap up the pads through at least the 2022 season.
And, at 32 years old, that wouldn't seem too farfetched for Gronk ... but, remember, the tight end has dealt with plenty of injuries in his career -- including "probably" 20 concussions.
But, Rob looked healthy as ever in the Bucs' season-opening win over the Cowboys on Thursday ... and Chris tells us he could see Rob's career continue if Tom decides he wants to play another FIVE years.
"I think Rob will play it out until Tom plays it out is what I'm thinking," Chris says.
There's more ... Chris also spoke with us about the Bucs' odds of running the table this year -- and he didn't exactly rule the possibility out!!
Bad news for the Dallas Cowboys -- starting tackle La'el Collins just got slapped with a 5-week suspension due to the league's substance-abuse policy.
It's gotta be heartbreaking for fans of America's team -- 28-year-old Collins missed all of 2020 due to a hip injury ... and had been having some stinger issues during camp this season.
Collins was stellar in Thursday's Week 1 opener -- a crushing 31-29 loss to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
But, it's back to the bench for the 6'4", 320-lb. star ... with the team announcing the news Friday afternoon.
No word on what exactly triggered the suspension ... but NFL Network's Ian Rapaport says it may be due to missed drug tests.
Detroit Lions star D'Andre Swift is NOT a suspect in a murder case ... so says his head coach Dan Campbell, who called this week's reports merely "Internet rumors."
Swift began trending on social media Thursday after he had been allegedly named in a report involving a Philadelphia homicide in July.
We reached out to the Philadelphia Police Dept. ... and they said they could not comment on the matter.
Campbell, though, told media members Friday that, to his knowledge, his running back has not been involved in any nefarious criminal activity whatsoever.
"I think that's just Internet rumors that I don't feel like I need to comment on right now if I'm being honest with you," Campbell said.
NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Friday he's heard similar things to Campbell ... explaining, "Sources have indicated D'Andre Swift is not under investigation."
I will add this: We did extensive reporting on the situation the last two days. Philadelphia Police have declined to comment. Sources have indicated D'Andre Swift is not under investigation. There is an open murder case. But again, no indication Swift is a suspect. https://t.co/2OvgwIxw7b— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 10, 2021 @MikeGarafolo
"There is an open murder case," Garafolo added. "But again, no indication Swift is a suspect."
D'Andre -- who Campbell said is "ready to go" for the Lions' season-opener this weekend -- is expected to have a huge role for Detroit this year after he totaled 878 yards from scrimmage in 13 games last season.
The quarterback made the claim in a sit-down interview with his dad this week ... saying he believes his personality is so big, the Pats were forced to shove him off their roster despite his willingness to stick around and be Mac Jones' backup.
"The truth of the matter is this," Cam said. "[Mac] would've been uncomfortable. He would've."
Newton says because he's such a huge figure -- he believes New England thought Jones wouldn't have been able to flourish while constantly looking over his shoulder at the high-profile QB.
"[My aura] is my gift and my curse," Cam said. "When you bring a Cam Newton to your facility -- when you bring a Cam Newton to your franchise -- people are interested by mere fact of, 'Who is he?'"
"'Why does he wear his hair? Why does he talk? Why does he perform? Why does' -- all these questions."
Newton, though, said he's "not bitter" about how it all went down ... and made it clear he thinks he's still one of the best 32 quarterbacks in the world.
As for Cam's dad, Cecil Newton, Sr., he wasn't exactly pleased with Belichick's decision ... saying cutting the QB was a "sucker move."
There's more ... Cam also ripped the Pats and the NFL for the way they handled his COVID testing situation while he was away from the team in August -- explaining he felt "bamboozled" when they forced him to sit out five days after he returned from a trip home in training camp.
"I'm like," Cam said, "'Y'all told me to go!'"
Cam added that he has absolutely zero plans to retire despite how it all went down in New England.
Just minutes after Dallas fell in heartbreaking fashion to Tampa Bay ... a hot mic picked up the guarantee in a postgame conversation between the two star QBs.
At first, the guys appeared to just congratulate each other on a hard-fought game -- but then Dak hit TB12 with this promise ...
"We'll see y'all again."
Of course, the only way that's possible is if both teams make the playoffs ... something Prescott sure seems confident about after throwing for 403 yards and 3 TDs in the opener.
And, if we're all being honest, Prescott's take ain't exactly a hot one.
Brady looked unstoppable in the 31-29 victory, and Dak matched him throw for throw throughout the night ... leading most football fans to believe both the Cowboys and the Bucs will likely win their divisions this year.
That would put the two on a collision course in the postseason -- which, clearly, Dak can see coming some 3 months from now.
