Detroit Lions star D'Andre Swift is NOT a suspect in a murder case ... so says his head coach Dan Campbell, who called this week's reports merely "Internet rumors."
Swift began trending on social media Thursday after he had been allegedly named in a report involving a Philadelphia homicide in July.
We reached out to the Philadelphia Police Dept. ... and they said they could not comment on the matter.
Campbell, though, told media members Friday that, to his knowledge, his running back has not been involved in any nefarious criminal activity whatsoever.
"I think that's just Internet rumors that I don't feel like I need to comment on right now if I'm being honest with you," Campbell said.
NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Friday he's heard similar things to Campbell ... explaining, "Sources have indicated D'Andre Swift is not under investigation."
I will add this: We did extensive reporting on the situation the last two days. Philadelphia Police have declined to comment. Sources have indicated D'Andre Swift is not under investigation. There is an open murder case. But again, no indication Swift is a suspect. https://t.co/2OvgwIxw7b— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 10, 2021 @MikeGarafolo
"There is an open murder case," Garafolo added. "But again, no indication Swift is a suspect."
D'Andre -- who Campbell said is "ready to go" for the Lions' season-opener this weekend -- is expected to have a huge role for Detroit this year after he totaled 878 yards from scrimmage in 13 games last season.
The quarterback made the claim in a sit-down interview with his dad this week ... saying he believes his personality is so big, the Pats were forced to shove him off their roster despite his willingness to stick around and be Mac Jones' backup.
"The truth of the matter is this," Cam said. "[Mac] would've been uncomfortable. He would've."
Newton says because he's such a huge figure -- he believes New England thought Jones wouldn't have been able to flourish while constantly looking over his shoulder at the high-profile QB.
"[My aura] is my gift and my curse," Cam said. "When you bring a Cam Newton to your facility -- when you bring a Cam Newton to your franchise -- people are interested by mere fact of, 'Who is he?'"
"'Why does he wear his hair? Why does he talk? Why does he perform? Why does' -- all these questions."
Newton, though, said he's "not bitter" about how it all went down ... and made it clear he thinks he's still one of the best 32 quarterbacks in the world.
As for Cam's dad, Cecil Newton, Sr., he wasn't exactly pleased with Belichick's decision ... saying cutting the QB was a "sucker move."
There's more ... Cam also ripped the Pats and the NFL for the way they handled his COVID testing situation while he was away from the team in August -- explaining he felt "bamboozled" when they forced him to sit out five days after he returned from a trip home in training camp.
"I'm like," Cam said, "'Y'all told me to go!'"
Cam added that he has absolutely zero plans to retire despite how it all went down in New England.
Just minutes after Dallas fell in heartbreaking fashion to Tampa Bay ... a hot mic picked up the guarantee in a postgame conversation between the two star QBs.
At first, the guys appeared to just congratulate each other on a hard-fought game -- but then Dak hit TB12 with this promise ...
"We'll see y'all again."
Of course, the only way that's possible is if both teams make the playoffs ... something Prescott sure seems confident about after throwing for 403 yards and 3 TDs in the opener.
And, if we're all being honest, Prescott's take ain't exactly a hot one.
Brady looked unstoppable in the 31-29 victory, and Dak matched him throw for throw throughout the night ... leading most football fans to believe both the Cowboys and the Bucs will likely win their divisions this year.
That would put the two on a collision course in the postseason -- which, clearly, Dak can see coming some 3 months from now.
And, if that future matchup is anything like Thursday's ... getcha popcorn ready.
The Baltimore Ravens can't catch a break.
Running back Gus Edwards might be out with a season-ending torn ACL on Thursday ... just days after starter J.K. Dobbins AND backup Justice Hill suffered serious injuries.
The news was just made official minutes ago ... with Adam Schefter reporting the injury happened at practice.
Of course, Dobbins -- who was poised to have a huge role in the offense this season -- tore his ACL on Aug. 28 ... and Hill (who the Ravens waived this week) tore his Achilles on Sep. 2.
To make matters worse, star cornerback Marcus Peters also reportedly tore his ACL at Wednesday's practice.
Seriously ... so brutal.
So, what's that mean for fantasy football?? Expect newly signed Le'Veon Bell to be a hot commodity in pretty much every league ... as well as Ty'Son Williams.
Here's hoping the rest of the team can stay healthy with Week 1 officially kicking off Thursday night.
