Antonio Gates Chargers Are SB Contenders!!! ... Don't Know About Rodgers' Jets, Though


Antonio Gates LOVES his former team's Super Bowl chances -- telling TMZ Sports he thinks the Chargers have a real shot to take home the Lombardi Trophy this year!!!

But, when it comes to Aaron Rodgers' Jets ... the future Hall of Famer says he ain't feeling it quite as much.

The ex-Bolts tight end talked ball with us for several minutes at LAX this week ... and he made it clear, he loves the way Los Angeles maneuvered around the draft last month.

In fact, he said he believes the Chargers' pickups -- which included TCU star receiver Quentin Johnston, USC edge rusher Tuli Tuipulotu and Washington State linebacker Daiyan Henley -- set them up nicely for a potential championship run this year.

"When you think about a Super Bowl-contending team, you think about your stars at the quarterback position. And we've got one of the best in the league," Gates said of Justin Herbert. "And then you talk about upgrading that defense ... to me, those are recipes to winning a Super Bowl, man."

As for one of the teams the Chargers would have to get through in the AFC to make it to the Big Game, Gates doesn't seem to be buying the hype in New York -- despite the Jets' recent acquisition of Rodgers.

The 42-year-old told us they have a talented roster ... but he'd be concerned if he were a Jets fan about chemistry and continuity.

"You can have the right players -- from a talent standpoint, you can have the best talent in the league," Gates said. "But if you ain't got the continuity or the chemistry, man, it don't make a difference."

There's more ... Gates also talked with us about the tight end G.O.A.T. debate -- and check out the clip, he had some big praise for Travis Kelce.

Chargers' J.C. Jackson I'll Return From Injury At 110% ... 'Gonna Be Big!!!'


Great news, Chargers fans ... J.C. Jackson tells TMZ Sports his rehab is going super well -- and he now expects to return to the field at "110 percent" in 2023.

Jackson spoke with us all about his recovery from a ruptured patellar tendon this week out in Los Angeles, and he said while he's not quite at full strength yet, all signs are pointing toward him coming back to SoFi Stadium better than before.

"It's gonna be big," Jackson said.

The L.A. cornerback, who inked a five-year, $82.5 million contract before last season, initially tore up his knee in Week 7 last year against the Seahawks ... and he said for the ensuing six or seventh months, he really wasn't allowed to run.

But, Jackson told us he's now on his feet during workouts -- and he seemed very pleased with all of his progress so far.

"I'm expecting a big year for us," Jackson said. "Especially from me."

J.C. added he was hopeful to "get back to the basics" this season "and do what I do best and that's leading the league in interceptions."

We also spoke with the 27-year-old defensive back about the Chargers' draft ... and he loved their selection of TCU star Quentin Johnston, calling the wideout "a big one" who the team needed.

Chargers' Sebastian Joseph-Day I Was Sexually Assaulted By TSA

Los Angeles Chargers defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day -- a former Super Bowl champion -- claims he was sexually assaulted by TSA personnel on Friday.

The 28-year-old, who signed with the Chargers in 2022 after spending his first three seasons in the NFL with the Rams, said the incident all happened at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif.

He claims as he was going through security checkpoints, an agent touched him inappropriately. He alleges that when he asked the worker to stop -- he was then "swarmed" by three more TSA members.

"I'm all for people doing their job well," he wrote in a series of statements on his Twitter page Friday morning. "But it was extremely unnecessary and dehumanizing. I travel a lot, for personal and work reasons. I’ve never experienced anything like that @JohnWayneAir."

Joseph-Day says he immediately went to file a complaint ... but accused officials of "making me jump through hoops to do so."

"I'm not sharing this on Twitter for sympathy. I'm sharing this so this group of gentleman and staff aren't allowed to do this ever again to another human being."

TSA released a statement to Fox News on the matter on Sunday ... saying it was aware of the allegations and is investigating the claims.

"We are looking into the matter to determine if our procedures were followed and whether any corrective action needs to be taken," officials said.

"TSA remains committed to treating every traveler with dignity and respect while carrying out its security screening responsibilities."

Joseph-Day was picked by the Rams in the 2018 NFL Draft ... and has started 54 games in his career, logging eight sacks and 193 total tackles.