And, if that future matchup is anything like Thursday's ... getcha popcorn ready.
1:40 PM PT -- 9/9 -- What Big Ben wants, Big Ben apparently gets ... 'cause just 1 day after the quarterback urged the Steelers to pay Watt, the team has vowed to do just that.
Watt and Pittsburgh agreed to a mega, 4-year, $112 MILLION deal on Thursday ... NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and ESPN's Adam Schefter reported.
The contract -- which Watt is expected to officially sign within the next day or so -- comes with a fully guaranteed $80 MIL, Rapoport reported.
Watt should now be fully ready to play against the Bills on Sunday ... but first, perhaps a thank you gift or two for Ben???
Ben Roethlisberger says the Steelers better pay T.J. Watt ASAP ... explaining to reporters on Wednesday a new contract for the defensive star is "one of the reasons I took less money."
"I think T.J. should get whatever the heck he wants," Big Ben said. "He's arguably the best football player in the game right now, not just on defense, just in general."
Watt is currently locked in a heated contract dispute with the Steelers ... and things have gotten so contentious, there's a chance Watt -- who's sat out team drills in Pittsburgh practices while waiting for a new deal -- might miss the season-opener on Sunday over it all.
Ben clearly thinks it should never have gotten to this point ... 'cause the QB explained to media members this is why he agreed to take a pay cut to play for the Steelers this season.
"One of the reasons I took less money was for guys like him to get paid, and he needs to get paid," Roethlisberger said.
"He deserves every penny that he wants and asks for. T.J. Watt is that guy that should get whatever he wants."
Watt has made the Pro Bowl in 3 of his 4 seasons with the Steelers ... piling up 49.5 sacks in 62 games. His next contract is expected to make him the highest-paid defensive player in the league.
"He was here every single day and he didn't need to be, working, busting his butt," Roethlisberger said. "He should get taken care of."
Originally Published -- 9/8 9:20 AM PT
The Baltimore Ravens can't catch a break.
Running back Gus Edwards might be out with a season-ending torn ACL on Thursday ... just days after starter J.K. Dobbins AND backup Justice Hill suffered serious injuries.
The news was just made official minutes ago ... with Adam Schefter reporting the injury happened at practice.
Of course, Dobbins -- who was poised to have a huge role in the offense this season -- tore his ACL on Aug. 28 ... and Hill (who the Ravens waived this week) tore his Achilles on Sep. 2.
To make matters worse, star cornerback Marcus Peters also reportedly tore his ACL at Wednesday's practice.
Seriously ... so brutal.
So, what's that mean for fantasy football?? Expect newly signed Le'Veon Bell to be a hot commodity in pretty much every league ... as well as Ty'Son Williams.
Here's hoping the rest of the team can stay healthy with Week 1 officially kicking off Thursday night.
The former wide receiver made the claim on ESPN's "First Take" on Wednesday ... saying while he was a Cowboy in 2004 and 2005 -- Romo was full of drama.
"Tony Romo was one of the most diva-ish dudes that I've ever been around at that position!" Johnson said.
What's interesting ... Romo wasn't even the starter during Johnson's two years with the Cowboys -- the QB was actually a backup to Vinny Testaverde in his rookie year and then Drew Bledsoe the next season.
"I think Tony might've even been on the practice squad," Johnson said. "Major diva, though!"
Johnson didn't elaborate on what exactly made Tony such a problem to be around ... but the rant was all part of a tangent Keyshawn went on while trying to explain how QBs have more "diva" tendencies than wideouts.
"Can't say anything bad to the quarterback," Johnson said. "If you say something to him -- if you scream at him or yell at him -- you're a problem."
Keyshawn continued, "They always got to have the, 'Look at his pretty face. His hairstyle. Oh, what about his suit!' All diva stuff. Everything."
Bengals rookie Ja'Marr Chase is giving an interesting explanation for his preseason blunders ... saying he's been dropping so many passes because the NFL balls don't have white stripes.
It's safe to say the ex-LSU star has stumbled out the gate to start his pro career ... dropping an eye-opening amount of passes after barely having any issues in college.
Chase -- who sat out the 2020 NCAA season to prepare for the draft -- opened up on his struggles this week ... and while he says he's not making any excuses for his performance, he explains the differences he's had to face so far as a pro.
"I don't want to blame it on me sitting on my butt the whole year, but it probably had something to do with it, of course," the #5 overall pick in the draft told Bengals.com.
"There's a bigger ball adjustment, so I don't want to make excuses but I've just got to be a pro and make the catch."
Chase describes other differences with the NFL ball that could be impacting his game -- the white stripes.
