Ex-Colts LB Gary Brackett Auctioning Super Bowl XLI Ring After Declaring Bankruptcy

Former Indianapolis Colts LB Gary Brackett is putting his Super Bowl XLI and AFC Championship rings up for auction ... all to rake in some cash after being forced to file bankruptcy 'cause COVID destroyed his small business.

Brackett -- who played for the Colts from 2003-2011 -- won his only Super Bowl ring in 2007 alongside Peyton Manning after the Colts defeated the Bears, 29-17.

Gary's SB ring will go up for bids during the Ripley Auctions Super Sports & Entertainment Sale ... which is scheduled to take place Feb. 5 in Indianapolis.

"This auction gives buyers an incredible opportunity to own the pinnacle of achievement in professional sports, a genuine, player-issued Super Bowl ring," Dan Ripley, owner of Ripley Auctions, says.

"The fact that both rings in our auction were won by one of the most popular Indianapolis Colts players ever, Gary Brackett, makes them even more special."

Of course, Brackett's ring is expected to fetch some serious value -- the ring is one of about 70 produced in total that were issued to players on the Colts roster at the time of their Super Bowl win.

Since retiring from the NFL at age 31, Brackett ventured into the restaurant industry ... where he owned the Stacked Pickle restaurant, which had nine locations in Indiana and one in Ohio.

However, the 41-year-old closed the doors of his restaurant ... after filing for bankruptcy in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Darius Leonard Holiday Shopping Spree For 50 Kids ... 'Make A Change!!!'

Colts star Darius Leonard became the real Santa Claus for kids in Indianapolis ... by bringing them on a holiday shopping spree!!

Leonard teamed up with Walmart for his first "Shop With a Jock" event ... where 50 lucky kids from the Boys & Girls Club in Indy got to go shopping with the linebacker with $100 gift cards for the store.

The special moment was caught on camera -- Leonard walked down each aisle at the local Walmart with the kids who picked out gifts like clothes and toys.

After that, they got to eat Papa John's pizza with Leonard and his teammates!!

One kid told WTHR he was so surprised he was shopping with an NFL star ... saying, "A football player in front of my eyes!" ... How adorable is that?!?

Leonard loved every minute of it -- saying he knows what it's like not getting much during the holidays, so he wanted to make a difference.

"I knew what it was like as a kid not really having too much up under the tree so just being able to come out and just be in these kids' faces -- now, they can go out and just shop and get whatever they want."

Leonard added, "They gonna remember this for the rest of their lives. Just tryna make a change in this world."

Leonard -- who has 8 siblings and 2 children of his own -- has been with the Colts since 2018 and the 2-time Pro Bowler has made over $29 million.

"Seeing the smiles on these kids faces is the reason why I do what I do!"

#GoodStuff

NFL's Isaiah Rodgers Cops Turkey Day Cleats ... With Feathers!!!

Indianapolis Colts DB Isaiah Rodgers LOVES himself some Thanksgiving ... 'cause he just copped a pair of Turkey-inspired cleats -- with feathers too!!!

TMZ Sports has learned ... artist Rodney Jackson hooked up the NFLer with some new cleats ... with the theme being centered around the annual Fall holiday.

They're pretty dope -- they feature a design of a turkey on the toe of both cleats ... and are decorated with Fall leaves on both sides with brown laces to match.

Of course, the highlight of the shoes is the touch of brown feathers Jackson added to the back of each cleat ... almost guaranteeing that all cameras will be pointed at the dude's feet when he rocks 'em.

Rodgers' Thanksgiving cleats mark the latest time he and Jackson have connected this season to produce some heat -- Jackson blessed Rodgers with some Terminator cleats earlier this year.

The Colts play Tom Brady and the high-powered Bucs offense this Sunday ... and the dudes gotta at least wear these things for warmups, right?!?

Can't wait to see what the dude's got next year -- mac and cheese?!? Stuffing?!? We're hungry.

Isaiah Rodgers Cops Michael Jackson Cleats ... 'This Is Thriller!!!'

Indianapolis Colts' Isaiah Rodgers went with one of the G.O.A.T.s of all music videos for his Halloween cleats -- Michael Jackson's "Thriller!"

TMZ Sports has learned the Colts DB wanted to celebrate the scary holiday with some custom cleats and hit up his main man, artist Rodney Jackson.

