Baker Mayfield 'I Can't Believe the Giants Took Daniel Jones'

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10:52 AM PT -- Baker is clarifying his comments on Jones ... saying he was also surprised when the Browns picked him #1 overall and was trying to make a point on the "flaws in evaluating QB's."

"Heard nothing but good things and wish nothing but the best for Daniel," Baker said.

As for Jones ... he took the high road, praising Baker as a good QB and saying he has other things to worry about.

Baker Mayfield simply can't believe the NY Giants selected Daniel Jones with the 6th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft ... saying the move "blows my mind."

Mayfield made the comments while doing an interview with GQ -- the reporter says they happened to be sitting by a TV when ESPN ran a segment on Jones, the rookie out of Duke.

That's when Mayfield said, "I cannot believe the Giants took Daniel Jones ... blows my mind."

Some people are interpreting the comments as a shot at Jones -- others say Baker was just vocalizing how EVERYONE felt about the pick ... considering so many draft experts had other QBs like Dwayne Haskins ranked higher than DJ.

If you're wondering, the Browns do NOT play the Giants during the regular season this year.

The GQ reporter continued the conversation about NFL quarterbacks -- noting that a ton of so-called "experts" never seem to accurately predict which college stars will make good pros.

Baker added, "Some people overthink it ... that's where people go wrong. They forget you've gotta win."

He continued to explain what makes a great QB -- "Either you have a history of winning and being that guy for your team ... or you don't."

So far, no comment from Jones.

Originally Published -- 7:10 AM PT

Lawrence Taylor Praises Daniel Jones ... 'Hell Of A Football Player'

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Giants god Lawrence Taylor says the G-Men have found a brand new franchise QB ... 'cause Daniel Jones is the future in the Big Apple.

"I've seen him a little bit," LT says ... "He's a hell of a football player."

Of course, the critics were out in full force after New York seemed to reach when it picked Jones with the No. 6 overall selection in April's NFL Draft.

But, the guy dazzled in his preseason debut last week ... and Taylor clearly noticed -- saying he was surprised to see it!!!

"He went to Duke," Taylor said, "so, that's hard to believe he's a hell of a football player!"

But, don't get it twisted ... LT doesn't think Jones' skill set should mean the immediate end of Eli Manning's time as a starter in New York. The pass rusher tells us he'd like to see the 2-time Super Bowl champ stay as long as he wants.

"As long as his terms are reasonable," Taylor adds.

By the way, we had to ask about Khalil Mack -- a guy Taylor said last season is nowhere close to his level -- and ya gotta hear if he's changed his tune since the Bear's monster 2018 season.

There's more ... Taylor was in NYC to celebrate Sapphire Gentlemen's Club's debut in Time Square -- and it sure seemed like he and a buncha other athletes had a great time!!!

Tiki Barber Odell Is Wrong About Giants ... Saquon Was the Draw!

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Odell Beckham was just plain WRONG for thinking he was the main draw for the New York Giants last year -- so says Tiki Barber who says, in 2018, it was all about Saquon Barkley!

Of course, Tiki was a stud for the Giants from 1997 to 2006 -- he knows a little something about the franchise.

So, with Odell telling GQ he felt like he was the "main reason at keeping [the Giants] brand alive" -- we had to ask the former NYG running back to weigh in.

"Odell was hurt a lot last year. Saquon was Rookie of the Year. He's a spectacular player. If you were watching the Giants last year, you wanted to see what Saquon was going to do."

For the record, Odell was having a pretty solid season up until Week 12 -- when an injury sidelined him for the rest of the year. But at that point, he already had more than 1,000 receiving yards.

Still, Barber thinks Odell needs to stop thinking about the Giants and focus on his new team, the Cleveland Browns.

"He needs to move on," Barber said ... "The Giants have moved on. He will as well."

Tiki also weighed in on the Ezekiel Elliott contract dispute with the Dallas Cowboys -- telling TMZ Sports why he thinks his fellow running back is handling things the exact right way.

Eli Manning On Odell Beckham ... 'I Won A Few Games Before He Was Here'

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How's Eli Manning feel about Odell Beckham saying he was the ONLY reason the NY Giants were popular the past few years??

"I won a few games before he was here," the QB said ...

SHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADEEEEEEEE!!!

Manning spoke with the NFL Network after NY's practice Thursday ... and when they asked about Odell's recent controversial comments in a GQ article, Eli didn't hold much back.

"I don't think they bothered me," Manning said of the quotes ... "You just kind of shake your head and laugh.

Then Eli dropped the bombshell -- "I won a few games before he was here."

Of course, Odell made the claim that New York was only in the limelight "because people want to see the show. You want to see me play. That's just real rap."