Raiders' Maxx Crosby Rips Joey Bosa For Blasting Refs ... I'll Never Be A 'F***ing Crybaby'

Raiders star defensive end Maxx Crosby ripped Joey Bosa for complaining about NFL officials after the Chargers' playoff loss, and vowed himself to never act like a "f***ing crybaby".

"A couple of games ago, when f***ing dude had a meltdown and blamed the refs," Crosby said of Bosa on Barstools' Bussin' With The Boys, saying, "I see dudes blaming, oh, f*** it, O-linemen hold all the time. Refs don't call it."

"I'll never be that guy. S*** like that is so weak to me. You're going to get held. I know I get held all the time. You watch the Rams' last drive against us. I was getting literally tackled."

Crosby continued ... "I'm not going to go and double down and look like a little f***ing crybaby," he added. "That's not me."

Of course, Maxx took aim at Bosa after the star pass rusher complained about the refs following his team's 31-30 collapse to the Jaguars in the Wild Card Round.

"I think there just needs to be more accountability," Bosa said after the playoff game. "I mean if I say something to them I get a $40,000 fine, but if they blow a call that ruins an entire team's season, they're probably back in the locker room after the game like, 'Haha got that asshole. Yeah, got him. Fifteen yards, what a loser.'"

"I guarantee that's what their f***ing talking like in the back. Whatever, power trip. I'm sick of those f***ing people."

Crosby and Bosa will play each other twice next season -- the Raiders and Chargers are division rivals -- and we're sure neither guy will forget what was said.

National Dog Show Competition Full of Championship Bull!!!


Thanksgiving dog shows are usually viewed as counter-programming to football, but this year there's a connection between the 2 ... because the top dog has an NFL connection!!!

Winston, a 3-year-old French bulldog, won Best in Show at the 21st Annual National Dog Show. The pooch is partly owned by L.A. Chargers defensive end Morgan Fox.

Winston was top dog over hundreds of canine competitors. The show drew a huge audience -- 20 million folks tuned in to NBC for the fun.

One of the judges, Vicki Seiler-Cushman, gushed over Winston ... "He has a razzle-dazzle that says, 'I am here to win tonight.'"  She calls him the perfect pet.

FYI ... French bulldogs are the Avis of dogs ... the second most popular behind Labs.

As for some of Winston's competitors ... there's Cooper, an English Toy Spaniel, Sloan, an Irish Water Spaniel, and River, a German Shepard.

Winston got some dog-appropriate treats for his win. Congrats!!!

L.A. Chargers Fans Trade Haymakers During Chiefs Game ... Wild Fight In Stands


A couple L.A. Chargers fans turned on each other during the Chiefs game on Sunday night ... whaling on one another's faces at SoFi Stadium -- as their favorite team played on in the background.

Video, obtained TMZ Sports, shows that a man in a Joey Bosa jersey appeared to have started the melee ... when he threw a couple of punches at a guy in a row below him.

Unclear what caused the altercation to break out -- but soon after the first blow was thrown, another man got involved ... and all hell broke loose.

At least three guys traded haymakers for roughly 30 seconds, before other fans jumped in to slow down the action.

One witness tells us neither police nor stadium security guards ever arrived to check in on the situation ... but, fortunately, the parties left on their own without further incident.

Of course, in addition to some bruised knuckles and sore faces ... the fans went home with their pride banged up too -- because Patrick Mahomes ended up engineering a crazy comeback to beat L.A., 30-27.

L.A. Chargers Ditch Sideline Mats At SoFi Stadium ... After Broncos Player's Lawsuit

Mats were nowhere to be seen on the sidelines during the Chargers vs. Chiefs game on Sunday night ... just days after a Broncos player sued L.A., claiming the previous use of the ground coverings at SoFi Stadium caused him to tear his ACL.

The mats had been there for the Broncos vs. Chargers game back on Oct. 17 -- and during a special teams play in the overtime period of the contest, outside linebacker Aaron Patrick stepped on them and blew out his knee.

Courtesy of NFL

In a lawsuit filed on Nov. 15, he claimed it was a mistake by the Chargers, ESPN, the NFL and others to allow the mats to be placed so close to the playing field ... explaining all parties should have known they presented a dangerous hazard for players.

