Jon Gruden Butchers 'Happy Birthday' ... Worst Rendition Ever?!?

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Jon Gruden ... clearly wasn't invited to any birthday parties as a kid -- because his rendition of "Happy Birthday" on "Hard Knocks" sounds like it's the FIRST time he's ever sang it.

Seriously ... it's terrible. Like worse than Hunter Renfrow bad.

The Oakland Raiders head coach was finishing off a team meeting when he instructed the players to serenade GM Mike Mayock.

What ensued was pure, hot garbage -- insanely terrible. Embarrassing, actually.

Of course, there was other important stuff that went down on HBO's "Hard Knocks" on Tuesday -- from Antonio Brown's frostbitten feet to his helmet drama ... to tight end Darren Waller's battle with substance abuse.

But, the worst part of the Raiders' camp ... Gruden singing.

Seriously, bro. Bad.

Jon Gruden Antonio Brown Practiced!!! ... 'He's All In'

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READY TO GO
Oakland Raiders

Breathe easy, Raiders fans ... Antonio Brown ain't getting the boot from Oakland -- Jon Gruden said the superstar practiced Tuesday with a certified helmet and is now "all in" with the team.

Of course, Raiders GM Mike Mayock was pissed at Brown over the weekend for not practicing while he fights the NFL over helmet issues ... and gave the WR a stern "all-in" or "all-out" ultimatum.

Clearly, AB is choosing the former ... 'cause Gruden said Brown put his problems with his helmet aside and fully practiced with the Raiders.

"He's all in, ready to go," Gruden said after the workout. "That's my understanding. Really happy to have him out here. He's a great player."

Gruden also said it appears Brown has put his frostbitten feet behind him ... saying he's under the impression AB is healthy and ready to go.

But, AB is still holding out hope he can switch back to his old helmet ... a source close to Brown confirmed with TMZ Sports on Monday that Brown has filed a new grievance with the league to try to get his old helmet cleared for at least the 2019 season.

Unclear when an independent arbitrator is set to hear Brown's case vs. the league, but NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported it's supposed to be "expedited."

The Raiders kick off the season on Sept. 9 ... who's ready?!?!

Antonio Brown Hugs Bawling Raiders Fan ... Adorable Video!!!

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FEELIN' THE LOVE

Here's the cutest thing you'll see all day ... Raiders superstar Antonio Brown gave a kid his glove -- and when the little fan started crying -- AB gave him a hug too!!!

It's been a brutal month for Brown ... he's made headlines for all the wrong reasons (see: here, here and here) -- but this video shows the guy really ain't the monster some make him out to be.

Brown was getting in some work during the Raiders' game against the Cardinals on Thursday night, when on his way back to the locker room -- he decided to make a pit stop for some fans.

AB singled out two little boys ... and after he started handing out swag to one of them -- the kid started BAWLING!!!

Brown clearly seemed touched by the reaction ... 'cause he handed the kid even more gear and then gave him an adorable hug!!!

Seriously, it's touching.

Brown is reportedly close to putting all of his issues behind him -- from the torn up feet to the helmet drama -- and hit the practice field for the Raiders again soon.

Pretty cool that he's making time for fans like this on the way!!

Bill Romanowski Antonio Brown Ain't Retiring 'Cuckoo' To Believe That

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ONE OF A KIND
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There's no way in hell Antonio Brown retires from football over his helmet issue ... so says Bill Romanowski, who tells TMZ Sports you're NUTS if you believe the star WR is even considering it.

"Anybody that thinks Antonio Brown is gonna retire is cuckoo," the NFL legend says ... "The guy loves the game of football."

Brown is in a massive feud with the league over his favorite Schutt helmet ... with the NFL barring the superstar wide out from wearing the headgear he's donned for the past decade.

In fact, ESPN's Adam Schefter has reported Brown is so pissed about the ban ... he's threatening to quit playing if he can't get his way.

But, when we spoke to Romanowski -- who's spent some time with AB this summer -- he told us there's no chance Brown hangs it up, saying, "I think he truly loves being a Raider right now."

"He's excited to help bring a Super Bowl to the Raiders."

