Chris Johnson Hopeful For Hall Of Fame Nod ... But Ex-Teammate Guarantees It'll Happen!!!

"SAW IT ON TWITTER"
TMZSports.com

Chris Johnson is now one of 129 people hoping to make the Hall of Fame in 2023 ... but according to his former teammate, LenDale White, he doesn't need to sweat it -- 'cause he WILL get a bust in Canton next summer.

CJ2K -- one of the best running backs in NFL history -- was officially nominated for the HOF for the first time earlier this week ... alongside 128 other former stars, including Joe Thomas and Darrelle Revis.

Johnson swung by the TMZ office with White just a day after he got the good news -- and he was pumped ... saying he was hopeful it'd now all eventually lead to him getting the call to the Hall later this season.

"Just to be a nominee, it's a blessing," he said. "Hopefully I can make it all the way through. We gon' see what happens."

But according to White, who played two seasons with Johnson in Tennessee in 2008 and 2009, the former Titans great doesn't need to fret about it too much ... guaranteeing the 37-year-old will make it this year.

"He will make it all the way through," White said. "I mean, I feel that way."

Johnson played 10 years in the league, rushing for 9,651 yards and scoring 64 total TDs. In 2009, he had one of the greatest seasons ever by an RB, running for 2,006 yards and 14 scores.

White and Johnson both think those numbers should be enough to get him in ... but they did acknowledge if he had played just a few more years and stat-piled during that timeframe, it wouldn't even be a question.

Johnson, though, said he had no regrets about how his career played out.

The first cut for the '23 class will be in November. The finalists will be then announced in January.

CHECK IN FOR COUCH DEBATES
TMZSports.com

While Johnson waits for the call, he and White will continue talkin' football on their "Smash & Dash" podcast ... which the guys say includes a whole lot of other topics -- including dating!

NFL's Bud Dupree Pleads Guilty To Assault Charge ... In Walgreens Fight Case

UPDATE

11:13 AM PT -- Prosecutors tell TMZ Sports ... Dupree's probation will be supervised. They added Dupree had to go through anger management classes, which they say he has already completed.

Tennessee Titans linebacker Bud Dupree just pled guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge stemming from his role in a fight at a Walgreens earlier this year, TMZ Sports has learned.

The 29-year-old football player -- according to a court official -- appeared in a Nashville, Tenn. courtroom on Monday and made the plea after striking a deal with prosecutors.

Dupree pled guilty to misdemeanor assault offensive or provocative, the court official tells us.

Dupree was sentenced to unsupervised probation for 6 months, according to the official. He also had to pay $418 in court costs.

The Titans had practice Monday morning ... though it's unclear if the pass rusher -- who signed a 5-year, $82.5 million contract with the Titans in 2021 -- made it to the workout.

As we previously reported, Dupree was initially cited back on Jan. 4 after cops say he attacked an employee at a Nashville-area Walgreens on Jan. 2.

WALGREENS WALLOP
TMZSports.com

Cops say Dupree grabbed the employee during the incident -- and then attempted to take the man's phone, before eventually fleeing the scene prior to police officers' arrival.

Sources close to Dupree allege the employee had heckled the Titans player ... and threatened to spit on the women he was with, inciting the fracas.

We've reached out to the Titans, Dupree's attorney, and prosecutors for comment, but so far, no word back yet.

Originally Published -- 10:00 AM PT

Ric Flair Pulls Up To Titans Training Camp Pumps Up Squad, Woooo!!

Ric Flair had a lot to WOOOOOO about Thursday ... the WWE legend showed up to Tennessee Titans training camp, and Derrick Henry and the squad were pumped!

The Nature Boy is in Nashville for the last wrestling match of his esteemed career ... so when 73-year-old Flair received an invite to camp, he pulled up, and spent some time with the players.

Of course, Naitch broke the team down ... to a bunch of woooooo's!

NATURE BOY BREAKDOWN
Twitter/@jwyattsports

Flair told reporters at Saint Thomas Sports Park his favorite player is on the Titans, so when the invite came in, he wasn't going to say no.

"My favorite player in the NFL right now is Derrick Henry," Flair said. "Hated him at Alabama but I love him here."

THE REAL DEAL
Twitter/@jwyattsports

Flair continued to sing the praises of the guy many consider the best back in the league.

"I didn't realize he had that speed. I didn't see that in college."

Ric even compared him to a future Hall of Famer.

"Yeah I mean 2,000 yards [a year] -- think about it. That puts him in the same class as Adrian Peterson. That's big-time stuff."

LEGENDARY VISIT
Twitter/@jwyattsports

Henry also talked to reporters, telling them it was "pretty cool" to have Flair at practice ... 'cause Ric's someone Derrick used to watch on TV as a kid.

"He's a legend in the WWE world," Henry said.

"I watched him on TV growing up for a long time so it's surreal to meet people like him and come out here and let 'em talk to us after practice."

