Jay Cutler Whips Out Night Vision Goggles Look Out, Chicken Killer!!!

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CHICKEN WATCH

Someone or someTHING keeps murdering Jay Cutler's beloved chickens ... and the ex-NFL QB is so fed up, he's pulling out the big guns -- AND the night vision goggles -- to stop the culprit.

The retired Chicago Bears star went public with his troubles on Instagram earlier this week ... saying a "chicken serial killer" has been ripping the heads off his birds at his home in Tennessee.

So ... is it a coyote? A raccoon? A monster?!?

Cutler initially thought his own cat, Thelma, had blood on her paws ... but he later determined the pet was not responsible.

KILLER ON THE LOOSE

After eliminating Thelma as a suspect, Cutler came up with a plan to catch the REAL murderer -- an all-night stakeout!!!

So #6 grabbed his night vision goggles, camo and a nice stogie and assumed his position in his kids' treehouse to look over his rooster, Old Blue after sundown ... updating his 500k followers throughout the night.

"Obviously things have escalated," Jay said on IG. "We're gonna sit here and make sure Old Blue has a good night tonight and whatever happens, happens."

But, the whole stakeout had an anticlimactic ending Friday morning -- Cutler says he was unable to find the killer ... but he's vowed to continue the hunt.

"No culprit last night, which is okay. Stayed up way too late. Super tired this morning. But, Old Blue's gonna be on the case today."

Stay tuned for more updates on Jay Cutler's birds (2020 is weird).

NFL's Darius Leonard Claims Racism At Chipotle Restaurant Launches Investigation

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I'M SICK OF THIS!

5:45 PM PT -- The chairman and CEO of Chipotle has already launched an investigation into the incident at the location in Florence, SC.

Brian Niccol tells TMZ Sports, "We have a zero tolerance policy for discrimination of any kind and we have suspended our manager while we conduct a thorough investigation."

Niccol says he has personally reached out to Darius -- "and I’m committed to ensuring the appropriate action is taken once the investigation concludes."

Indianapolis Colts superstar linebacker Darius Leonard claims he was wrongly kicked out of a Chipotle restaurant in South Carolina ... insisting it's all because he's Black.

The 24-year-old All-Pro says he was eating with his family Thursday -- "3 other Black guys and a mixed woman" -- when another patron (who is white) complained to management that Leonard was "verbally abusing him."

Leonard says the allegation is a straight-up lie -- but the restaurant manager walked over to his table and treated him like a criminal anyway ... booting him from the restaurant and threatening to call the police.

Leonard says what really pisses him off is the white patron got the benefit of the doubt without a shred of evidence -- and says this is the type of crap Black people have to deal with all the time.

"We’re talking about Black Lives Matter and for the guy to look at us and lie and laugh in our face as we walk out and the manger ... just come up here and just basically kick us out of Chipotle?! And, we felt like he was very disrespectful and that’s the white privilege that we are talking about.”

"We are tired of this," Leonard says ... "I'm telling you what I go through as a Black man in America. Ya'll don't understand what I go through."

"Ya'll see the police killing us. Ya'll seeing all the injustices that we go through. I live it. Day in and day out. And, I'm f*cking tired of it. Yes, I'm upset. I'm tired of it."

We reached out to the Chipotle where the incident took place but they offered no comment. We also reached out to the corporate office but so far no word back.

Originally published -- 2:57 PM PT

Antonio Brown Training With HS QB For NFL Comeback 'He Hasn't Lost Any Gears'

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DYNAMIC DUO

Forget Big Ben and Tom Brady ... Antonio Brown has turned to a high school quarterback to gear up for his NFL return!!

Meet Peter Zamora, a 17-year-old rising junior, who tells TMZ Sports he's been working with Brown for the past few months to help the embattled wide receiver get back in the league.

WORKIN' WITH BEST!
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As for how Pete got that role ... the story is wild -- Pete says he stumbled on a workout with Brown and other NFL stars like Jerry Jeudy and Deshaun Watson at a Florida field back in March.

The Deerfield Beach HS QB tells us they saw his big right arm ... invited him to Brown's gym -- and just a few weeks later, he ended up being one of AB's personal QBs.

Zamora says he throws passes regularly to Brown now ... working out for a couple hours at a time and tossing somewhere between 50-to-75 passes to the former NFL All-Pro.