The former wide receiver made the claim on ESPN's "First Take" on Wednesday ... saying while he was a Cowboy in 2004 and 2005 -- Romo was full of drama.
"Tony Romo was one of the most diva-ish dudes that I've ever been around at that position!" Johnson said.
What's interesting ... Romo wasn't even the starter during Johnson's two years with the Cowboys -- the QB was actually a backup to Vinny Testaverde in his rookie year and then Drew Bledsoe the next season.
"I think Tony might've even been on the practice squad," Johnson said. "Major diva, though!"
Johnson didn't elaborate on what exactly made Tony such a problem to be around ... but the rant was all part of a tangent Keyshawn went on while trying to explain how QBs have more "diva" tendencies than wideouts.
"Can't say anything bad to the quarterback," Johnson said. "If you say something to him -- if you scream at him or yell at him -- you're a problem."
Keyshawn continued, "They always got to have the, 'Look at his pretty face. His hairstyle. Oh, what about his suit!' All diva stuff. Everything."
Bengals rookie Ja'Marr Chase is giving an interesting explanation for his preseason blunders ... saying he's been dropping so many passes because the NFL balls don't have white stripes.
It's safe to say the ex-LSU star has stumbled out the gate to start his pro career ... dropping an eye-opening amount of passes after barely having any issues in college.
Chase -- who sat out the 2020 NCAA season to prepare for the draft -- opened up on his struggles this week ... and while he says he's not making any excuses for his performance, he explains the differences he's had to face so far as a pro.
"I don't want to blame it on me sitting on my butt the whole year, but it probably had something to do with it, of course," the #5 overall pick in the draft told Bengals.com.
"There's a bigger ball adjustment, so I don't want to make excuses but I've just got to be a pro and make the catch."
Chase describes other differences with the NFL ball that could be impacting his game -- the white stripes.
"The ball is different because it is bigger," he added. "It doesn't have the white stripes on the side, so you can't see the ball coming from the tip point.
"So, you actually have to look for the strings on the ball at the top, which is hard to see because the whole ball is brown and you have the six strings that are white."
"But, for the most part, just have to get used to it and find out what I am comfortable with catching."
Chase also says he has to do a better job concentrating on the ball ... and has been working overtime after practice to adjust his issues.
We're sure there are a ton of fantasy owners who hope it happens sooner than later.
You're looking at Bradley Chubb's mugshot ... taken shortly after the Denver Broncos star was arrested (albeit briefly) for failing to show up to court for several traffic violations.
TMZ Sports obtained the booking photos for the 25-year-old, 2018 1st-round draft pick ... and the LB understandably looks pretty bummed.
Chubb was supposed to be in a Colorado court on Monday ... to face charges stemming from a May 6 traffic stop where cops say he was driving with a suspended or revoked license (misdemeanor restraint) and without valid tags.
However, the Broncos' 5th overall pick never showed up to the courthouse, so a failure-to-appear warrant was issued.
The next morning (Tuesday), Chubb was stopped for a minor traffic infraction. When cops ran his name, they discovered the warrant and took him into custody, before bringing him to the Douglas County Detention Center.
Bond was set at $250 (not an issue for Chubb, who signed a $27+ million deal in 2018) ... before he posted the money and was released.
The Broncos released a statement on the arrest, saying ... "We are aware of the matter, which was related to an unresolved traffic citation that has now been addressed."
Cam Newton is not ready to ride off into the sunset just yet -- saying he's NOT going to retire after getting cut by the Patriots ... and insisting he has "a lot of football left in me."
The 32-year-old's time in New England officially ended after just one season last week ... when the Pats decided to let the 2015 MVP go in favor of rookie Mac Jones.
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Newton posted some career lows in several categories in 15 games for the Pats last season ... but is making it clear he's got more left in the tank in an Instagram post Wednesday.
It may be too late for a team to pick Cam up as a starter, but there's gotta be a spot for his talent somewhere in the league.
Cam's teasing a "Funky Friday" chat coming up ... and it's giving "tell-all" vibes.
If that's the case, we'll be all ears.
Sam 'Bam' Cunningham, former USC and New England Patriots star running back, and one of the forces behind the integration of college football in the 1970s, passed away on Tuesday.
He was 71 years old.
Cunningham -- older brother of longtime NFL QB, Randall Cunningham -- starred at the University of Southern California in the early '70s. He was a consensus All-American in 1972 ... the year he helped USC go undefeated and win a National Championship.