But, Eli clearly feels differently ... and dude seems to have a point. Eli won nearly 100 regular season games before Odell was drafted -- and he also racked up 2 Super Bowl wins.

Odell has yet to address the media at Cleveland Browns camp about the latest comments ... but seems he's going to have some Eli Manning questions coming his way when he does!!

Terry Bradshaw Shades Odell Over Giants Comments ... 'That's Crazy!!!'

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Terry Bradshaw sure sounds like a guy who thinks Odell Beckham should just be quiet when it comes to his Giants departure ... 'cause he tells TMZ Sports OBJ's recent comments were "crazy!"

"He ought to be happy he's in Cleveland making a nice dollar and they want him there," the Steelers legend says.

Odell made serious headlines Monday after he went scorched earth on the G-Men in a new GQ article ... ripping his old squad for trading him to Cleveland this offseason.

"I felt disrespected, because I felt like I was a main reason at keeping that brand alive," Odell said. "They were getting prime-time games, still, as a 5-and-11 team. Why? Because people want to see the show. You want to see me play. That's just real rap."

When we got Terry leaving Craig's on Monday night ... we had to ask the Hall of Fame QB about Beckham's comments -- and Bradshaw seemed to think they're BS.

"Really?" Bradshaw said shaking his head ... "Totally disagree. Yeah, that's crazy!"

That's when TB turned to our camera guy and issued a strong message to Odell -- telling him to just be quiet and enjoy the Browns!!

Of course, Odell's old team won't play his new team this year (we know, bummer) ... but the Giants and Browns ARE set to meet in 2020.

#CantWait!

Super Bowl Champ Mitch Petrus Dead at 32

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Ex-NFL player Mitch Petrus -- who won a Super Bowl with the Giants in 2012 -- tragically died of a heat stroke on Thursday. He was 32 years old.

Petrus had complained about feeling ill on Thursday after spending all day outside working at his family's shop ... and was taken to a local hospital, according to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

Officials say he died at 10:45 PM after suffering a heat stroke.

Petrus was a standout guard with the Arkansas Razorbacks after walking on to the team -- earning All-SEC honors in 2007 and 2009 -- and was drafted by the Giants in the 5th round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

While at Arkansas, Petrus blocked for stars Darren McFadden and Felix Jones ... and didn't give up a single sack during his senior year.

He also played for the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans before retiring from the league in 2013.

Petrus played bass guitar in his band, Vikings of the North Atlantic ... and also made regular local TV appearances as a Razorbacks football analyst.

Petrus' Giants teammate, Lawrence Tynes, shared his condolences ... saying "RIP Mitch Petrus, another loss to our Giants family way too young. Fun dude who played hard. Prayers to his family and friends."

#RIP

Giants Rookie Deandre Baker Surprises Mom W/ New Bentley ... 'Stop Crying!'

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NEW WHEELS FOR MOM

NY Giants rookie Deandre Baker just scored his first touchdown as a pro ... he bought his mom a new Bentley with his newfound NFL money -- AND SHE LOVED IT!!!!

Mama Baker had been driving around in a Nissan ... but when Deandre showed up with the new white whip and a big bow Wednesday -- she started bawling.

You can see in the clip she's shocked ... and the new Giants defensive back has to tell her repeatedly to "stop crying!"

"I Told Mama We Straight..." Deandre said of the gift ... "Remember We Use To Be In A Nissan... Watched Her Struggle And Sacrifice To Make Sure I’m Straight ...Now It’s My Turn To Take Care Her."

Unclear the price of Baker's new Bentley -- most cost in the $200,000 range -- but Deandre can certainly afford it, he signed a 4-year rookie deal worth $10.5 MILLION!!

As for the start of Deandre's career ... it kicks off on Aug. 8 with a preseason game against the Jets -- and we know Mom's going to have a comfortable ride to MetLife Stadium that day!!!

Baker was the #30th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft after a stellar career at the University of Georgia. 

MOM GOT THE FIRST WHIP

Tiki Barber Daniel Jones Is Going To Be A Star ... Stop Booing Him!!!

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Listen up, Giants fans ... STOP BOOING DANIEL JONES -- so says Tiki Barber, who tells TMZ Sports the quarterback is going to be a star!!!

"He's got the smarts, he's got the physical ability, he's an athlete," the legendary Giants RB says ... "and I think he's surrounded by some good talent."

Of course, there ain't many agreeing with Tiki right now ... the consensus after NY selected the Duke QB with the No. 6 overall pick in April's NFL Draft is the G-men WAY overpaid.

In fact, most doubt the pick so much ... Jones was actually BOOED when he showed up to Yankee Stadium a few days ago!!!

But, Tiki is telling Jones not to make too much of all that, saying, "It's his indoctrination into New York fandom, but he'll be OK!"