Pete tells us he hasn't seen AB lose a single step despite not playing in the NFL since September ... and says the guy still belongs on a pro field.

"He hasn't lost any gears," Zamora said. "He's still fast as ever and he's still a top receiver in the league. I feel like a team should definitely sign him."

As for off-the-field, Pete says Brown's been but nothing but a gentleman to him ... adding, "I think he's a well-spoken guy. A very encouraging, very positive guy."

By the way, Pete tells us there is no compensation for the work ... but colleges are starting to notice his game a bit now -- telling us even Brown's former school, Central Michigan, is starting to recruit him!!

Report: Colin Kaepernick 'Multiple Teams' Interested ... In Signing Quarterback

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Could Colin Kaepernick's NFL return be as few as a couple weeks away???

The answer could be yes ... because "multiple" teams and at least one head coach have legitimate interest in signing the QB before the start of the season, according to NFL Network reporter Michael Silver.

The plugged-in journalist said on the league's owned NFL Network on Wednesday, "I have talked to one head coach who is absolutely interested" in Kaepernick.

The holdup? Silver says it's all about the coronavirus pandemic ... and the lack of the ability for teams to physically workout Colin for a tryout at their facilities.

"Colin Kaepernick, who has not played since 2016, finds himself in the same situation that Cam Newton and Jadeveon Clowney do," Silver said, "which is a team that would be ready to sign him would want to work him out."

Of course, Kaepernick did famously hold his own workout last year -- which was on video ... but Silver says teams would still like a front-row view this summer before putting pen to a new contract.

The NFL reporter adds, "There could be a chance that something happens when teams are able to get that part of it done."

Unclear when teams will be allowed to host free agents for tryouts ... but training camps do open July 28 -- so seems that date is nearing.

Reggie Bush Teases Heisman Trophy Return 'I've Heard Conversations'

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Could the 2005 Heisman Trophy officially belong to Reggie Bush once again!?!

The USC legend stopped short of saying that this week ... but the former superstar running back did acknowledge he's hearing rumors it might actually go down!!!

"I don't want to put nothing out there," Bush said on Tuesday's "The Pat McAfee Show" ... "You know, I've heard conversations and things."

Of course, Bush was just reinstated to USC after he was banished for 10 years for accepting improper benefits during his time as a Trojan -- and many have wondered if his relinquished Heisman Trophy could follow suit.

For now, the people who are in charge of the award say nothing has changed ... but Bush's reaction when McAfee asked about a possible return of the honor sure makes it seem like something's in the works.

"I don't want to, uh --" Bush said sheepishly, before adding ... "if it's not here, it's not here!"

Bush also revealed a cool story about his trophy ... saying after he was busted and forced to give up the award, Heisman officials asked Vince Young to take it.

But, Bush claims Vince turned it down ... and he praised the hell out of him for doing so.

"That’s why I appreciate Vince because even in that moment and even in that time, he wasn’t a sucker," Bush said. "Period. He didn’t go for whatever they were trying to bring his way, and I appreciate him for that because that’s real. That’s real love."

Reggie added the gesture sometimes gives him chills ... saying, "he had every right, every right to say, ‘Yeah, give me that Heisman.’ And he didn’t. So, Vince showed me the kind of love that even some of the people closest to me didn’t show."

Ben Roethlisberger I've Battled Porn & Booze Addictions ... 'We All Fall Short'

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Ben Roethlisberger says he's fought both porn and alcohol addictions in the past ... but credits his relationship with his religion for helping him cut the habits.

The Pittsburgh Steelers QB made the revelations at the "ManUp Pittsburgh" conference over the weekend ... giving a pump-up speech to people who are going through similar struggles.

"People don't realize all the time that us athletes, we're human," Roethlisberger said. "We sin like everyone else. I am no different. We make mistakes. We get addicted to things. We sin."

Big Ben continued, "And I think sometimes we get put on this pedestal where we can't make mistakes. We do. I've fallen as short as anybody."

Roethlisberger -- who's been in the NFL since 2004 -- says his past transgressions include vices like booze and porn ... adding, "which makes me then not the best husband, not the best father, not the best Christian I can be."

But, 38-year-old Ben says he was able to re-find religion after meeting his wife -- whom he married in 2011 -- and says he believes he's now a better person because of it.

