Bucs' Rakeem Nunez-Roches Abandoned Dog Has Happy New Year ... Adopted by New Family!!!

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Andrea and Keith Johnson

The troubling story about Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches allegedly abandoning his Cane Corso has a happy ending ... because the sweet pooch has found a new forever home.

TMZ's learned the dog, whose name is Jitterbug, has been adopted by a woman named Andrea Johnson and her husband, Keith. Andrea tells us they already have a Cane Corso, and when they heard there was another at a Tampa rescue they drove to meet the pup and interview to adopt her.

Andrea says she explained to the rescue that Jitterbug would be in loving and caring hands because she and Keith are familiar with the breed ... and they have a large home with a big backyard and a pool.

Plus, Jitterbug will have a new canine pal in their other Cane Corso, whose name is Addi.

Andrea and Keith Johnson

The rescue group approved and the Johnsons picked Jitterbug up on New Year's Eve after she was spayed. We're told she's doing great ... and enjoyed her first meal of 2020 -- steak and sweet potatoes.

More positive news -- Andrea tells us she reached out to Rakeem's wife about Jitterbug to learn more about her temperament and what she likes, and she was very helpful.

Andrea says the wife filled her in on all the commands the dog knows, what food she prefers, her love of walks and car rides and that she's a great house dog and very chill.

We're told Rakeem's wife claims they had to give Jitterbug away because they are expecting a child, but it's still unclear how the dog ended up abandoned on the side of a busy road.

As we reported ... the Tampa Bay Bucs are looking into the situation.

Regardless of what they find ... things are looking up for Jitterbug. Happy New Year!!

Tampa Bay Defensive Tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches Team Investigating Dog Abandomnent

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have launched an investigation into allegations defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches abandoned his Cane Corso on the side of a busy road, where it sat for 36 hours.

An animal rescue group found the dog on December 8, whose name is Jitterbug -- sitting on a Florida road tired, hungry and alone. The dog was also missing some teeth.

Bay News 9

Turns out Nunez-Roches is also a dog breeder. In case you're unfamiliar, Cane Corso's are a form of pit bull.

The animal rescue group took Jitterbug to a shelter and an official there says they contacted Nunez-Roches to say they had his dog. The official said, "He had responded back that he would pick her up on Sunday, which I thought was odd because they played Detroit on Sunday and they had a 4:25 game, so how would he get back in time to pick her up at 7? Was football more important?" He never picked up his dog.

The dog remains in the shelter and she's been pre-adopted.

The Buccaneers said, "We are aware of the issue regarding Rakeem Nunez-Roches and are in the process of gathering additional information. We will refrain from further comment until we have a better understanding of the situation."

Bucs Rookie Devin White Gives Out Tons Of Toys to Kids ... at Tampa Bowling Event

NFL rookie Devin White is doubling up as Santa off the field in Tampa Bay ... meeting up with kids for a night filled with pizza, bowling and toys at an awesome holiday party!!!

The 5th overall pick in the 2019 draft hosted 50 children from the local Boys & Girls Club for his first-ever Christmas Toy Giveaway with Strikes for Kids this week ... hanging out and showing off his bowling skills.

We're told the kids loved every second of it and were stoked to chill with the 21-year-old stud for an hour and a half.

The best part of the night came when White personally helped each kid pick out their own toy to take home ... and everyone in attendance was thrilled for something fun for the holidays.

White has been a beast when he's on the field this season ... and this makes it all even sweeter.

Props to all involved!!!

Jason Pierre-Paul Expecting to Play for Bucs In Week 8 ... After Neck Injury

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TMZ.com

Good news for Jason Pierre-Paul ... the Tampa Bay Bucs pass rusher says he's all healed up after suffering a neck injury in a May car crash and expects to get back on the field for Week 8.

As we previously reported, JPP suffered a fracture in his neck during a single-car wreck on May 2 at 5 AM in Florida while driving his SUV. He spent the past couple of months in a neck brace while he recovered.

At the time, the Bucs placed 30-year-old JPP on the non-football injury list -- making him ineligible to play for the first 6 weeks of the NFL season.

The player is allowed to receive treatment and attend team meetings -- and JPP has been doing just that. In fact, he was at the Bucs gym on Thursday working out and showing off his 6-pack.

SHAPIN' UP

We reached out to JPP's agent, Doug Hendrickson, who tells us Pierre-Paul is ready to go and would play as early as Week 7, but the Bucs have a bye that week.