As for the Nutrition 53 founder's stance on the whole ordeal ... Romo clearly thinks it's BS on the league's part, saying Roger Goodell and Co. need to just let the guy use the helmet.

"Hey, the guy cares passionately about how he performs out on the field and he truly believes that the helmet makes him better."

Antonio Brown Threatening To Quit Football ... Over Helmet Issues

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Antonio Brown's Raiders career might be over before it even starts ... ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting the wide receiver is threatening to quit football because of helmet issues!!!

The newest Oakland superstar has worn the same brand of helmet throughout his Hall of Fame-worthy career ... but the NFL announced this year it's banning players from using it.

According to NFL Network's Michael Silver ... Brown tried to skirt the league ban by painting his old helmet, hoping team officials wouldn't notice.

Spoiler alert: They noticed.

Now, Schefter is reporting Brown is SO upset over not being able to use his favorite headgear -- he's threatening to RETIRE if he doesn't get his way!!

Of course, Antonio has been nothing but drama since being traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Raiders this offseason. He's been sued for not paying a trainer, and he's also dealt with foot injuries caused by a freakish cryotherapy mishap.

But, this latest helmet problem seems to have topped everything ... because one anonymous coach told Silver, this is "honestly the most insane thing I have ever heard."

Brown has missed almost every one of the Raiders' training camp practices this summer ... and it's reportedly unknown when -- if ever -- he'll rejoin the team at camp.

Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger's sure having a great day!!!

Antonio Brown Cryo Injury Sidelined Me For Months ... Says Justin Gatlin

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COULD BE MONTHS ...
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Bad news, Raiders fans ... Justin Gatlin says he suffered a similar cryotherapy injury as star receiver Antonio Brown -- and the U.S. sprinter says it took him MONTHS to get healthy.

The superstar Olympian famously got frostbite on both his feet and ankles after a mishap in the cryogenic chamber back in 2011 -- and the guy says the injury hurt like hell.

In fact, when Gatlin joined "TMZ Sports" (weeknights on FS1) on Wednesday, he said of the frostbite, "It was a disaster. I had, like, boils and blisters all over my ankles."

Gatlin says the injuries were similar to the ones Brown posted on social media a couple weeks ago ... and says he thinks it could be a while before AB is healthy again.

"He's not going to be able to run those routes properly without healing his feet totally."

Gatlin says the recovery process for the injury was brutal, telling the guys, "Every day I had to get those blisters popped by hand by a therapist ... It just got really, really bad."

Good news for Brown ... Gatlin says AB should still be able to resume cryotherapy treatments once he's all healed up by using a more localized form of the cold stuff.

As for AB, the Raiders have been mum on a timeline for the stud wideout ... only calling him day-to-day.

Gatlin says he's friendly with Brown and would be more than willing to offer the WR advice on how to treat the injury.

FYI, Gatlin is 37 years old and still one of the TOP sprinters in the world ... so, AB might wanna give him a buzz.

Antonio Brown Foot Injury Caused By 'Cryogenic Chamber Mishap'

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Antonio Brown is no John Spartan ...

Turns out, the foot injury that's been plaguing him during Oakland Raiders training camp stems from a "cryogenic chamber mishap" ... this according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

31-year-old Brown, who signed a 3-year, $50 MILLION deal with the Raiders, has been nursing some pretty gross-looking feet ... but he hasn't been clear on what caused the injury.

There's been rumblings that he went into a cryogenic chamber without proper foot protection -- but neither Brown nor his representatives have said anything on the record about it.

FYI, cryo chambers can get to about 200 degree below Fahrenheit -- and they're typically used for workout recovery.

There have been cryogenic chamber mishaps to high-profile athletes in the past -- including U.S. sprinter Justin Gatlin who suffered frostbite on his feet in 2011 due to wearing sweaty socks during the treatment.

Unclear what exactly caused Brown's injury.

Brown and his situation were featured on Tuesday's episode of "Hard Knocks" -- which showed AB trying to run sprints and workout despite having sore feet.

Brown is reportedly seeing a specialist and is considered day-to-day.

The NFL season kicks off in just 4 weeks -- and it's safe to say the Raiders are working like hell to get him healthy ASAP.

Antonio Brown Channels Muhammad Ali With $250k Chain ... Sting Like AB!!!