Jackson tells us they went over several options ... from the mummy to Charlie Brown's Halloween and then boom -- Jackson's 1983 music video "Thriller" was it!

It took three days for Jackson to put the insane cleats together --- and they came out amazing!

You can see the King of Pop with the infamous red jacket as the zombie featured on one side and the classic ending of the music video with Ola Ray as his GF on the other.

There's also a QR code painted on the Nike cleats -- Jackson telling us the code leads you to the video of the custom spikes.

Jackson -- who also made Rodgers' Terminator shoes -- says the 23-year-old will wear 'em during pregame warmups before taking on the Tennessee Titans on Halloween.

FYI, "Thriller" has been considered the best music video of all time by several publications and has over 798 million views on YouTube.

This is Thriller!!!

NFL's Nyheim Hines Cops Scary 'Candyman' Cleats ... 'Be My Victim'

Don't be in front of a mirror when you read this ...

Indianapolis Colts star Nyheim Hines just copped some dope custom cleats of one of the most terrifying slasher movie icons of all time -- the Candyman!

TMZ Sports has learned Hines wanted to get some unique spikes made for Halloween ... and was debating between two characters, the Candyman and Michael Myers.

So, Hines hit up artist Rodney Jackson in Virginia ... and with Myers being done so many times, the two decided to go with the Candyman theme -- and they came out AWESOME.

One of the spikes has the Candyman with bees coming out of his mouth -- a reference to a spooky scene in the 1992 film (no spoilers here!).

On the other cleat, there's another depiction of the Candyman -- along with the quote, "Be my victim."

The Adidas cleats also feature fur on the back, which resemble the fictitious killer's coat.

Hines also got some non-scary cleats made ... we're told the 24-year-old had Jackson deliver him blue feet heat that features some of his favorite cartoon characters, Spongebob and Patrick.

The Colts might be 0-3 to start the year ... but Hines ain't losing the cleat game anytime soon.

Colts' Kenny Moore Pulls Up To Training Camp In IndyCar ... With Patricio O'Ward!!!

Forget the Lambos, the Rolls-Royces and the Audis ... Colts' star Kenny Moore pulled up to training camp on a whole 'nother level Tuesday -- in an IndyCar!!!

... and, his chauffer was none other than pro driver Patricio "Pato" O'Ward!!!

It all went down as Moore was reporting to the start of Indianapolis practices in epic fashion ... with the arrival being so grand, it had onlookers giggling with joy.

In footage from the scene, you can see two motorcycle cops helped O'Ward and Moore arrive at the Grand Park Sports Campus in style.

The car -- a two-seater -- was driven by the 2018 Indy Lights champ ... and in the back, Moore was tucked away in racing gear.

The Indy star, who signed a $33 MILLION contract extension in 2019, got kinda stuck trying to get out of the ride ... but he eventually made it out -- and it was all cool as hell!!

Of course, if this all looks familiar ... it's 'cause it is -- remember, back in 2014, Reggie Wayne had a similar training camp entrance with racecar driver Ed Carpenter.

Awesome nod to a Colts legend by Moore ... now time to get to work!

Colts' Mo Alie-Cox I'm Gonna Have A Huge Year W/ Wentz ... Better Than 2020!!!

SO FAR SO GOOD
TMZSports.com

Fantasy football nerds, listen up ... Mo Alie-Cox is predicting a BIG season with Carson Wentz now on board -- telling TMZ Sports his 2021 season is going to dwarf his 2020 campaign!

Which, of course, is saying a lot ... considering Alie-Cox had a pretty good breakout season with Philip Rivers last year!!!

"I think I'll have a better season," Alie-Cox told us outside of JLT gym in L.A. this week. "Just another year under my belt, more experience, more confidence and just probably more opportunities."

Alie-Cox caught 31 passes for 394 yards and scored 2 TDs last year ... and there were some games where he looked flat-out dominant.

And, with Wentz known to love his tight ends -- Alie-Cox is clearly seeing dollar signs in his future.

As for his relationship with Wentz so far, the tight end says he's loving his new teammate ... telling us Wentz's "arm is great."

"Strong-arm," the 27-year-old added. "He's accurate. It's gonna be fun playing with him."

Only 3 months until fantasy football drafts begin ... take note now!!!

Tim Tebow Tight End Advice From Colts Star ... Here's What Ya Gotta Do!!!