He sued for unspecified damages, including lost bonuses and future earning potential.

On Sunday -- the first Chargers game at SoFi Stadium since the suit was filed -- no mats were present in any area of the field.

It should be noted the game was an NBC broadcast, not an ESPN one ... but cords and cables were either covered in a different way, or carried by officials.

Unclear if the Chargers imposed the changes as a result of the suit ... they declined to comment due to the pending litigation.

Patrick's attorney, William M. Berman of Berman & Riedel, tells TMZ Sports he and his client still aren't happy with the changes ... saying, "The guys holding the cables/wires were still in too close proximity to the field, creating what we believe to still be a very dangerous condition."

"It's about player safety. It's for the betterment of the game."

Chiefs' Mecole Hardman Breaks TV During 'SNF' Game ... Or Did He?!?


9:34 AM PT -- Internet sleuths are callin' BS on Hardman's story ... claiming the wideout may have used an app to trick his followers into believing he actually broke his flat-screen.


The image Hardman tweeted looks a whole lot like a YouTube video that you can put on your TV to make it seem like it was broken. Several fans on social media believe Hardman did just that during "SNF."


No word from Hardman yet on the allegations.

Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman, watching at home with an injury, missed the wild ending between his team and the Chargers on "Sunday Night Football" ... all because he broke his TV during the game!!

The Kansas City wideout -- who's on the IR with an abdominal injury -- was live tweeting during the game, and at one point said the drama was too much for him to watch, and he almost threw his remote at the TV.


But, Hardman finally gave in to his emotions as the Chiefs and Chargers continued to exchange blows, writing, "Update I threw the remote at the TV! Now I gotta go get a new TV."

As proof, Hardman posted a pic of his TV, and judging from the damage, he appears to have gotten it good.

Hardman's squad, trailing the Chargers for most of the night, ended up winning due to some late-game magic from Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce.

Mahomes, who threw three touchdowns to Kelce, connected with the superstar tight end for his final TD pass with 31 seconds left ... putting KC ahead, 30-27.

Hardman, expected to be out at least four games, has only been in the NFL for four seasons ... but the 24-year-old shouldn't have any issue replacing the TV (especially at those Black Friday prices!).

Better hurry up, though ... Chiefs play in 6 days!

Originally Published -- 7:06 AM PT

NFL, L.A. Chargers Sued By Broncos Player ... Stadium Mats Caused ACL Tear

Courtesy of NFL

A Denver Broncos special teamer is suing the NFL, the Chargers and a bunch of others ... claiming mats placed on the sidelines at SoFi Stadium earlier this year caused him to suffer a severe knee injury.

Aaron Patrick spelled out his allegations in a new lawsuit, obtained by TMZ Sports, saying that a series of poor decisions by the league and its L.A. team resulted in his ACL tear back on Oct. 17 during the Broncos vs. Chargers' "Monday Night Football" game.

The 25-year-old Denver outside linebacker said in his suit the injury happened in the overtime period of the contest in L.A. ... while he was attempting to make a tackle on a punt return.

Patrick says because of his effort to make the play on the field, his momentum carried him into the sideline area -- where an NFL official who monitors television timeouts was standing. Patrick claims in the suit in an attempt to avoid the man, he had to step on mats that stadium workers had put down to cover up NFL instant replay sideline monitor cords and cables.

Patrick says, as a result, his foot got caught in the mats and the cords -- causing his knee to bend awkwardly. He was later diagnosed with a torn ACL, and is expected to miss the rest of this season.

Patrick is heaping blame on not only the NFL and the Chargers for it all, but also ESPN, the mat company and others -- claiming they all could have done more to prevent the injury from happening.

Patrick claims all parties should have known the mats presented a dangerous hazard for players. He also says the NFL official shouldn't have been standing where he was.

Patrick is suing for unspecified damages, including lost bonuses and future earning potential.

"Player safety should be the foremost of importance to the NFL and its owners," said Patrick's attorney, William M. Berman of Berman & Riedel. "The NFL is a multi-billion-dollar sports enterprise and business, and it needs to do everything possible to protect its players from non-contact game injuries."