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Getty Composite

He got the G.O.A.T. rings ... now Antonio Brown is paying homage to the Greatest of All Time, Muhammad Ali, with an iced-out butterfly and bee chain worth $250k!!

TMZ Sports has learned -- the NFL superstar wanted to honor the legend and his AB nickname at the same time ... getting an insane bee with butterfly wings -- and his #84 jersey number on it.

We're told Brown went to his go-to guy, Gabriel the Jeweler, for the job ... hooking him up with the piece made with a combo of pear and baguette-shaped VVS and brilliant-cut diamonds, totaling 65 carats on the cuban chain and 50 carats on the pendent.

THE BLING
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Of course ... Gabriel is the guy behind AB's G.O.A.T rings he copped earlier this year (along with pretty much all of Brown's bling) ... and has also worked with other superstars like Amari Cooper, Odell Beckham and Jalen Ramsey.

We're told this newest piece is valued at a QUARTER MILLION DOLLARS ... but don't worry, AB's in the middle of a 3-year, $50 million contract.

Business is most definitely boomin'.

Rodney Peete Denies Wrongdoing In Raiders Investment Lawsuit ... 'There's No Scam'

EXCLUSIVE

4:12 PM PT -- Peete is ADAMANTLY denying the allegations in a new statement to TMZ Sports ... saying through a rep, "There was no scam."

Here's the statement in its entirety:

"First of all, the investor in this venture in question was not Carlos Rogers the NFL player but another Carlos Rogers altogether. Unfortunately, the error in naming the incorrect Mr. Rogers in the initial reporting caused him unnecessary involvement, confusion and inconvenience.

In 2016, Rodney Peete -along with other former NFL players as well as business and community leaders teamed up to create a dynamic coalition to craft a proposal to keep the Raiders from leaving Oakland, California, acquire a new stadium and develop the surrounding property.

The effort was a well documented, noble and hard fought one. It lasted about two years. There were several enthusiastic investors involved and hopes were high especially among the many Oakland Raiders fans and the Oakland community who had a strong emotional investment in keeping their beloved team from moving again. Tremendous amounts of hard work, sweat, passion, time, energy and money went into this effort. There was no scam or anything fraudulent or illegitimate about this venture or the people involved whatsoever.

It was and still is crushing to so many that it didn’t succeed but it was not from lack of effort.

Investors understand that not all investments pan out, but everyone who invested in the efforts for the Raiders to remain in Oakland fought with integrity to make that time and effort worthwhile, in honor of the millions of fans in Oakland and throughout the West Coast who have supported the team since 1960.

Rodney is very proud of the work he put into this project and would do it all over again

Currently attorneys are in active talks on a resolution to this matter."

1:25 PM -- We initially reported the man behind the suit, Carlos Rogers, is the former NFL star -- but that is not the case. The ex-NFL player named Carlos Rogers DID not file the lawsuit.

The Carlos Rogers who DID file the lawsuit is a real estate and business investor.

Ex-NFL star Rodney Peete is being sued for allegedly running a scam on an investor in a failed plot to keep the Raiders from moving to Las Vegas.

It's all in court docs obtained by TMZ Sports ... in which a man named Carlos Rogers says Peete approached him in 2016 to invest in a group that would provide financing for football facilities that would help sway the Raiders to stay in NorCal.

In his lawsuit, Rogers says Peete provided him with a real investment plan that looked solid -- and if the Raiders decided to move to Vegas, he was promised he'd get his investment back in full.

In fact, Rogers says Peete personally guaranteed that he'd get paid back -- a point he reiterated in emails. One read bluntly, "Everyone will be paid back."

Rogers says he wired $350,000 to Peete in 2017 -- but when the Raiders announced they were moving to Vegas, he never got his money back as promised.

Rogers says he pressed Peete, but Rodney repeatedly stalled and came up with excuses -- and he still hasn't been paid back.

Now, Rogers is suing for fraud -- claiming Peete never ever intended to pay back the money ... it was a scam all along.

He's seeking all of his money back PLUS $100,000 in punitive damages.

Of course, Rodney Peete was also a big NFL star -- who played for 16 years professionally after a solid career at USC.