As for when Tiki thinks Daniel will take over in New York ... Barber says it might be a little while longer -- 'cause he tells us Eli Manning still has something left in the tank!!!

Archie Manning No Hard Feelings ... Over Giants Drafting Eli's Replacement

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If ya think Eli Manning's dad is pissed the Giants drafted his son's replacement ... think again -- 'cause Archie Manning tells TMZ Sports, Daniel Jones is a GOOD pick for the G-men.

"They drafted a really good, young man," Archie says ... "A really good, young player."

Of course, the Giants just picked up the Duke QB with the No. 6 overall selection in April's NFL Draft ... and that means Eli's days are officially numbered in NY.

But, Archie says he ain't mad Eli's team drafted a guy to replace him ... and, in fact, Papa Manning says he actually saw it coming.

"I knew they were probably going to draft a QB," Archie says.

As for how Eli is handling the situation, Archie tells us the 38-year-old isn't ready to give up the starting QB reins just yet ... saying, "he's working hard, ready to go."

By the way, we also asked how Peyton is dealing with rooting for both the Colts and Broncos now that he's retired ... and Archie says he's finding a way to do it just fine!!!

Victor Cruz Predicts Huge Season For Odell ... 'He's Going To Ball'

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Odell Beckham's going to KILL IT with the Browns this season ... so says his former NY teammate, Victor Cruz, who tells TMZ Sports, "He's going to ball."

Odell was just traded from the Giants to Cleveland a few months ago ... and Victor has no doubts the superstar wideout is going to find big success with the Dawg Pound.

In fact ... Cruz is predicting DOUBLE-DIGIT wins for Cleveland now that OBJ is wearing a Browns jersey -- telling us he's confident Baker Mayfield "has got all the tools" to feed the wideout.

Whatever happens with Odell and Baker this season ... Beckham is going to be doing it in style. He just got this insane Rolls Royce customized with his own figurine as the car's emblem!!!

ODELL'S ORNAMENT

There's more ... we also asked Cruz about Donovan McNabb's bold claim that he's a for sure Hall of Famer -- and Cruz agreed!!

By the way, Victor also doubled down on a hot Eli Manning take he gave us back in November.

Julian Edelman Shuts Down NY Jets Heckler ... In Front of Odell, Saquon

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SHUTTING HIM DOWN
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You think New England Patriots star Julian Edelman is gonna just sit there and be quiet when some jerk NY Jets fan is running his mouth talking smack?!?!

NOPE!

Jules calmly fired back at the Jets heckler Monday night with a truth bomb -- and shut the guy down right in front of Odell Beckham and Saquon Barkley!!

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So, here's the deal ... the NFL stars were all leaving a post-Met Gala party at the Standard Line Hotel in New York ... when some guy started trashing the NY Giants when he saw Saquon and Odell.

The heckler told the group, "Saquon, sorry buddy, [I'm a] Jets fan!"

That's when Edelman walked right up to the guy and explained, "I'm a Jets fan too. Every time we play 'em, we win."

Boom.

It's true, ever since Edelman joined the Pats back in 2009, his team has a 16-5 record against the Jets ... complete domination.

Anyway, Edelman and his NFL pals continued to have a great night -- while the Jets fan was forced to sit and think about how they're probably gonna suck again in 2019.

Good night for Edelman, huh?!

'GoT' Creator George R.R. Martin Rips NY Giants ... The Team Sucks!!

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"Game of Thrones" creator George R.R. Martin is UNLOADING on the New York Giants ... blasting the team for taking relatively unknown Duke QB Daniel Jones.

Martin -- the brain behind 'GoT' -- happens to be a HUGE fan of the New York football teams ... and like so many other G-Men fans, he's distraught over this weekend's draft.

"Daniel Jones from Duke at number six?" Martin wrote on his website ... "Yes, they need a young quarterback to groom as Eli’s successor. But Dwayne Haskins was right there. Why not him?"

Why not Haskins -- OSU's star QB -- is the question a lot of fans are asking.

"By every measurable Haskins is way better than Jones. Jones threw 52 TDs in three years at Duke, Haskins threw 50 in one year at Ohio State. Within fewer interceptions. Against much tougher opposition."

Martin didn't seem to like NY's 2nd 1st-round selection much more ... the pick the Giants got in return -- along with Jabrill Peppers -- for Odell Beckham Jr.

The team picked massive 342-pound DT Dexter Lawrence ... and Martin -- who doesn't hate the player -- added some context.

"All it cost us was a Hall of Fame receiver."

So, what's George's outlook for the upcoming season? Well, it ain't good.

"Right now, the team looks a lot weaker than the one that entered the 2018 season, and that squad finished 5-11."