"As for Patrick's injuries," Berman continued, "SoFi Stadium was built at a $5,000,000,000 expense; the stadium should have the state-of-the-art equipment to protect for player safety, and not use the type of $100 mats that you would expect to see in a restaurant kitchen."

Roger Goodell Gets Chummy W/ Jeff Bezos ... During 'TNF' Game

Jeff Bezos had one of the best seats in the house at Arrowhead Stadium Thursday night -- taking in the Chargers-Chiefs game with Roger Goodell from the NFL commissioner's suite.

58-year-old Amazon founder was in the building with Goodell ... as the game was the first broadcast by Prime. Amazon won exclusive broadcast rights for "Thursday Night Football" through 2033. The Chiefs-Chargers game was the first on the platform.

Bezos, worth about $150 billion, according to Forbes, was shown during the game sitting next to the commish ... and the men appeared to be having a good time as two of the best teams in the AFC battled down on the field.

Of course, seeing Goodell and JB chop it up at the game had the Internet buzzin' -- as social media users wondered what the two tycoons were discussing.

Chiefs owner Clark Hunt and Chargers owner Dean Spanos also got some facetime with Bezos on the field before the game kicked off.

There was more for Goodell to celebrate than just the first Prime game. The home game marked the 50th season the Chiefs have played at Arrowhead Stadium -- opened in 1972 -- one of the best in all of football.

Rog, what's Elon Musk doing next Thursday??

NFL's Morgan Fox French Bulldog Wins At Dog Show ... Advances To Finals!!!


3:01 PM PT -- We spoke to Morgan Fox about his 2-year-old French bulldog entering the final round of the Westminster Dog Show -- and he says regardless of the outcome, he's gonna celebrate when Winston comes back home.


"Ima celebrate no matter what," Fox tells us, "Probably buy him some treats. Let him run around. He's done great!"


Fox -- who has two other dogs -- says he's proud of his pup and happy for his grandmother who trained Winston.


"I'm really more excited about seeing this come to fruition for my grandmother. This has been her passion and labor of love and to see it come to fruition and come to this big moment is just awesome."


"Hopefully, we get to that point and succeed and win it and that would be awesome to watch them smile. They've watched me do it for so long, it'd be cool to be able to watch them."


The final round goes down Wednesday night. Good luck, Winston!

L.A. Chargers defensive lineman Morgan Fox woke up Wednesday a proud dog dad ... 'cause his French bulldog won the Non-Sporting Group at the Westminster Dog Show on Tuesday night -- and is now heading to the finals!

The 146th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show -- which is held at the Lyndhurst Estate in Tarrytown, NY -- announced his dog, Winston, took home the W after a sweet performance Tuesday evening.

"Give a round of a-PAWS for your Non-Sporting Group Winner, WINSTON!" Westminster said on IG.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

The defensive end -- who signed with the Chargers last month after playing for the Rams and Panthers -- watched the whole thing go down on TV ... and he was stoked!

"If this is how my parents felt watching my games all these years I apologize," Fox said on Twitter after Winston's win. "Winner winner!"

Following the victory, Fox had a hilarious interaction with a pet food and nutrient company over Winston's advantages with Dad being a six-year NFL vet and all.

"Has Winston been training with you on the field to get a leg up in the competition?" the company asked.

Fox responded, "😂😂 apparently I should be training with him."

Now, Winston -- along with Trumpet the bloodhound, Hollywood the Maltese, and River the German shepherd -- will advance to the finals.

Three more dogs will be selected on Wednesday afternoon, and then all seven pups will face off for the coveted Best in Show prize just hours later.

Paws crossed for Winston!

Originally Published -- 8:52 AM PT

Jerry Jones Slams Door On New NFL Team In Dallas ... Blasts Mayor

Jerry Jones is ripping Dallas mayor Eric Johnson for suggesting the city needs a new NFL team -- the L.A. Chargers -- saying it'd have a huge negative effect on the beloved Cowboys.

The 79-year-old billionaire -- who's owned the Cowboys since buying the team in 1989 -- thinks the mayor's suggestion isn't only a bad one -- but also misinformed.