"My message to the men out there that are watching this is, we all fall short," Roethlisberger said. "That's what happens. But it's OK. You can get back into the good graces."

Roethlisberger also spoke about his recent elbow surgery ... and said if it had happened earlier in his career, he's not sure he could have handled it.

Though Ben now says he's being patient with the whole process ... and is confident he'll return to form sooner than later.

"Now that I know what it's about, it was easy for me to say, 'God, it's in your hands, I'm going to go train my butt off to get out there and whatever you have for me, I'm ready.'"

Adrian Peterson Gunning For Four More Years In NFL ... 'Why Not?!'

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THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT
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In 2024 ... 39-year-old Adrian Peterson will STILL be running over defenders?!?!

The future Hall of Famer says he believes that's entirely possible ... telling TMZ Sports he's gunning to play FOUR more years in the NFL!!

"Man, why not four more years?" AD says. "Why not?!"

Of course, Peterson has never made it a secret he wants to play a whole lot longer than most running backs ever do ... but four more years is a big goal even for him.

Remember, back after the 2018 season, Peterson told us he only wanted to go "maybe two or three more years."

A LOT LEFT IN THE TANK
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But, when we spoke with the Redskins star tailback over the weekend, he made it clear he wants to carry the rock until he physically can't anymore.

"I don't want to ever be in a position where I look back and say, 'Man, I should have played two more years,'" Peterson says. "'I should of played another year.' I want to enjoy it."

As for why, Adrian says he wants a Super Bowl ring badly ... but Peterson is only about 4,000 yards away from breaking Emmitt Smith's all-time rushing mark.

Seems with four more years of carries ... Emmitt might need to start sweating now??

By the way, we also spoke with Peterson about the Redskins prospects for the 2020 season ... and ya gotta hear how fired up he is for Washington's roster this year.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Beary Scary Scooter Ride ... Hilarious Encounter W/ Bears Caught On Video!!!

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RUN-IN WITH DA BEARS

Dallas Cowboys safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix lost his mind when he scootered up onto 2 bears in his driveway this week ... and the hilarious encounter was all caught on surveillance video!!!

The footage -- captured Monday night around 8:45 PM -- shows the 27-year-old joy riding when a couple of beasts strolled by.

Seems a mama bear and her cub were sniffing around ... and when an oblivious Clinton-Dix cruised near them on his scooter -- hilarity ensued.

The 6'1", 211-pound defensive back (who used to play for the Chicago Bears, funny enough!) threw his ride, stopped on a dime and turned and bolted off!!!

"I play D # gotta be ready to go," Clinton-Dix said of the incident. "A lil high on my flip turn but the drive was there. I ain’t know how many was over there."

Of course, several NFL studs clowned Ha Ha over the interaction ... including Stefon Diggs who wrote, "Boy tried to ghost ride the scooter into him."

Fortunately for Ha Ha ... the Bears were so frightened by him, they took off as well -- and no animals or NFL players were hurt.

NFL's DeAndre Baker 2 Witnesses Say He Never Pulled a Gun ... In Armed Robbery Case

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Good news for NY Giants cornerback Deandre Baker -- TWO witnesses are now on the record saying they never saw Baker pull a gun during an alleged armed robbery at a cookout back in May.

As we previously reported, Baker -- along with Seattle Seahawks corner Quinton Dunbar -- was arrested for allegedly robbing several people at gunpoint during a May 13 incident in Miramar, FL.

Cops initially said ... witnesses told them Baker pulled out a semi-automatic firearm and directed Dunbar to start taking expensive watches and other valuables from people at the cookout.

At one point, cops say Baker directed a 3rd man -- who was wearing a red mask -- to shoot someone who had just walked into the party ... but fortunately, no one was actually shot.

Baker was charged with 4 counts of armed robbery and 4 counts of aggravated assault with a firearm -- though he has adamantly denied the allegations.

Now, two witnesses who were at the cookout have given sworn affidavits -- which have been submitted to prosecutors -- in which they state Baker never pulled out a gun or robbed anyone.

"Deandre Baker was near me, and he never pulled out and/or pointed a firearm at anyone at the party."

Both men claim they were 10 to 12 feet from Baker during the "commotion."

Both men -- who claim they only know Baker from playing the Madden NFL video game online -- also say they never saw Baker "take anything from anyone at the party."

