Report: Denver Broncos Hire Sean Payton ... Next Head Coach

The Broncos have found a new voice in Denver -- the team reportedly just finalized a deal to make Super Bowl champion Sean Payton their next head coach.

Denver is expected to send multiple first and second-round draft picks to the Saints in exchange for Payton, who last coached in the NFL with New Orleans in 2021.

According to Ian Rapoport, the deal was agreed upon ... paving the way for Payton to join the Broncos.

The Broncos recently fired head coach, Nathaniel Hackett ... after the team suffered a humiliating defeat, 51-14, to the Rams on Christmas.

Hackett went 4-11 in his first season at the helm with the Broncos ... and many believe he played a role in Russell Wilson's less than stellar season.

Wilson struggled offensively under Hackett -- the former Seahawk threw for just 16 touchdowns, and completed only 60.5 percent of his passes.

Payton -- who had interest from multiple teams -- had been rumored to return to the NFL one day ... and now, it appears he's the guy who will try to get the Broncos back on track.

Sean Payton Coach Is Worth 1st-Round Draft Pick ... Ex-NFL Exec Says

DOIN' WHAT'S COMFORTABLE
TMZSports.com

No, a first-round pick ain't too much to give up to acquire the rights to Sean Payton ... so says ex-NFL exec Michael Lombardi, who tells TMZ Sports trading for big-name coaches has almost always worked out for teams in the past -- no matter the cost.

Multiple teams have already lined up interviews with Payton to try to get him on board -- but each will have to send New Orleans something in return if he agrees to come along ... as the 59-year-old retired from the Saints in 2022 with two years still left on his deal.

The price is said to be an expensive one -- the Saints are reportedly asking for at least a first-rounder in a trade -- but Lombardi told us this week teams shouldn't hesitate to make that swap.

The former Cleveland Browns general manager pointed toward the Buccaneers' trade for Jon Gruden, the Patriots' deal for Bill Belichick, and the Jets' bargain for Bill Parcells as reasons he'd give up the precious draft capital for Payton.

"I think anytime that you've gone through these coaches that have gotten traded, the team that made the trade really won," Lombardi said. "So, yeah. Whatever it costs."

Lombardi said he'd expect the fee to vary from team to team ... explaining he thinks the Saints would charge more to the division-rival Panthers than the Arizona Cardinals. But, again, he said he expects it to be worth it.

As for where Payton will ultimately end up ... Lombardi says he believes it'll be the franchise that has an owner that Sean vibes with most.

There's more ... we also talked Tom Brady with Lombardi -- and he told us he's not so sure the 45-year-old is quite ready to call it a career just yet.

Saints, Pelicans Donating AEDs To Louisiana Facilities ... After Hamlin Emergency

The Damar Hamlin incident has inspired the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans to make sure its community is prepared for all medical emergencies -- the teams just announced it is donating automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to local facilities throughout Louisiana.

The AEDs would be given to 40 New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD) facilities and 27 Jefferson Parish Recreation Department (JPRD) facilities, including 35 parks, three baseball fields and two football facilities ... this according to a statement released on Thursday.

"In light of the horrible events involving Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin, we felt it was
urgent that we reach out to our local recreational facilities to determine their needs,"
Gayle Benson, owner of the Saints and Pelicans, said.

"NFL games have the most advanced medical staff and equipment on hand, and we believe this needs to be replicated as best as possible on the youth sports level."

1/2/23
RUSHED OFF THE FIELD
TMZSports.com

As we previously reported, Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after tackling Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins during MNF ... and had to be rushed to a local hospital in an ambulance.

Hamlin remains hospitalized in the ICU at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, but two of the team of doctors assisting him, Dr. William Knight and Dr. Timothy Pritts, said Thursday the 24-year-old is "neurologically intact" and has been communicating with them through writing.

MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
WKRC

"The Saints reached out today wanting to discuss with us what our urgent medical
needs included relative to our youth facilities," said Larry Barabino Jr., Chief Executive
Officer of NORD. "We shared our plan with them and explained where we needed the
help."

"We are very grateful to Mrs. Benson and the entire organization. Putting 40 AEDs
around NORD facilities will give our families and our children comfort, knowing we can
be ready in case of an emergency."

Mario Brazile, Director of JPRD, said having the AEDs in its facilities will save lives ... adding that tragic events such as Hamlin's medical scare can serve as teachable moments for everyone.

Benson, principal owner of the Saints and Pelicans since 2018, said, "Hearing the news of Damarโ€™s improvement from his doctors today was very heartening."