But, more important than the accolades was Cunningham's impact on the game. He's credited with helping diversify the Alabama football team -- under legendary coach Bear Bryant -- and college football as a whole.
As a sophomore in 1970, Sam led USC's all-Black backfield in Birmingham ... routing 'Bama 42-21. Cunningham ran for 135 yards and scored 2 touchdowns.
The following year, Alabama's squad featured Black players (they won the National Championship). The USC-Bama game the previous year was said to have expedited the integration in the south.
After leaving Southern Cali, Cunningham was drafted by the New England Patriots with the 11th overall pick in the 1973 NFL Draft.
Bam played 9 seasons for the Pats ... before hanging up his pads in 1982.
He finished his career with 5,453 rushing yards and 43 rushing TDs.
In 2010, he was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame ... and was also named a member of the team's 50th Anniversary squad.
Pats owner Robert Kraft weighed in on Cunningham's passing, saying ... “We are deeply saddened to learn of yet another loss to the Patriots family this week and our hearts ache for Sam Cunningham’s family and all who are mourning his passing today.”
The other former Pat that Kraft is talking about is David Patten ... a 3x Super Bowl champ who died at the age of 47 on Thursday night following a motorcycle accident.
The MVP on the New England Patriots might not even be a player this season -- 'cause rookie QB Mac Jones says he has a secret weapon helping him -- his girlfriend!!!
The 23-year-old former Heisman finalist spoke with WEEI on Tuesday about how he's gearing up for his first NFL season ... saying his longtime boo, Sophie Scott, has been super supportive -- even helping him walk through plays in their front yard!
"She does a good job," Mac told "Merloni & Fauria" ... "Most of the time we just walk-through in the yard. She actually helps me a lot."
Of course, Mac just beat out Cam Newton for the starting QB gig in Foxboro after an impressive preseason ... and now we have a better idea how he was so quick to succeed!
As for Mac and Sophie, they've been public on social media dating back to October 2019 ... and have posted a ton of pics together ever since.
The Pats open their season against the Miami Dolphins on September 12 ... and we'll see how all that preparation plays out!!!
Todd McShay just announced he's temporarily stepping away from his role at ESPN ... just 3 days after viewers expressed concern over his appearance at the Alabama-Miami game.
McShay was reporting from the sideline during the big college football matchup ... when fans -- including ex-NFL player Darius Butler -- noticed things looked off with the reporter.
"I don't know Todd McShay personally," Butler said, "but I hope he's ok."
It's unclear if McShay's announcement Tuesday is in any way related to the concerns over his television appearance ... the longtime ESPN reporter said only, "I am going to take some time away to focus on my health and my family."
"Thank you ESPN for being so supportive and for all the well wishes -- I can't wait to be back on the sidelines soon."
ESPN announced it's fully supporting McShay's decision ... adding in a statement of their own, "Todd has ESPN's full support as he steps away at this time to focus on his health and his family."
McShay has battled health problems in the past year ... he tested positive for COVID in early 2020, and he was also removed from his role as a sideline reporter during a game in November due to illness.
The 44-year-old has been a mainstay on ESPN through the years ... famously becoming one of most notable draft reporters on television.
Started from the bottom, now he's taking over "Monday Night Football" ... 'cause Drake is teaming up with ESPN to curate music for the upcoming season!!
The announcement just dropped minutes ago ... with the network saying the 6 God will be in charge of the aux cord for 10 games throughout the 2021-22 campaign.
ESPN says Drake will feature his newest songs and possibly some classics ... and while he has more than enough tracks to fill that demand, he'll also feature some other artists worthy of getting exposure.
Of course, this isn't the first collab between Drake and ESPN -- he "hacked" into "SportsCenter" last month to share the release date for his newest album, "Certified Lover Boy," ... which is doing record-breaking numbers in its first week.
"Now we are here ... the kickoff of the football season," ESPN's VP of Sports Marketing, Emeka Ofodile, said Tuesday. "And, who better to curate music for Monday Night Football than Drake, who sits firmly at the intersection of music and sports."
BTW -- Drake is a massive sports fanatic and can be spotted passionately cheering at sporting events ... so it's a safe bet he'll put that same energy into his new gig.
"We couldn't be more excited for this upcoming collaboration," Ofodile added.