Antonio Brown Fined $25 For Driving At Safe Speed ... .00005% Of New Contract

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Antonio Brown's bank account is now .00005 percent less than what it was yesterday ... 'cause the NFL superstar was just fined a whopping $25 in court after pleading guilty to "Driving at Safe Speed."

For real.

Here's the deal ... AB was busted back in November after cops say they caught his black Porsche going 100-plus MPH in a 45 just outside of Pittsburgh.

Brown was cited for reckless driving, and after he failed to show up for his court date in February ... he was found guilty of the charge and was sentenced to pay around $400 in fines and fees.

But, AB appealed the case ... and actually showed up for his new hearing Tuesday (he made a video from inside the courthouse!) -- and ended up pleading guilty to a lesser charge of "Driving at Safe Speed."

No, that's not a typo -- "driving at a safe speed" is an actual violation in Pennsylvania -- defined as driving "a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions."

COURT CAMEO

Brown's punishment for that? A staggering $25 fine plus other court fees.

Of course, chump change for the wide receiver ... the guy just signed a new $50,125,000 deal with the Raiders.

Yeah, still great to be rich.

Marshawn Lynch Retires from NFL ... Again

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It's over for Marshawn Lynch -- and this time, it's for good!

Beast Mode is reportedly hanging up his football cleats ... again ... retiring from the NFL after 11 seasons in the league, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The Oakland Raiders running back just turned 33 years old this week -- which is old for an NFL running back -- and "is not planning to play football again."

The timing is interesting ... the 2019 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday and now Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and GM Mike Mayock can focus on bringing in a fresh set of legs to take over the role.

Lynch is a legend -- he racked up 10,379 rushing yards in his incredible career and 93 total touchdowns ... which would have been 94 if Pete Carroll would have called a RUN PLAY at the end of Super Bowl XLIX!!!!

Marshawn has retired before ... he stepped away from the Seattle Seahawks back in 2016 -- and around that time, we tried to ask him if he would ever come back to the game.

His response is one of the best burns on a TMZ photog ... EVER!!

FEBRUARY 2016
CHECK YOUR B**CH
TMZSports.com

So, congrats on an amazing career ... will be interesting what Marshawn does next!

Antonio Brown Settles Furniture Throwing Lawsuit

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One less off-the-field issue for Antonio Brown ... who just struck a settlement with the man claiming Brown nearly killed his child in a crazy furniture-throwing fit.

We broke the story ... Brown was sued by Ophir Sternberg -- who claims his 22-month-old son was walking around the pool at a high-end apartment complex in Florida in April 2018 when suddenly "large objects started to fall from the building many floors above them."

In his suit, Sternberg claims Brown tossed everything from vases to an ottoman and other pieces of furniture ... and they landed mere FEET from the toddler, who was allegedly traumatized by the whole thing.

For his part, Brown denied throwing the items -- claiming the tosser was another person who had access to his apartment that day.

The problem for Brown ... cops actually responded to the apartment that day and say the NFL star was "very agitated" and yelling when they got there. Cops also said the people who were with Brown that day were trying to calm him down.

But, it's all furniture under the bridge now ... sources connected to the case tell us both sides agreed to a settlement and the lawsuit will not be moving forward.

The terms of the settlement are confidential but we're told both sides are happy with the resolution.

The timing couldn't be better for Brown ... who's reporting to Oakland Raiders training camp MONDAY and hopes to start a new chapter in his life.

Of course, Brown has other issues to deal with ... the owners of the apartment complex are still suing Brown for allegedly trashing the place during his time as a tenant.

Antonio Brown Will Be 'A Pain In The Ass' In Oakland ... Says Jack Del Rio

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Sorry Jon Gruden ... Antonio Brown is going to cause MASSIVE headaches in Oakland -- so says Jack Del Rio, who says AB "has clearly shown that he's going to be a pain in the ass."

Of course, Brown's Steelers career was FILLED with drama ... and it got so bad in Pittsburgh, it's the reason he's actually in the silver and black today.

But, the trade from Pitt to the Bay Area hasn't quieted the NFL superstar -- in fact, he's kept up most of his beefs, even going after JuJu Smith-Schuster on social media this month.