"Our  prayers  continue  for  him  and  his  recovery,  for  his  family  and
teammates and the doctors that are giving him such great care."

Alvin Kamara Violently Punched Man In Las Vegas ... New Video Shows

CAUGHT ON CAMERA
TMZSports.com
UPDATE

10:47 AM PT -- A source close to Darnell Greene is adamant he did absolutely nothing to escalate the situation ... and was simply minding his own business, trying to get on an elevator, when he was jumped.

Alvin Kamara reared back and punched a man repeatedly during a violent altercation inside of a Las Vegas hotel earlier this year ... new video, obtained by TMZ Sports, shows.

But, sources connected with Kamara say the video doesn't tell the full story, claiming the alleged victim became violent first.

The incident happened back on Feb. 5 ... inside The Cromwell Hotel and Casino.

According to an October lawsuit filed by Darnell Greene, the altercation all went down after he and the New Orleans Saints superstar got into an argument outside of an elevator of the hotel's popular Drai's Nightclub.

Greene alleged he tried to get on the lift with Kamara and Kamara's associates. But, he claimed in his suit the football player barred him from getting on by "throwing his arm across Greene's chest," and then brutally attacking him.

In the new footage, you can see Kamara -- wearing a light shirt and signature dreads -- throwing multiple blows at Greene.

The clip shows the punches ultimately took the man to the ground. While down, the video shows several other men jumping into the attack -- kicking and stomping the guy, before clearing out.

The footage appears to match pictures that Greene's attorneys included in the lawsuit against Kamara last month. According to the suit, as a result of the beatdown, Greene suffered injuries to his neck, back, head, shoulder, knees and face ... including "a disfiguring facial fracture to" his right orbital bone.

Greene is suing Kamara for $10 million.

Kamara, meanwhile, was arrested following the 2022 Pro Bowl game for his alleged role in the incident ... and charged with felony battery resulting in substantial bodily harm and misdemeanor conspiracy to commit battery.

At the time of the arrest, cops claimed in police documents that Kamara did admit to punching the man.

Kamara -- who's had an up-and-down season for the Saints this year -- is due back in court for a hearing on the case next week.

Originally Published -- 11/5 12:35 AM PT

DeAndre Hopkins Returns From 6-Game Suspension ... Drops Hype Video!!!

DeAndre Hopkins is back!

The Arizona Cardinals receiver -- one of the best in the NFL -- is making his return to the field after serving a 6-game suspension for PEDs ... and he's amped!

The 30-year-old even dropped a hype video celebrating his comeback hours before the Cardinals' "Thursday Night Football" home game against the New Orleans Saints.

"Don't call it a comeback," DHop captioned the clip.

The video shows the 5-time Pro Bowler's recent workout with a mix of LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out' song and Black Sheep's "The Choice Is Yours".

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Several NFL players showed support for Hopkins in the comments ... including teammate Budda Baker who wrote, "Itโ€™s Time!!! ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ"

As we previously reported, DH was suspended in May for violating the league's PED policy. Hopkins initially appealed the punishment, before withdrawing.

His return couldn't come at a better time ... the Cardinals just lost star receiver Marquise "Hollywood" Brown for a month due to a foot injury.

And, Hopkins is one of Kyler Murray's favorite targets ... in the last two regular seasons, the two connected for 1,979 yards and 14 touchdowns.

LONG TIME COMING
Arizona Cardinals

"I'm excited to have him back," the Cardinals QB said earlier this week, "He's been waiting on this moment. He's an electric player."

The Cardinals are currently last in the NFC West but with DHop back ... AZ could make a run.

Welcome back, DHop!

Alvin Kamara Sued Over Alleged Vegas Beatdown ... Man Seeking $10 Million

New Orleans Saints superstar Alvin Kamara is being sued for allegedly attacking a man outside a Vegas nightclub during Pro Bowl weekend in February ... TMZ Sports has confirmed.

The plaintiff, Darnell Greene, claims he was among a group of people waiting for an elevator near Drai's around 6:30 AM ... when Kamara put his hand on his chest to keep him from entering the lift.

Greene says the running back then shoved him into a wall and repeatedly punched him in the face.

The lawsuit claims Greene tried to escape ... but AK chased him down and attacked him, causing injuries including a broken orbital.

Now, Greene has lawyered up ... and is seeking $10 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

"The brutal violent assault broke Greene's orbital lobe, severely injured his shoulder, back, and neck, and left him temporarily unconscious and helpless on the floor," the lawsuit states.