"Well, I like the mayor," Jones told The Dallas Morning News. "I like him personally, but he doesn’t have the depth. He doesn’t have the knowledge that others have regarding how unique Dallas is and how we enjoy the interest in the Cowboys."

"He wouldn’t want to water that down as it relates to Dallas if he knew as much, and has spent as much time in sports as I have," he added.

Jerry is responding to a comment recently made by Johnson ... who suggested the Chargers -- currently embroiled in a nasty legal battle for control of the team -- should move to Dallas.

"Southern Dallas is the fresh start the @Chargers need! Several sites, including @cottonbowlstad and Hensley Field, would be ideal locations for a state of the art practice facility and world headquarters or stadium," Mayor Johnson wrote.

"We’re ready for the @NFL in  @CityOfDallas! @nflcommish"

"You can be rest assured that you would not have the NFL supporting another team because of the kind of value that the game and the NFL receives of having [the] Dallas Cowboys as one of its marquee teams and again," Jones said.

He continued ... "Logic tells you [the NFL] wouldn’t want to water that down."

FYI, Forbes estimates the Cowboys worth at $6.5 billion, making them the NFL's highest-valued team. But, it might be worth even more. JJ recently said he could sell the team for $10 billion, if he wished.

The mayor -- who claims to be a diehard Cowboys fan -- responded to Jones saying, "I like Jerry [Jones] a lot, and he has done a great job turning my beloved Cowboys into the most valuable sports franchise on the planet."

"No team will ever dethrone the Cowboys -- but that's not the point. This region loves football and could certainly support a second team. And as a mayor, my job is to grow my city's economy."

Something tells us Jerry's gonna win this fight.

Antonio Gates I'm Smellin' Super Bowl For Chargers ... After Khalil Mack Trade


Antonio Gates LOVES the Khalil Mack trade for his old Chargers squad ... telling TMZ Sports he believes the move could win the Chargers the Super Bowl next season.

We spoke with Gates out at LAX this week -- just a few days after L.A. acquired Mack from the Chicago Bears -- and he said the transaction is huge for his former team.

Gates said with Mack and Joey Bosa, the team now has the "best pass-rushing ends in the game."

Gates added that the other moves the Chargers made so far this offseason have him fired up for the Bolts in 2022.

"You add in Derwin [James], you add in J.C. Jackson now," Gates said, "I'm excited to see what they're going to do, bro."

Gates also spoke with us about Tom Brady coming back for yet another season -- and the future Hall of Famer didn't seem surprised to learn the QB was unretiring.

In fact, he said he wouldn't be shocked if TB12 went FIVE more years!!!

As for if he's getting the itch to play again after seeing Brady go at 44 years old, watch the clip, the 41-year-old former tight end sure doesn't seem ready to catch any more passes in the league now.

Chargers Owner Dean Spanos Sued By Nephews ... You Screwed Us Out Of $$$


9:12 PM PT -- An attorney for Dean Spanos provided us the following statement on behalf of Alexis Spanos Ruhl, Michael Spanos and Dean.


"We will address these meritless claims at the appropriate time, in the appropriate forum. Our parents, Alex and Faye, wanted the Chargers to be part of the Spanos Family for generations to come."


"The three of us will remain firmly united as we fulfill our parents' wishes to make every decision in the best interests of the Chargers and our entire family."

Chargers owner and chairman Dean Spanos is being sued by his own family ... who accuse Uncle Dean of secretly diverting money meant for them after the team moved from San Diego.

The allegations are spelled out in a lawsuit filed Friday in San Joaquin County, California.

Dean's nephews, Dimitri and Lex Economou -- beneficiaries of the trust that owns a portion of the NFL team -- have accused Spanos of secretly changing the trust, screwing them out of boatloads of money in the process, according to the lawsuit.

According to the suit, here's the deal ... the trust owns 36% of the Chargers. In addition, the trust is also partially funded by revenue from the stadium -- and therein lies the problem.

The Economous' claim Dean convinced the family the move from San Diego to Los Angeles would be lucrative with the building of SoFi Stadium ... the $5+ billion state-of-the-art facilities where the Chargers play.

However, Dimitri and Lex say Dean -- with aid from brother Michael Spanos -- surreptitiously diverted money from the trust ... cutting them off from the stadium-related revenue (ticket sales, etc.).