Now, it's time for the Drakeover ... and for anyone who's not a fan, ya may wanna have that mute button ready ... 'cause we're expecting a LOT of Champagne Papi.
Clinton Portis could be headed to prison for a LONG time ... 'cause he's now facing up to 10 years behind bars after he agreed to plead guilty to a fraud charge last week.
According to court docs, obtained by TMZ Sports, the former NFL star cut a deal with prosecutors on Friday ... and pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
As a result, per the docs, 40-year-old Portis now faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison ... as well as HEAVY fines.
Portis had been hit with multiple charges by federal prosecutors in 2019 ... after prosecutors say he -- and several other ex-NFL players -- developed a scheme to get cash from the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Plan.
Prosecutors say Portis and the other former players made up fake claims and submitted them to the plan, which was initially designed to help retired players pay for medical bills.
Prosecutors alleged Portis and the players made huge coin after the plan reimbursed them.
Investigators say some of the fraudulent claims the players were reimbursed for included pricey hyperbaric oxygen chambers and ultrasound machines.
Portis went to trial over the allegations last week, but jurors could not reach a verdict. The case had been set for a re-trial ... before Portis ultimately reached his deal with prosecutors.
Portis' sentencing hearing is slated for January.
Clinton was a star running back in the NFL from 2002 through 2010 -- rushing for 9,923 yards and 75 TDs in his career.
"Shannon, I'll knock him out," Owens said ... "It'll be controlled anger. I'll be like a Navy SEAL. I'll be a Navy SEAL. 'Cause they're cool, calm under all conditions."
"But, there would be a fire burning inside of me."
Owens says the idea for the potential fight originated during a conversation with fans while he was ringside at Chad Ochocinco's boxing match on the undercard of the Logan Paul vs. Floyd Mayweather event in June.
"I had people asking me, 'T.O., you next? You next?!'" Owens said. "And, then I had one guy that was like, 'Yo. If you had to fight, who would you want to fight?'"
"I said, Donovan McNabb."
As for how violent the match would get ... Owens made it clear he would hold NOTHING back.
"I'd knock Chunky Soup from him," T.O. said. "From 2004! Trust me. All the heartache and all the stuff that I went through -- me trying to be the nice guy!"
Owens and McNabb have famously feuded for years ... with T.O. having previously said the beef between the two began while they were teammates with the Philadelphia Eagles.
In fact, T.O. has thrown shade McNabb's way nearly every chance he's had over the past few years ... even clowning Donovan's Hall of Fame candidacy to TMZ Sports in 2019.
If the McNabb tilt never happens, Owens says former NFL wideout Brandon Marshall has asked him to fight multiple times ... and T.O. told Sharpe he'd be in for that bout as well.
TMZ Sports talked to 37-year-old, 6th overall NFL Draft pick (2006) about his burgeoning film career ... and the bond Davis has forged with Freeman.
"After working with [Morgan] on this film Muti, he's just brilliant. Not only is he a great actor, he's a great person," Vernon says.
"I mean he comes to work every day, great energy, joking, playing and I'm looking at this guy like this guy's 80-something years old and he still comes with energy unknown to mankind."
"Muti," starring Freeman, is currently filming ... and is expected to hit theatres in 2022.
Davis -- who played 14 seasons in the NFL for San Francisco and Washington -- also told a story about a scene he recently filmed with the Academy Award winner, and it's pretty awesome.
Bottom line, what Vernon's doing is darn impressive ... but not necessarily surprising.
In fact, last February he told us he was gunning to be an actor post-football -- and now he's filming movies with Hollywood royalty.
Super Bowl ring ✅
New York Giants pass rusher Azeez Ojulari is starting off his rookie season in a Wakanda-kinda way ... by coppin' an insane "Black Panther" diamond chain -- that glows in the dark!!!
And, Frost definitely delivered ... 'cause while the ice ain't exactly Vibranium, it's damn near close ... featuring 50 carats of white and black VS1 diamonds with 220 grams of 18k white gold!
The replica of Boseman's famous mask also comes with an insane white gold Cuban prong set -- with VS diamonds!!!
We're told Leo also amped up the bling by adding a special, glow-in-the-dark enamel coating ... which if you check out the video, is WILD!!
Unclear what the drip ultimately cost the former Georgia Bulldog ... but the 2nd-round pick just signed a 4-year rookie deal for $6.7 million, so his wallet's going to be just fine.
Wakanda forever indeed!