Greene claims Kamara boasted about his role in the alleged beatdown ... saying, "I connected with the [expletive]โ€™s jaw so hard,'" according to the suit.

The alleged injuries were so bad, Greene states he will need to undergo multiple surgeries to repair the damage done to his body.

"Medical testing confirmed a disfiguring facial fracture to Greene's right orbital bone, blunt force trauma to his head, multiple disc protrusions, and structural tears in his shoulder," the suit says.

The lawsuit provides pictures of Greene's bloody face following the alleged beatdown ... as well as still shots from security footage -- and Greene claims NFL commissioner Roger Goodell hasn't taken any action to discipline Kamara.

Kamara is currently facing a charge of felony battery "resulting in substantial bodily harm" stemming from the incident ... but has continued to play for the Saints this season.

Tom Brady Blasts NFL Over Mike Evans Ban ... 'That's Ridiculous'

GAME OF EMOTIONS
Letโ€™s Go! with Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray

Tom Brady has beef with the NFL yet again -- this time, the Buccaneers QB said he's pissed over the league's decision to suspend his star receiver, Mike Evans, for fighting on Sunday.

"I don't think it deserved any type of suspension," Brady said on his "Let's Go" podcast on Monday evening. "I think that's ridiculous."

Evans was banned one game for his role in a brawl with Marshon Lattimore during the Tampa Bay vs. New Orleans game on Sunday.

Evans, defending Brady, ran onto the field and leveled Lattimore -- causing an all-out melee. The 29-year-old wideout was ejected from the game, and on Monday, the league announced it was banning him for an additional game, claiming his behavior violated unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct rules.

Brady opened up about the incident on his pod -- slamming the league's ruling -- while saying he was a fan of Evans' actions.

"In the end, I appreciate Mike having my back," Brady said. "I know he'll learn from it. And he knows that we all have his back."

Brady also took some blame for the fight -- saying if he hadn't run down the field to argue with the call, none of it would have happened.

The Bucs went on to win the game regardless, beating N.O., 20-10. They'll have to suit up without Evans (if he doesn't win an appeal) this Sunday when they take on the Packers in Tampa.

Mike Evans Suspended 1 Game ... Over Lattimore Fight

Mike Evans was just hit with a one-game suspension by the NFL after fighting Saints' defensive back Marshon Lattimore on the field during the Bucs-Saints game, the league announced Monday.

The Tampa Bay Bucs star wide receiver will be suspended without pay ... after the league deemed his behavior violated unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct rules in Sunday's game.

NFL exec (and former star lineman) Jon Runyan said Evans -- who saw Tom Brady engaged in a war of words with Lattimore -- and ran towards the men and violently threw his body at Marshon.

"You knocked your opponent to the ground, and a melee ensued involving players from both teams," Runyan wrote in a letter to Evans. "Your aggressive conduct could have caused serious injury to your opponent."

"And clearly does not reflect the high standards of sportsmanship expected of a professional," he continued.

The beef between Evans and Lattimore is well-documented -- the two had a dustup in 2017 after Lattimore and then-Bucs QB Jameis Winston exchanged words on the field.

Evans can appeal the suspension, but he'll likely miss the Bucs' highly anticipated matchup against Green Bay next week.

Assuming he serves the suspension, Evans will be eligible to return to Tampa's active roster on Monday ... after the Packers game.

Saints' Marcus Maye Arrested ... Allegedly Pointed Gun At Juveniles In Road Rage Incident

UPDATE

12:09 PM PT -- Saints head coach Dennis Allen said the team was made aware of the arrest on Thursday morning.

UPDATE
AWARE & WAITING
New Orleans Saints
UPDATE

"We're still gathering all of the information," he said. "And so, we're really not going to have a comment on it at this time until we get more information."

UPDATE

11:24 AM PT -- According to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, Maye's arrest stemmed from an Aug. 29 road rage incident. Cops say Maye was driving a black SUV when he was accused of pointing a gun at a car full of "several juvenile females."

UPDATE

Authorities note Maye has now been released from jail after posting a $30,000 bond.

UPDATE

11:21 AM PT -- Cops have just released Maye's mug shot.

UPDATE

11:05 AM PT -- Maye's attorney, Eric Hessler, issued a statement following the arrest ... saying, "Marcus vehemently denies the allegation from a motor vehicle incident, and looks forward to defending himself when all the facts come out."

New Orleans Saints starting safety Marcus Maye was arrested on Thursday and booked on a charge of aggravated assault with a firearm, TMZ Sports has confirmed.

According to jail records, Maye was booked into Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in Louisiana at 12 AM ... and is still in custody.