BE READY TO BLOCK
TMZSports.com

Colts star tight end Mo Alie-Cox says the blueprint for Tim Tebow's success at his new position is simple ... telling TMZ Sports all the new Jaguar has to do is just be open to learning.

"The tight end position, you have to learn how to block," Alie-Cox said.

"You have to catch passes. The protection -- the little things like that. So, it's a lot that goes into it. It's a lot of mental."

Alie-Cox, though, says he's pretty sure Tim's going to be just fine ... despite never playing the position and despite being out of the NFL for nearly a decade.

"He hasn't played the position but I mean, he's a hard worker," Alie-Cox said. "You can't put anything past Tim Tebow."

Alie-Cox added, "I think he's got it."

Reports out of Jaguars practices so far seem to indicate Tim's doing well in the transition ... but when we asked Alie-Cox if there was any shot Tebow ends the season with more catches than him, Mo said no way.

Yeah, probably the safe bet there!

NFL's Adam Vinatieri Announces Retirement at 48 'Riding Off Into the Sunset'

Super Bowl hero Adam Vinatieri -- one of the greatest placekickers EVER -- is finally announcing his retirement ... 25 years after making his NFL debut!

The 48-year-old appeared on the "Pat McAfee Show" on Wednesday when he was asked about his football career, considering he hasn't been on a roster since the 2019 season.

"Should we just make it real?" Adam said ... "Should we just say 'Hey, we're done?' We're riding off into the sunset. You want it to be live on your show that Vinny's officially done? Is that what you want?"

Pat -- who played with Adam on the Indianapolis Colts -- replied, "I don't want that but if it's gonna happen, happy it's happening here! I would like that to be known. Don't feel obligated."

Vinny responded, "Put it this way ... today's Wednesday. By Friday, if paperwork goes in, you heard it here first."

Translation -- it's over.

Adam will go down as an NFL legend -- finishing as the league's all-time leading scorer with 2,673 points!

There's more ... he's a 4-time Super Bowl champion and also made more field goals than anyone in NFL history with 599!

But, he'll be most famously remembered for having ICE IN HIS VEINS IN CLUTCH MOMENTS!

Remember, when he hit the game-winning field goal for the New England Patriots with seconds remaining in Super Bowl XXXVI?!

Vinny sealed the victory for the Pats -- which began the famous Tom Brady, Bill Belichick dynasty.

He also hit the game-winner in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

There's a lot more ... we don't have all day.

Adam left the Pats after the 2005 season and went on to play in Indy from 2006 to 2019.

Next stop, Canton!

Congrats!!!

Story developing ...

Indianapolis Colts 'Shocked and Saddened' Over FedEx Shooting ... 'Hearts are Broken'

The Indianapolis Colts are mourning those killed in the FedEx shooting -- which occurred just 20 minutes from the team facility ... calling it "another senseless tragedy."

A gunman stormed a FedEx Ground packaging facility late Thursday night -- killing at least 8 people and wounding many others before taking his own life, cops say.

Investigators are still working on the case -- trying to determine a motive.

Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts have issued a statement saying, "Our hearts are broken by another senseless tragedy."

"We at the Colts are deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the horrific act that took place last night in our city."

"We join the entire Indianapolis community in mourning those who lost their lives and praying for all those who are or will be impacted over the weeks and months to come."

"We send our thought to our friends at FedEx who are hurting so much this morning, and we pray for their health and healing."

"The victims and survivors are our friends and neighbors, and one can only imagine the nightmare their families are living through this morning."

"We have no doubt that our community will rally around them with the support they need to help put their lives back together, and to hopefully someday find peace."

Andrew Luck 'Having Time of His Life' In Retirement ... Says Colts' T.Y. Hilton

Colts fans should probably just abandon all hope of an Andrew Luck comeback -- 'cause the QB is telling T.Y. Hilton he's having a BLAST in retirement.

Hilton -- who just signed a 1-year, $10 million deal with the Colts -- is still pretty close with his old quarterback ... despite the fact Luck hung up his cleats in 2019 at the age of 29.

There have been rumblings that Luck could change his mind and rejoin the Colts in the near future -- but Hilton told the media on Thursday the chances of that happening are slim to none.

ENJOYING HIS FREE TIME
Indianapolis Colts

"He's just enjoying his vacation," Hilton said with a big ol' smile ... "I probably have to stop calling him for a bit. He might make me want to retire!"