New York Giants Draft Pick Corey Ballentine Suffers Gunshot Wound

Corey Ballentine, who was just drafted by the New York Giants, is recovering from a gunshot wound he suffered in a shooting that killed his former college teammate.

Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas says Ballentine was injured in the off-campus shooting that killed the 23-year-old junior defensive back, Dwane Simmons. The school says Ballentine, a 6th-round pick by the Giants, is expected to make a full recovery.

Ballentine's gunshot wound is reportedly non-life threatening and the cornerback is expected to be back on the field in a few weeks.

The Giants drafted Ballentine with the 180th overall pick in the 6th round of the NFL Draft on Saturday, and the shooting happened early Sunday morning, according to the school.

In a statement, the Giants say they "are aware of the tragic situation and continue to gather information. We have spoken to Corey, and he is recovering in the hospital. Our thoughts are with Dwane Simmons' family, friends and teammates and the rest of the Washburn community."

NFL's DeAngelo Hall Defends Odell ... 'Giants GM Was Out Of Line!'

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IT'S PASSION, NOT CANCER
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Odell Beckham had every right to go scorched earth on his former team and his ex-boss in a Twitter rant ... so says DeAngelo Hall -- who tells TMZ Sports the Giants deserved it!!

The ex-Redskins star -- who's doing NFL Draft coverage this week for FS1 -- says, "I'm cool with [Odell] venting because I felt like the Giants GM was out of line!"

Of course, if you haven't been keeping up ... Odell and the Giants have been in a tiff since Big Blue traded the star WR to the Cleveland Browns in March.

But, things really heated up in their beef last week ... when Giants GM Dave Gettleman told reporters he feels like the G-Men have no more culture issues now that Odell is gone.

Beckham didn't take kindly to that ... blasting Gettleman and the Giants on Monday in an epic Twitter rant:

Enter Hall ... who tells us he's just fine with Beckham going hard on the keyboard, because he says point-blank he doesn't think Gettleman is doing a good job.

"I think you gotta be blind to think that Eli Manning is still the answer at quarterback. And then, you hear them not wanting to draft Dwayne Haskins, and you just kind of scratch your head like, 'Man, does this team really want to win?'"

Hall added, "It's just not adding up to me when I put my GM hat on, but that guy gets paid to be the GM. So, we'll see what decisions he makes and we'll see if it works out."

As for Odell panning out in Cleveland, Hall has no doubts he'll be a fine teammate there ... and ya gotta hear why.

By the way, Hall also says he thinks Kyler Murray should be the #1 overall pick Thursday night ... saying he sees "a little bit" of his old Falcons QB Mike Vick in the Oklahoma star!

LIKE MIKE
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Saquon Barkley's Uncle Challenges Wilder To Fight ... 'I Bet I Knock You Out!!'

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NOTHIN' BUT TALENT
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58-year-old Iran Barkley -- Saquon Barkley's famous boxing uncle -- says he ain't done in the ring yet ... 'cause he's telling TMZ Sports he wants one last fight ... WITH DEONTAY WILDER!!

"I want to fight the heavyweight champ of the world," Iran says ... "I'm looking for that."

If you're unfamiliar ... Iran was actually a world champion boxer back in the day -- with 2 victories over Tommy Hearns and a near win over Roberto Duran on his 43-19-1 resume.

But, even though the guy hasn't fought since 1999 ... he says he ain't ready to hang up his gloves yet -- 'cause he wants one last fight with Wilder!!

Oh, and he says he'll win that, too, telling Wilder, "I bet I knock you out!!!"

By the way, Iran is Saquon's great-uncle, and Saquon's credited him in the past as a big reason why he's become one of the NFL's toughest running backs.

Which only means one thing ... better watch out for Saquon's high-school-aged little bro in a couple of years!!!

NFL Draft's Nick Bosa On Meeting W/ Giants ... 'It Went Good!'

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BIG BLUE MEETING
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Could there be a scenario where the New York Giants DON'T draft a replacement for Eli Manning in the first round later this month??

Sure seems that way ... 'cause Ohio State superstar pass rusher Nick Bosa tells TMZ Sports he just met with NY about possibly being their pick -- and he says the visit went well!!!

Of course, the G-Men have a ton of holes to fill in the April 25 draft -- they just traded away Odell Beckham AND Olivier Vernon -- but Eli ain't gettin' any younger and most figure they'll snag a QB with their selection.

But, Bosa sure seemed fired up about their meeting when we got him out in NYC ... signing autographs and looking right at home with the New Yorkers.

So, sorry Dwayne Haskins??

By the way, Nick wasn't just in New York for his big meeting with Big Blue ... he was celebrating the premiere of "Game of Thrones" -- where his NFL brother, Joey Bosa, actually got a role in the final season!!!!