The allegations against the 29-year-old are unclear, we're working on it.

Maye just signed a huge contract with the Saints back in March, inking a three-year, $28.5 million deal. He spent the first five seasons of his NFL career with the New York Jets, starting 60 games and recording 6 interceptions.

New Orleans had listed Maye as its starting strong safety in its pre-Week 1 depth chart.

Story developing ...

Originally Published -- 10:59 AM PT

Jarvis Landry Needs Insane Full-Body Cupping Sesh ... After Practice In Heat

Jarvis Landry may have grown up close to downtown New Orleans, but the NFL star is still getting used to practicing in the Louisiana heat -- needing a wild, full-body cupping session after his first day in full pads.

Landry -- who spent 3 seasons playing for the LSU Tigers -- posted a shot of his cupping sesh after Monday's practice ... and it looks pretty intense.

In the pic, Landry is laying flat on his stomach, and you can see dozens of cups all over his body -- from his back down to his ankles.

"My First Full Padded Practice Back In This Louisiana Heat," Landry wrote on Instagram. "Nola:1 Juice:0."

FYI, cupping is an ancient practice that is still widely used today ... where a therapist applies special cups to someone's body to create a suction effect.

Cupping can be used for various reasons ... but it's known to help with pain, inflammation, and blood flow.

Juice's full body cupping sesh garnered reactions from some of the guys he used to share a huddle with ... like NFL tight end David Njoku, who wrote, "MY GOD๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ MEDIC!!!!!" in the comment section.

Another one of Landry's former teammates, wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, also hit up the comment section, writing, "Ayoooo๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚."

Jarvis already had a scare at camp this season ... going down to the ground and limping after catching his first rep, so the 5-time Pro Bowl wideout is sparing no expense to make sure he's ready for the season opener.

Report: Zion Williamson Weight Clause In New Contract Could Lose Guaranteed $$$

Zion Williamson's new contract is coming with some hefty demands -- the NBA star will reportedly have to maintain a certain weight and body fat percentage, or will risk losing some of his guaranteed money.

Williamson inked a 5-year extension worth up to $231 million to stay with the New Orleans Pelicans this off-season ... but there's a big catch.

Christian Clark of NOLA.com says some of that money could be yanked from his pockets if certain health stipulations aren't met.

The report states the 22-year-old will submit to weigh-ins throughout his contract to ensure the sum of his weight and body fat percentage stays below 295 ... and if he doesn't, he'll literally pay for it.

Williamson's weight has become an issue since going #1 overall to the Pels in 2019 ... and the former Duke star has only been able to play in 85 career games due to injury.

Williamson is currently training like a madman to get back to 100% in 2022-23 ... which also includes switching up his diet, according to reports.

Williamson is currently listed at 284 pounds ... but money talks, so expect to see him in amazing shape this season.

WNBA Star Te'a Cooper Pens Love Note To Kamara For Bday ... 'It's All About You!!!'

"Happy Birthday to MY MAN MY MAN MY MAN MY MAN ๐Ÿ–ค๐Ÿ–ค๐Ÿ–ค"

WNBA star Te'a Cooper showered Alvin Kamara with all kinds of sweet compliments for his 27th birthday on Monday ... penning an adorable love note to the New Orleans Saints halfback on her social media page.

The former L.A. Sparks guard shared the message with a bunch of photos of the NFL star -- and included a video of their romance as well.

"@alvinkamara today Is all about you ๐Ÿฅบ๐Ÿ–ค," Cooper said on Monday.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

"What I love most about you is your selfless heart, courageous spirit, & loyalty. I donโ€™t just love you I respect you."

FYI, Cooper -- who previously dated NBA star Dwight Howard -- went IG official with Kamara in 2021 ... and they've been inseparable since, taking a Paris vacation together while also getting in workouts together in the gym.

"Every day we celebrate each other," the 25-year-old hooper said. "BUT TODAY IS THE DAY THE REALEST WAS BORN AND IT IS ALL ABOUT YOU! Alexa play: CATER TO YOU AND DIM THE LIGHTS."

Kamara enjoyed the bday post ... writing in the comment section, "Thank you mama. Love you โ™ฅ๏ธ"

The couple will only have a few days to celebrate -- Kamara, a five-time Pro Bowler, is heading off to Saints' training camp on July 30.

Happy birthday, AK!!!

Drew Brees Buys Pickleball Team ... I'm An Owner Now!

PICKING PICKLEBALL
Instagram/maddropspc

Drew Brees has found himself a job ... the retired superstar QB and former football broadcaster just bought a pickleball team, the Mad Drops, and now joins an ownership group that includes L.A. Lakers co-owner Jim Buss.