Because of that ... Del Rio thinks it won't be smooth sailing with the Raiders, telling NFL.com, "If he continues doing the things he's been doing, just like he upset the Steelers, he's going to upset the next team he's on."

"I mean, this is America and he's free to do what he wants -- but those aren't the things that are indicative of a good teammate."

Del Rio says Brown IS a hard worker and a super talent, so it won't be all bad times in Oakland ... but the ex-head coach says he sees the writing clearly on the wall for the future Hall of Famer.

"The working hard and being a good player definitely helps the team, which is why he'll continue to get chances to be special until his skills deteriorate. That's when people will get tired of him."

JuJu Smith-Schuster No Beef With A.B. ... 'That's My Guy'

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HE'S MY GUY
TMZSports.com

JuJu Smith-Schuster says there's "no bad blood" between him and Antonio Brown ... telling TMZ Sports, "That's my guy."

Of course, as of just a few days ago that didn't seem to be the case ... 'cause the two seemed to be taking some passive aggressive shots at each other all over social media.

It all started just hours after the Steelers traded Brown to the Raiders ... when JuJu posted a pic of him catching a TD (with Brown watching in the background), writing, "I'm ready."

Then ... after a very public spat between A.B. and Ben Roethlisberger -- JuJu weighed in with his own take on Big Ben's leadership, completely disagreeing with Brown's opinion.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

"I was so blessed to enter the league and play with a Hall of Fame QB as a 20-year old," JuJu wrote ... "Ben has taught me so much, he’s a true Leader and I can’t wait to rock with my guy this season."

Didn't take long for Brown to respond ... 'cause he took to his own social media page to fire back.

"Do not listen to any NFL player who haven’t got paid yet! They will do and say anything to make sure they going to get paid even if it’s compromising integrity or anything ! sad but true."

That sound like beef to you??

Maybe ... but JuJu says straight-up there truly isn't any rift between the former teammates, saying, "That's my guy. [Everything's good between us] always. There's no bad blood."

Aqib Talib & Michael Crabtree Squash Beef ... At Texas Go-Kart Track

EXCLUSIVE

Remember when Aqib Talib and Michael Crabtree HATED each other -- with Talib snatching Crabtree's chain in TWO separate on-field incidents???

Yeah, that beef's now been squashed ... and it's all 'cause of a Texas go-kart track.

Here's the deal ... a witness tells us Talib was at Kartland in Frisco, Texas with his family -- when Crabtree walked in with friends and family of his own.

We're told there were tense moments when the two NFL stars saw each other -- with family members looking like they were fearing a fight was on the way.

But, one witness tells us the two decided to take it outside and squash their beef.

We're told the DB and the WR talked it out for several minutes ... and appeared to finally smooth things over.

If you're unfamiliar ... the two absolutely despised each other when Talib was a Bronco and Crabtree was a Raider.

During one game in the 2016 season, Talib ripped Crabtree's gold chain straight off his neck. In another game in 2017, the two fought again -- with Talib snatchin' Crab's chain again!!!

But, seems like everything's smoothed over now ... and props to the guys for handling the situation well.

Antonio Brown Leaving Steelers Destroyed Me!!! ... Says Carson Kressley

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TEARS FOR ANTONIO
TMZSports.com

It's the sports reaction you never thought you'd need ... but you'll be glad you watched, trust us.

Antonio Brown is no longer a Pittsburgh Steeler ... and there's one superfan who's still trying to figure out what to hell to do about losing his favorite player -- that guy is Carson Kressley.

Yes, as it turns out, the 'Queer Eye' star -- an Allentown, PA native -- is a HUGE Steelers fan. Seriously, the dude even has AB's total yardage memorized like some kinda freak.

So, with CK being the biggest AB fan east of the Mississippi, we had to ask the fashion guru how he's handling the news of Brown going to the Silver and Black.

And, uh ... let's just say he's had better days.

"I can't believe it," Kressley tells us in NYC. "We're gonna miss him. Antonio, come back to us, please!!!"

There are fake tears, hugs, and compliments shared as our camera guy consoles the devastated Kressley ... and it makes you almost feel bad for the dude.

Stay strong, Carson. There's always JuJu.