A reporter asked if he thinks Luck's "vacation" will be a permanent one -- to which Hilton responded, "Oh, permanent! He's having the time of his life! He's kinda making me jealous. So we’ll see."

In other words, Luck is wasting away in Margaritaville ... enjoying his family and friends without musclebound killers trying to take his head off every day.

Oh, and also worth mentioning Luck made more than $109 MILLION in contract money during his NFL career ... not including endorsements!

So, it's not like he'll be hurting for cash.

Bottom line ... Andrew Luck is dunzo. Better hope this Carson Wentz move pays off.

Carson Wentz New Team, New Jersey Number ... Officially #2 After Michael Pittman Holds On To #11

Michael Pittman is a man of his word -- the Colts wideout did NOT give up his #11 jersey number ... forcing Carson Wentz to now take the #2 in Indianapolis.

A Colts official tells TMZ Sports the team's newest quarterback will officially change numbers this season ... after he rocked the one-one for his entire 5-year Eagles career.

Unclear why the choice of #2 -- but perhaps it has something to do with him being the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft ... or maybe 1+1=2?

As for how Wentz ended up with the new digits ... the QB had called Pittman about prying the #11 jersey away from the receiver after the Colts made the blockbuster trade for him in February.

FEBRUARY 2021
THAT'S MY GUY
TMZSports.com

But, Pittman told us shortly after that call he didn't want any part of giving up his uni number ... which Michael says Wentz was ultimately cool with.

"I told him I was locked in," Pittman said, "and he was like, 'That’s cool, bro, because I’m probably gonna switch anyway.'"

Michael added, "He asked me very respectfully and I just appreciated him for that. I think he’s a great dude, because lots of guys with his status, they would come in and demand and stuff like that."

Wentz not only wore the #11 in Philly ... but he also had rocked the digits during his college career at North Dakota State.

But, as they say ... new team, new number -- new winning streak?!?!

Colts' Michael Pittman Won't Give Up #11 to Carson Wentz ... We're Cool Though!!!

FEBRUARY 2021
THAT'S MY GUY
TMZSports.com

Carson Wentz will NOT wear #11 with the Indianapolis Colts -- because it already belongs to WR Michael Pittman Jr. ... and he ain't giving it up!!

"I am number 11," the 23-year-old wideout tells TMZ Sports ... "I don't think there's any deal that is gonna be done."

Don't get it twisted ... Pittman says he has a TON of respect for the QB -- calling him a proven winner -- but when it comes to #11, he's not willing to part ways with the digits he rocked his rookie season in Indy.

And, the good news ... Wentz is being totally cool about it.

"Yeah, so I spoke to [Carson] and he was just seeing how locked in I was to #11, and I told him I was locked in -- and he was like, 'That’s cool, bro, because I’m probably gonna switch anyway.'"

Wentz has worn #11 since his college days at North Dakota State and through his career with the Philadelphia Eagles -- but now that he's in a new city, he's open to switching to a new number.

"He asked me very respectfully and I just appreciated him for that. I think he’s a great dude, because lots of guys with his status, they would come in and demand and stuff like that."

Pittman says he's already making plans to get together with Wentz so they can start working out and training ... and believes Wentz will be the QB in Indy for years to come.

"He’s just a super chill guy and I cant wait to get with him and start throwing and stuff."

Carson Wentz Emotional Goodbye To Eagles Fans ... 'An Amazing Journey'

Carson Wentz just poured his heart out to his old teammates, fans and the Philadelphia Eagles organization ... thanking everyone for their love and support after being traded to the Colts.

Wentz was shipped to Indianapolis in exchange for a couple draft picks earlier this week ... officially ending his 5-year career with the Eagles.

The 28-year-old bid farewell to his first NFL home on Friday in a lengthy message, saying, "As one chapter closes, another one begins."

Wentz first thanked his Eagles teammates -- "I appreciate every one of you and will never forget the relationships and memories made over the years."

"So many lifelong relationships have been formed in that locker room. Thank you for the fellowship, the camaraderie in the locker room, and the daily battles out on the practice field!"

Wentz then showed love to the city of Philly ... adding, "You have been my home for the past five years. It has been everything a kid from Bismarck, North Dakota could have dreamed of."

"My family grew here, had a lot of fun, ate a lot of great food, got to be a part of an incredible church, and so many more memories off the field."

He continued ... "On the field, we brought the Lombardi trophy home to Philly and hopefully brought a lot of joy to the city over the years."