But, the Bucs play the Tennessee Titans on Oct. 27 (Week 8) ... and we're told JPP is targeting that game for his triumphant return.

The Bucs are probably eager to get JPP back on the field soon since they're paying him a ton of money. He was originally slated to make $13.65 mil in 2019 but amended his contract after suffering the injury and will only make $10.5 mil instead.

Don't feel too bad for JPP, he's reportedly made over $72 mil in his NFL career.

The Bucs are currently 2-2 with a pretty stacked pass-rush. Should be interesting to see how JPP fits into the system.

Ex-NFL Champ Jameel Cook Convicted Of Stealing ... Ripped By Prosecutors!!

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Jameel Cook -- a former Super Bowl champ with the Bucs -- was just convicted of stealing over $100k from an NFL player trust fund ... and prosecutors raked him over the coals afterward!!!

"He stole from the very fund his fellow former players depend on for help," Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said ... "And he has now fallen from professional football glory to the ranks of felons."

As we previously reported ... the ex-Tampa Bay FB was busted back in September after officials say he stole money from the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Plan -- a fund set up to benefit ex-players.

Cook's scheme -- according to prosecutors -- involved him filing 30 bogus claims between March 2016 and September 2017 ... resulting in the 40-year-old illegally obtaining $105,000.

Prosecutors hit Jameel with a felony stealing charge -- and he faced up to 10 YEARS behind bars for the crime.

But, Cook cut a deal this week ... and in exchange for a guilty plea -- he will NOT have to go to prison.

Instead, Jameel got 10 years of probation ... and he was ordered to pay back the $105,000. He was also sentenced to 160 hours of community service and was hit with another $1,200 fine.

Oh, and in addition to getting ripped by Ogg ... Special Assistant District Attorney Jason Horn also threw some major shade on the ex-NFL player!!!

“He earned fame and great accolades in a career most could only dream of, and should have been role model,” Horn said ...

“Instead, he let down everyone around him by defrauding a plan set up for all players and taking money that wasn’t his.”

Cook was drafted by the Bucs in 2001 and played 8 seasons in the NFL. He was part of the Bucs 2002 Super Bowl team that defeated the Raiders, though he played behind Mike Alstott in that game.

Jason Pierre-Paul Wrecked Car Was $350k Ferrari ... Officials Blamed Weather

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Jason Pierre-Paul was behind the wheel of $350,000 Ferrari when he crashed into a concrete barrier on May 2 ... this according to the crash report obtained by TMZ Sports.

The Florida Highway Patrol states JPP was driving a red 2019 Ferrari 488 Pista -- a rocket ship on wheels that tops out at 211 mph. The car goes from 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds.

Officials say the Tampa Bay Bucs superstar lost control of the car around 2:38 AM and collided with a concrete barrier on I-95 in Fort Lauderdale. There were no skid marks or debris found in the roadway.

Despite the curious time of the accident, officials say the responding officers did NOT suspect JPP was under the influence of alcohol or drugs ... and was NOT tested for either.

Instead, cops say they believe "weather conditions" -- specifically wet road surfaces -- caused the NFL star to lose control.

JPP and his passenger were transported to a nearby hospital. The NFL star reportedly suffered a broken neck and will likely be out for the 2019 NFL season.

Jameis Winston Smash This Golf Ball Off My Head!!!

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TEEING OFF

A driver was nearly imprinted into the back of Jameis Winston's head this week ... 'cause the Tampa Bay Bucs star QB let a guy hit a golf ball off the top of his dome!!!

It all went down earlier this week at Derrick Brooks' annual celebrity golf tournament in Florida ... when Jameis decided to be a prop for trick shot artist Trevor Consavage.

Jameis strapped on a helmet ... put a ball and a tee on his head -- and let Trevor take a huge wack!!!

Luckily for Bruce Arians and the entire city of Tampa ... the trick went off without a flaw -- apparently, Consavage CRUSHED the shot!!!

But, seems not everyone's entertained ... Jameis -- who's found himself in trouble often over the last few years -- has said repeatedly this offseason he's going to work on making smarter decisions.

A golf ball off the top of the head doesn't seem to fit that bill ... but, hey, no harm, no foul, right???

NFL's Jason Pierre-Paul Fractured Neck In Car Crash ... Likely Out for Season

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Jason Pierre-Paul's car crash was worse than initially thought -- the Tampa Bay Bucs star reportedly broke his neck in the accident and will likely miss the 2019 season.

TMZ Sports broke the story ... JPP was the driver in a single-car crash in Florida early Thursday morning. He was transported to a local hospital but released a short time later.