Both men also say they provided the affidavit on their own accord -- no one has threatened them or influenced them in any way.

We spoke with Baker's attorney, Bradford Cohen, who tells TMZ Sports, "We believe that there is significant evidence to rebut any allegation made in the case."

"In speaking to the witnesses, and reviewing the evidence we gathered, my opinion has not changed that he is innocent of the allegations against him."

Tom Izzo I Was 'Ignorant' To Oppose Kneeling ... 'I'm Still Learning'

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Michigan State legend Tom Izzo is admitting he was WRONG to be mad about Colin Kaepernick's national anthem protest ... saying George Floyd's death helped him understand what the movement was all about.

"Listen, I learn lessons too. And, I’m still learning at this age," 65-year-old Izzo said on 97.1 The Ticket on Tuesday.

"I talked to all those people to try to get a good feel. And, what I realized is, I wasn’t real happy with the Colin Kaepernick thing when it happened."

Izzo says he initially thought kneeling for the anthem was disrespectful to the flag ... but years later, he now knows what Kap was doing.

"And, yet, as I look back on it, how ignorant am I? Because that was a peaceful protest."

Izzo added he was "sickened" by Floyd's death last month ... saying, "It was real and it was disappointing, but it was disgusting."

"None of us know all the things that happen, but a human life is a human life and we’re treating it like it’s nothing."

Izzo isn't alone in switching his stance on the anthem -- NFL commish Roger Goodell recently apologized for how the league mishandled the kneeling protests ... and Drew Brees has also had a change of heart.

Nestle Renaming 'Red Skins' Candy ... NFL Team Still Mum

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THE RED SKINS ARE CHANGING THEIR NAME!!!

No, sadly, not Washington's NFL team -- but rather the lesser-known candy ... which Nestle now says is getting a makeover due to the racist implications of the moniker.

In a statement released Tuesday ... the candy company said it'll do away with the "Red Skins" name because it's straight up "out of step with Nestle’s values."

"This decision acknowledges the need to ensure that nothing we do marginalises our friends, neighbours and colleagues," Nestle officials said.

In addition to "Red Skins", the company also says it's canning the "Chicos" name for its jelly candy ... citing the racial undertones there too.

Props to the org. for realizing the ignorance and vowing to swiftly right the wrong ... but it all begs the question -- what is going on in the NFL?!

The Redskins -- who last week cut ties with their racist ex-owner George Preston Marshall by helping facilitate the removal of a stadium monument and FedExField lower bowl naming -- STILL refuse to acknowledge the need to reconsider their team name.

Despite many Native Americans finding it offensive -- and D.C.'s mayor calling for change -- owner Dan Snyder has repeatedly been reluctant to move on from the mascot.

So, could a candy company giving in finally be the catalyst that gets the NFL's gears turning on the issue???

Stay tuned.

Detroit Lions Martha Ford Steps Down As Owner Daughter Takes Over Team

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Detroit Lions owner Martha Ford -- who has been in charge since 2014 -- has stepped down from her role with the team ... and her daughter, Sheila Hamp, will take over.

94-year-old Ford took over the team after her husband, William Ford Sr. -- the last surviving grandchild of Henry Ford -- passed away.

"It has been a great honor for our family to be associated with the Lions and with the National Football League," Martha said in a statement Tuesday.

"I am gratified that this family tradition, which my husband and I began almost six decades ago, will continue under Sheila's guiding hand."

"It is clear to me that Sheila will provide superb leadership and is fully committed to competitive excellence and community involvement."

Sheila addressed her new role, saying, "My mother has inspired all of us since taking on leadership of the Lions over six years ago."

"She has been a tireless leader to our family, our team and our community. Her smart decisions have given me a solid foundation to take the team forward."

"On behalf of the family and the team, I want to thank her for her countless contributions. I look forward to leading the Lions to excellence on and off the field."

The Fords have owned the Lions since 1963 ... when William bought the team for $4.5 million.

The franchise is now worth around $1.95 BILLION, according to Forbes.

NFL commish Roger Goodell released a statement on the transition, saying, "We are pleased that the Ford family will continue to own and operate this historic franchise."

"Sheila Hamp has become increasingly involved in team and league affairs over the past several years and we look forward to working with her and the rest of the club's executive team."

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