"Iโ€™m stoked to be the newest team co-owner for Mad Drops Pickleball Club in Major League Pickleball! Our 12-team co-ed league represents an incredibly competitive & exciting brand of Pickleball," Brees said when announcing the purchase.

The Mad Drops play in the Major League Pickleball league. Gary Vaynerchuk (Vee) also owns a team in the league.

Pickleball, if you aren't familiar, is essentially a mix between tennis, badminton and ping pong. Players use a paddle to hit a plastic ball over a net, onto a court.

Brees -- who played 20 seasons in the NFL -- retired after his 2021 campaign, trading the huddle for the NBC broadcast booth.

In May, the Super Bowl-winning QB had some fun with fans speculating what his future held ... and he actually mentioned Pickleball.

"Despite speculation from media about my future this fall, Iโ€™m currently undecided," Brees wrote on Twitter. "I may work for NBC, I may play football again, I may focus on business and philanthropy."

"I may train for the pickleball tour, senior golf tour, coach my kids or all of the above. Iโ€™ll let you know," he continued.

Brees' Mad Drops will begin their quest to win a championship in Newport Beach, CA on Aug. 5-7 ... and Drew's pumped!

"This is fun. This is what sports is all about."

Saints Star Marcus Davenport Top Of Pinky Amputated ... After Finger Infection

Saints star Marcus Davenport will now only have about 9.5 fingers available to take down opposing ball carriers this year ... he just revealed he had to have the tip of his pinky amputated this offseason.

The New Orleans pass rusher told a throng of reporters on Wednesday following a Saints workout that he had to lose part of the digit after his finger developed an infection from a surgery he had back in 2021.

Davenport had to have a plate placed into the finger that year after injuring it previously ... but the 25-year-old said when the plate broke this offseason, it caused an infection that he got rid of by simply amputating the top of his left pinky.

Davenport said he expects the amputation to have no impact on his ability to play football going forward.

The bad news for Davenport about it all? Losing the body part wasn't even the worst part of his offseason -- the former first-round pick said he also had to have shoulder surgery from an unrelated injury too.

To his credit, the guy somehow still hit the practice field for the Saints on Wednesday ... proving yet again he's one tough dude!

Saints Star Cameron Jordan DeMarcus Ware & Jared Allen Belong In Hall Of Fame ... Devin Hester, Too!!!

TOTALLY SNUBBED
TMZSports.com

NFL star Cameron Jordan tells TMZ Sports he's got a bone to pick with Hall of Fame voters ... saying, in his mind, both DeMarcus Ware and Jared Allen belonged in the 2022 class.

The Saints defensive end -- who knows a thing or two about getting to the quarterback -- made the proclamation outside of Academy Nightclub in L.A. this week ... saying he believes both Ware and Allen were snubbed when the class was announced on Thursday night.

Jordan, though, didn't seem too concerned about the guys' future Canton prospects ... telling us he believes they'll both get in eventually.

Jordan also seemed to think Devin Hester got slighted too.

As for who did get in ... some of the notable names included former Patriots star Richard Seymour, ex-Packers safety LeRoy Butler, and former Jaguars tackle Tony Boselli.

Saints Legend Willie Roaf On Alvin Kamara's Arrest ... 'You Can't Do That, Man'

GOTTA DO BETTER
TMZSports.com

New Orleans Saints legend Willie Roaf is clearly disappointed with Alvin Kamara's arrest ... telling TMZ Sports the star running back just "can't do that, man."

The Hall of Famer said outside of a Super Bowl party at Academy in L.A. on Wednesday that even though the facts might not all be out surrounding the case at the moment, he's still pretty sure Kamara could've handled himself differently in Las Vegas last weekend.

"Whatever the situation was at the elevator -- you can't do that," Roaf said. "You can't do that, man."

"You just have to watch your environment. Probably some drinks involved, but, you know, you just can't do that."

As we reported, Kamara was arrested on Sunday after he allegedly beat up a man outside of an elevator at a Vegas hotel on Saturday.

In the police report, cops say Kamara was seen on video punching the man several times.

Roaf explained he doesn't necessarily think Kamara should be suspended over the alleged incident ... but he did add, "I know he needs to learn from this."

There's more -- Roaf also spoke with us about Michael Thomas' future in New Orleans, and he also said he doesn't believe newly retired Sean Payton is officially done coaching just yet.

Old news is old news!
Be First!

Get TMZ breaking news sent right to your browser!