"Thank you to the amazing Eagles fans across the World that have supported my family, our foundation, and our football team through all of the wins and losses. It was an honor to play in a city whose passion and love for their football team is unrivaled."

Lastly, Wentz thanked the team that drafted him #2 overall back in 2016 and making his NFL dream a reality -- "Thank you Mr. Lurie, Howie Roseman & the Eagles front office, Coach Pederson & all of my coaches, our training staff, our equipment staff and all of the support staff at the Nova Care Complex."

"It has been an amazing journey and I wish you all the best."

Wentz says he's stoked for the new journey ahead with the Colts ... and it's easy to believe it -- he's already reached out to his new teammates via text and FaceTime!!

Shannon Sharpe Weighs In On Wentz Trade To Colts ... Both Teams Win!!!

12:29 PM PT -- Shannon Sharpe says the trade was the "best move for both parties involved" ... as the change of scenery was absolutely necessary for Wentz's career.

The co-host of "Undisputed" on FS1 says the next step for Wentz is to get his confidence back ... after the Eagles mentally broke him after getting benched.

BEST FOR BOTH PARTIES
TMZSports.com

We also spoke with Sharpe about Deshaun Watson's future and if the QB should hope to land with his Denver Broncos ... and you're gonna want to hear what Shannon has to say.

Carson Wentz is out in Philadelphia -- reportedly traded from the Eagles to the Indianapolis Colts ... for a pair of draft picks.

The deal is a little complicated but essentially comes down to this ... in exchange for Wentz, the Eagles get a 2021 3rd-round draft pick and a 2022 conditional 2nd-round pick that COULD turn into a 1st rounder.

How, exactly?

If Wentz takes 75% of the snaps at QB for the Colts in 2021 -- or if he takes 70% and the Colts make the playoff -- the 2nd rounder becomes a 1st rounder.

But, that's not really a guarantee -- since Wentz played poorly in 2020 and seems to be injury-prone.

Just to compare ... when the L.A. Rams traded for Matthew Stafford, they gave up Jared Goff PLUS two 1st round picks and a 3rd round pick.

Plus, the backup QBs in Indy aren't exactly scrubs -- Jacoby Brissett (who's now technically a free agent) has flashed real potential and Jacob Eason (the Colts 4th-round pick in 2020) could become a real contender for a starting spot as well.

Remember, at one point Wentz -- the 2nd overall pick in the 2016 Draft -- was an NFL MVP candidate ... and the Eagles liked him so much, they signed him to a 4-year, $128 million contract in 2019.

Now, Jalen Hurts will have a real shot to compete for the starting job in Philly -- though there are rumblings the Eagles are looking to draft a top-flight QB in April.

Originally published -- 8:59 AM PT

Colts' Darius Leonard 'Tired' Of Luck Unretirement Talk ... 'We Gotta Move On'

TIME TO MOVE ON
TMZSports.com

Indianapolis Colts superstar Darius Leonard says he's officially DONE talking about a possible Andrew Luck unretirement ... telling TMZ Sports, people just need to "move on."

"It's been like two years now and all you hear is 'Andrew Luck. Andrew Luck,'" Leonard says. "We gotta move forward one of these days."

Luck famously called it quits just before the 2019 season began ... and with the retirement announcement coming so swiftly and stunningly in the preseason, rumors of a potential return just haven't died.

In fact, Colts ownership, coaches and players have been asked about a Luck comeback repeatedly over the past few days and weeks ... particularly after Philip Rivers announced his own retirement.

But, Leonard says he believes his former teammate is seriously done ... and he's ready now to just let Luck go.

"It just sucks that that's the topic," Leonard said. "He's been retired for two years and we've been playing these games for two years without him and we're still answering questions about him. We gotta move forward."

Leonard continued, "We as players are tired of hearing the same remarks about Andrew Luck. He did all he could do. We appreciate him. We respect him. But, he's retired now so now we gotta move forward."

As for who the team will move forward with ... Leonard ain't so sure -- with Rivers' retirement and Jacoby Brissett set for free agency, there's not many answers on that front at the moment.

So, we had to ask the linebacker ... what about a trade for Deshaun Watson?!

Ya gotta hear Leonard's answer ... the dude had some hilarious things to say about the Texans and some of their other previous decisions!!!

Old news is old news!
Be First!

Get TMZ breaking news sent right to your browser!