FYI, Dean's dad, billionaire Alex Spanos, purchased the team in 1984. In 2017, the team moved from San Diego to L.A.

The suit claims Dean and Michael redirected the money while dad Alex and mom Faye -- who both passed in 2018 -- were in "failing health."

The lawsuit doesn't specify an amount ... but we're talking about a team worth nearly $3 BILLION, according to a Forbes report last summer.

While the team has improved on the field and is worth a lot of money, the lawsuit paints a grim financial picture for the Spanos family.

According to the docs, the trust is in major financial trouble ...  and that's been compounded by Dean's alleged misconduct.

Bottom line ... the suing family members want things to go back to the way it was before the changes were instituted. Dimitri and Lex have also asked a judge to remove Dean as the co-trustee of the trust ... and they want monetary damages awarded to them.

We've reached out to a rep for Dean Spanos. So far, no word back.

Raiders' Nate Hobbs Expected To Play Vs. Chargers ... After DUI Arrest

Raiders rookie Nate Hobbs will likely return to the football field against the Chargers on Sunday ... less than a week after he was arrested for DUI.

Las Vegas interim head coach Rich Bisaccia updated the media on Hobbs' status Wednesday ... saying based on what the team knows at this time, the 22-year-old will not be punished prior to the Week 18 matchup.

"We take [the arrest] extremely serious, organizationally and certainly within our team," the coach said. "Based on what we've learned at this time, we expect Nate to play."

Las Vegas Raiders

"It's a legal matter, and other than that I really have nothing else. We'll leave it at that."

TMZ Sports broke the story ... Hobbs was arrested after cops say he was found passed out behind the wheel of his car parked in the exit ramp of a Vegas hotel early Monday morning.

Hobbs' attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, addressed the arrest ... saying, "The facts and circumstances related by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to the news media leave serious concerns that this does not qualify as a DUI under Nevada law."

It's a surprising move by the team, especially when Hobbs' former teammate, Henry Ruggs, was charged with 2 counts of felony DUI after he was accused of driving drunk and crashing his Corvette into the vehicle of 23-year-old Tina Tintor, who burned to death after her Rav4 caught fire, according to officials.

Despite the legal troubles Hobbs is facing, it sounds like he'll be ready to go in the Raiders' huge game ... with major playoff implications on the line.

Chargers' Donald Parham I'm 'All Good' ... Posts Thumbs-Up Pic From Hospital


3:27 PM PT -- Great news ... Parham says he's "all good" -- posting a thumbs-up picture from the hospital and adding, "You know can't nothing hold a real one down!"


"I appreciate all the love and support from everyone," the Chargers player said. "It means so much to me and my family to know so many people are thinking about me and my well-being."


Parham added that he has plans to return to the Bolts "better than before."


10:02 AM PT -- Parham was diagnosed with a concussion and stayed overnight at UCLA Harbor Medical for observation, the Bolts said Friday.


The team says he is resting, alert and will likely be released from the hospital soon.

Horrifying scene during the Chargers vs. Chiefs game Thursday ... L.A. tight end, Donald Parham, was rushed to the hospital after he violently slammed his head on the turf during a play.

Parham was attempting to catch a touchdown pass in the first quarter of the game at SoFi Stadium ... when his head forcefully hit the ground after he dove for the ball.

The 24-year-old appeared to be knocked unconscious immediately ... with his arms stiffening in the bent position.

Trainers rushed out to the football player ... and unscrewed his facemask, before securing him to a backboard and placing him on a stretcher.

Parham was seen moving his hands and legs while talking with trainers ... but, terrifyingly, his arms were shaking as he was being stretchered off the field.

The Chargers say he was ultimately taken to nearby UCLA Harbor Medical Center with a head injury ... adding that he was "in stable condition." No further update has been given.

"I'm just hoping for the best," star quarterback Justin Herbert said of Parham after the game. "Parham has been an incredible teammate and an incredible friend. He's been nice to everyone in that locker room, and everyone loves him."

Parham has started nine games for L.A. this season ... scoring three touchdowns.

Originally Published -- 6:23 AM PT

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