"The ball is different because it is bigger," he added. "It doesn't have the white stripes on the side, so you can't see the ball coming from the tip point.
"So, you actually have to look for the strings on the ball at the top, which is hard to see because the whole ball is brown and you have the six strings that are white."
"But, for the most part, just have to get used to it and find out what I am comfortable with catching."
Chase also says he has to do a better job concentrating on the ball ... and has been working overtime after practice to adjust his issues.
We're sure there are a ton of fantasy owners who hope it happens sooner than later.
You're looking at Bradley Chubb's mugshot ... taken shortly after the Denver Broncos star was arrested (albeit briefly) for failing to show up to court for several traffic violations.
TMZ Sports obtained the booking photos for the 25-year-old, 2018 1st-round draft pick ... and the LB understandably looks pretty bummed.
Chubb was supposed to be in a Colorado court on Monday ... to face charges stemming from a May 6 traffic stop where cops say he was driving with a suspended or revoked license (misdemeanor restraint) and without valid tags.
However, the Broncos' 5th overall pick never showed up to the courthouse, so a failure-to-appear warrant was issued.
The next morning (Tuesday), Chubb was stopped for a minor traffic infraction. When cops ran his name, they discovered the warrant and took him into custody, before bringing him to the Douglas County Detention Center.
Bond was set at $250 (not an issue for Chubb, who signed a $27+ million deal in 2018) ... before he posted the money and was released.
The Broncos released a statement on the arrest, saying ... "We are aware of the matter, which was related to an unresolved traffic citation that has now been addressed."
Cam Newton is not ready to ride off into the sunset just yet -- saying he's NOT going to retire after getting cut by the Patriots ... and insisting he has "a lot of football left in me."
The 32-year-old's time in New England officially ended after just one season last week ... when the Pats decided to let the 2015 MVP go in favor of rookie Mac Jones.
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Newton posted some career lows in several categories in 15 games for the Pats last season ... but is making it clear he's got more left in the tank in an Instagram post Wednesday.
It may be too late for a team to pick Cam up as a starter, but there's gotta be a spot for his talent somewhere in the league.
Cam's teasing a "Funky Friday" chat coming up ... and it's giving "tell-all" vibes.
If that's the case, we'll be all ears.
Sam 'Bam' Cunningham, former USC and New England Patriots star running back, and one of the forces behind the integration of college football in the 1970s, passed away on Tuesday.
He was 71 years old.
Cunningham -- older brother of longtime NFL QB, Randall Cunningham -- starred at the University of Southern California in the early '70s. He was a consensus All-American in 1972 ... the year he helped USC go undefeated and win a National Championship.
But, more important than the accolades was Cunningham's impact on the game. He's credited with helping diversify the Alabama football team -- under legendary coach Bear Bryant -- and college football as a whole.
As a sophomore in 1970, Sam led USC's all-Black backfield in Birmingham ... routing 'Bama 42-21. Cunningham ran for 135 yards and scored 2 touchdowns.
The following year, Alabama's squad featured Black players (they won the National Championship). The USC-Bama game the previous year was said to have expedited the integration in the south.
After leaving Southern Cali, Cunningham was drafted by the New England Patriots with the 11th overall pick in the 1973 NFL Draft.
Bam played 9 seasons for the Pats ... before hanging up his pads in 1982.
He finished his career with 5,453 rushing yards and 43 rushing TDs.
In 2010, he was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame ... and was also named a member of the team's 50th Anniversary squad.
Pats owner Robert Kraft weighed in on Cunningham's passing, saying ... “We are deeply saddened to learn of yet another loss to the Patriots family this week and our hearts ache for Sam Cunningham’s family and all who are mourning his passing today.”
The other former Pat that Kraft is talking about is David Patten ... a 3x Super Bowl champ who died at the age of 47 on Thursday night following a motorcycle accident.
The MVP on the New England Patriots might not even be a player this season -- 'cause rookie QB Mac Jones says he has a secret weapon helping him -- his girlfriend!!!
The 23-year-old former Heisman finalist spoke with WEEI on Tuesday about how he's gearing up for his first NFL season ... saying his longtime boo, Sophie Scott, has been super supportive -- even helping him walk through plays in their front yard!
"She does a good job," Mac told "Merloni & Fauria" ... "Most of the time we just walk-through in the yard. She actually helps me a lot."
Of course, Mac just beat out Cam Newton for the starting QB gig in Foxboro after an impressive preseason ... and now we have a better idea how he was so quick to succeed!
As for Mac and Sophie, they've been public on social media dating back to October 2019 ... and have posted a ton of pics together ever since.
The Pats open their season against the Miami Dolphins on September 12 ... and we'll see how all that preparation plays out!!!