Now, ESPN's Adam Schefter says Pierre-Paul fractured his neck in the crash will likely require season-ending surgery. He's currently visiting neck specialists.

As we previously reported, the 30-year-old was not accused of any wrongdoing and he was NOT speeding -- we're told it was merely an accident.

Pierre-Paul is in the middle of a 4-year, $62-million deal with the Bucs, and as a key member of the defense.

This isn't the first time JPP has had an off-field incident -- he infamously had a fireworks accident in 2015, and later returned to the field to perform at a high level.

Originally Published -- 9:29 AM PT

Jason Pierre-Paul Single Car Crash in Florida Released from Hospital

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6:15 PM -- Bucs general manager Jason Licht tells TMZ Sports the team's aware of the incident and says JPP was NOT cited. Licht adds there was a passenger in the car, whose condition is unclear.

Licht went on to say, "Our immediate concern is for the safety and well being of Jason and his passenger. We have been in contact with Jason and will be getting him further evaluated by our medical staff in the near future."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Jason Pierre-Paul was involved in a single car accident in Florida early Thursday morning ... TMZ Sports has learned.

JPP crashed his SUV around 5 AM in Broward County ... and emergency personnel rushed to the scene to take him to the hospital.

The 30-year-old is not accused of any wrongdoing and he was NOT speeding -- we're told it was merely an accident.

Sources close to the Super Bowl champ tell us he was released from the hospital and is doing fine.

Pierre-Paul is in the middle of a 4-year, $62 million deal with the Bucs, and as a key member of the defense, we're assuming the team is monitoring the situation.

This isn't the first time JPP has had an off-field incident -- he infamously had a fireworks accident in 2015, and later returned to the field to perform at a high level.

Story developing ...

DeSean Jackson Gunnin' For Super Bowl With Eagles ... 'We Chasin' Jewelry!!!'

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FEELIN' THE LOVE

Forget stats ... DeSean Jackson says he's only about one thing in his return to Philly -- THE SUPER BOWL!!!

"We chasin' some jewelry," the wide receiver tells TMZ Sports at LAX ... "We're tryin' to stack it up on the wall, man!"

Of course, D-Jax just left Tampa Bay to make his triumphant return to Philadelphia -- where his NFL career all began -- and he says this time around it's all about rings.

In fact, the dude seems downright excited to have a shot at getting his first-ever SB trophy ... tellin' us, "They got some good things going on, I'm just happy to be an addition to that."

Jackson's fired up about his quarterback too, saying Carson Wentz is "a baller" and he "can't wait to go put that work in with him and get on that right track and do my thing."

As for the Bucs ... Jackson tells us he's got no hard feelings after moving on from them despite having one year left on his deal there -- saying he's already spoken with Jameis Winston about it all.

"Sh*t, the city's a good place, man. It's just unfortunate -- like I was just talking to Jameis -- it didn't work out or whatever."

"But the city's a good place, man. We just wasn't able to get it done on the field."

NFL's Bruce Arians On Hiring Female Coaches 'Who Gives A Sh*t' About Gender?

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WHO CARES
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

"The fact that their gender’s different -- who gives a sh*t?"

That's Tampa Bay Bucs head coach, Bruce Arians, explaining why he's down to add female coaches to his staff ... telling reporters at the NFL's annual league meeting Tuesday he honestly doesn't care about gender when he hires assistants.

"I think back to the best teachers I've ever had, most of them are female," the Tampa Bay coach said ... "Football, we're glorified school teachers."

"So, why not take a great teacher of any gender and let them help your players?"

Arians has gained fame in his career for his willingness to hire women -- he had Jen Welter as an assistant on his Cardinals staff and just added Lori Locust and Maral Javadifar to his Bucs roster.

But, Bruce is tired of being celebrated for making the hires ... saying at the coaches breakfast Tuesday he's ready for it to not be news anymore.

"They're good fits for what we need. The fact that their gender is different -- who gives a sh*t? They're good coaches."

Arians says he thinks the NFL is just 5 years away from it being normal to see women on the sidelines coaching.

And, Arians says don't be surprised if you see women coaches getting FIRED in the future -- because it's all part of the business.

"If they can't do [the job], you get fired like everybody else."

Bruce Arians To DeSean Jackson 'Come Back, Brother!'

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HE'LL BE A BUC
TMZSports.com

DeSean Jackson's new head coach REALLY doesn't want him to leave Tampa ... 'cause Bruce Arians tells TMZ Sports he desperately wants to keep the WR on the Bucs!!!

"Hey! Just come back, brother! I love ya. I know how good you are. I've been playing against you forever!"

Of course, it's unclear if D-Jax himself wants to stay ... the wideout was disgruntled with his role on the team for nearly all of 2018 -- and reportedly even requested a trade.

In fact, when we got him out at LAX last month ... he told us straight-up he's still unsure if he'll suit up for Arians and the Bucs next season.

PLOTTING HIS FUTURE
TMZSports.com

But, Bruce tells us he's going to do his best to convince the 3-time Pro Bowler to stick with Tampa ... saying they've got a face-to-face meeting set up for next week.

"He's under contract. I love him. We'll just see how this thing goes."

DeSean Jackson Hasn't Spoken With Bruce Arians ... Unsure Of Bucs Future

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PLOTTING HIS FUTURE
TMZSports.com

DeSean Jackson says he has yet to talk with new Bucs coach Bruce Arians ... and tells TMZ Sports he has no idea where he'll play next season.

The Tampa wideout was reportedly disgruntled with his role on Dirk Koetter's team throughout this past season ... and even reportedly requested a trade.

But ... per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport -- Arians wants to keep D-Jax on the team -- and is trying to get in touch with him.

Jackson says that conversation has yet to go down ... and when we asked about his football future at LAX -- Jackson wasn't so sure about a return to Florida in 2019.

"That's what I got an agent for, bro. I don't know, I just go play, bro. That's all I worry about."

Jackson does have one year left on his deal in Tampa ... but the Bucs can cut him this offseason without any salary cap ramifications.

Could that mean DeSean plays somewhere else in 2019??

"We'll see," he tells us.

Stay tuned ...

Alvin Kamara Shoots Down Future R&B Career ... I Play Football!

EXCLUSIVE
NO MORE R&B FOR ME
TMZSports.com

Sorry, ladies ... Alvin Kamara's smooth vocals won't be hitting the radio waves anytime soon -- 'cause the Saints RB says he has NO plans to pursue an R&B career despite his dope voice!!

Of course, Kamara SLAYED R. Kelly's "12 Play" at karaoke after beating up the Bucs on Sunday ... which caused some to wonder -- could the NFL star have a future in music??

SINGIN' SAINT
@larry_morrow

We asked the New Orleans superstar straight-up at the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson Of The Year ceremony in L.A. Tuesday night ... and, sadly, he says no.

"Nah, nah. I play football!"

It's too bad ... Kamara can SANG -- and dudes like Cole Beasley and Le'Veon Bell have managed to do both football AND music!!

But, Alvin tells us that's gonna be a big no from him.

BTW ... Kamara also gave us his take on the Kareem Hunt situation -- saying he hopes the RB can do what he needs to do to get back on his feet.

DeSean Jackson Rodney King Cleat Tribute ... For Bucs-49ers Game

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MAKING A STATEMENT

DeSean Jackson will wear Rodney King-themed cleats for the Bucs game Sunday ... featuring the words "Black Lives Matter" and a depiction of a police officer raising a baton.

For the next few weeks, the NFL is allowing players to raise awareness for causes they support using custom kicks as part of the league's "My Cause, My Cleats" program.

DeSean chose black-and-blue colored spikes for his cause ... a clear message he's trying to help end police brutality in America.

The cleats feature King's face ... the "Black Lives Matter" slogan ... Florence and Normandie street signs (a major point of the riots and where Reginald Denny was attacked) ... and a shadowy drawing of an officer raising his baton at 5 open hands.

What's interesting ... DeSean's set to debut the kicks against the 49ers -- the team Colin Kaepernick famously started his kneeling protests with to help raise awareness for social injustice in America.

The NFL will allow Jackson to auction off the spikes after the game ... with 100 percent of the profits going to the charity of his choosing.

Sterling Shepard Rips Nail Off Big Toe ... In Disgusting Video

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NASTY NAIL

Here's the grossest thing you'll see all day ... NY Giants WR Sterling Shepard straight-up pulled the nail off his big toe -- and documented it all on video.

The New York star hit the Giants locker room Monday ... and noticed his foot needed a little manicuring after beating the Buccaneers on Sunday.

So, Shepard reached down ... grabbed the nail on his left foot ... plucked it straight off -- AND DIDN'T EVEN FLINCH!!!

"Aw, yeah! It's time to come off! Yessir!"

Unclear when Shepard suffered the toe catastrophe that caused the gruesome scene ... but we're all hopeful he puts the camera down next time it happens.

Football players, man.