READY TO RUMBLE
TMZSports.com

Flair's 'Last Match' goes down on July 31 ... where Ric will team up with his son-in-law, Andrade, and take on Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal.

WOOOOOOOOOO!

Ex-NFL DL Du'Vonta Lampkin Dead At 25 ... After Suffering Gunshot Wound

Tragic news ... former NFL defensive lineman Du'Vonta Lampkin has died after he was shot on Thursday.

He was just 25 years old.

According to the Dallas Police Department, Lampkin was found "lying on his back with a single gunshot wound" by officers at a rented residence at around 10:10 PM in Dallas.

Cops say they had been called to the scene after a witness said Lampkin had stopped answering phone calls.

Police say medical personnel arrived a short time after officers discovered Lampkin ... but said the ex-football player couldn't be saved and died on the scene.

No further details regarding the shooting were released ... cops say an investigation is underway. They're asking anyone with information on the case to call 214-671-3994.

The Univ. of Oklahoma -- where Lampkin played college football from 2015 to 2017 -- released a statement on the tragedy, saying the school is "deeply saddened" by Lampkin's passing.

"Du'Vonta was full of life and spirit, was a supportive teammate and a joy to be around. Our sincerest thoughts, prayers and sympathies are with his family and loved ones."

Du'Vonta played in 15 games for the Sooners in his three years on campus, logging 27 total tackles and a sack. He left the school early with intentions to play in the NFL, but went unselected in the 2018 draft.

Lampkin would eventually sign with the Tennessee Titans just before the 2018 season, but he was cut prior to their first game. He went on to play indoor football in 2019.

RIP.

Eddie George Advice To Titans ... Don't Move On From Ryan Tannehill!!!

UP TO THE OWNERS
TMZSports.com

If Eddie George was running the Tennessee Titans ... he wouldn't be looking for a new QB this offseason, telling TMZ Sports he still believes in Ryan Tannehill.

Of course, it's an unpopular opinion ... because most NFL fans believe the quarterback's three interceptions against the Cincinnati Bengals are the reasons why the Titans aren't playing the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game this weekend.

But, when we got George out in L.A. earlier this week ... the Titans legend said he still thinks Tannehill is good enough to get Tennessee to the Super Bowl next year.

"He's just got to cut down on the turnovers and find a way to come back," George said.

As for if he'd look into acquiring another QB, like Aaron Rodgers, George wasn't so sure about all that.

"I wouldn't go searching for something that -- you know, the grass isn't always greener on the other side," the ex-running back said. "I would ride it out."

As for the Titans' biggest star, Derrick Henry, George loves the guy's game ... and actually told us he's hoping the dude catches all of his records and breaks them one day.

"It would be awesome to have a guy like that do it."

Derrick Henry Cops Insane 100-Ct Diamond Chain ... To Honor Legendary Football Career

FIT FOR A TITAN
TheIceChamp/Instagram

Forget plaques and record books ... Derrick Henry has found a new way to show off his legendary football resume -- an insane iced-out diamond chain!!

TMZ Sports has learned ... the Tennessee Titans star RB wanted to turn all of his pigskin accomplishments -- starting from high school -- into some bling for his 28th birthday this week.

So, he hit up celebrity jeweler Ali The Ice Champ in Dallas ... and the dude delivered the amazing piece in time for Henry's cake day this week.

The bling is awesome -- it features a huge 6.5-inch "Y" pendant that represents Henry's days at Yulee High School in Florida. The pendant also features a little VS1 diamond-infused Heisman Trophy to immortalize the award that Henry won back in 2015.

On the chain, Ali tied together logos of the Yulee Hornets, Alabama Crimson Tide and Tennessee Titans ... and then he added several beads to represent some of Henry's historical football moments.

We're told some of those feature a diamond 12K bead for his 12,124 rushing yards in high school that set a national record as well as a diamond 2K bead for his 2,000 rushing yards in the Titans' 2020 season.

Ali -- whose clients range from Ezekiel Elliott to Post Malone -- tells us that Henry's one-of-a-kind necklace carries 100 carats of VS1 E-F color diamonds and has over half a kilo of gold.

No word on what it all cost the King ... but Henry's made over $30 million in his NFL career, so he's certainly got the cash to spoil himself.

Happy birthday, indeed.

Titans' Bud Dupree Video Shows NFL Player Grabbing, Wrestling Man ... In Walgreens Altercation

WALGREENS WALLOP
TMZSports.com

Titans defensive end Bud Dupree grabbed a man and then wrestled with him for several seconds inside of a Walgreens in Nashville on Sunday night ... new video, obtained by TMZ Sports, shows.

In the footage, you can see the NFL player walk through the doors of the drug store and immediately get in the face of a man near the cash register.

It's unclear what prompted the verbal altercation -- but sources close to Dupree allege he was being heckled with nasty comments ... claiming the man threatened to spit on the women and kick Bud in the knee.

After exchanging words with the guy, Dupree appeared to try to grab the man's cell phone.

The 6-foot-4, 269-pound pass rusher then forcefully put the man in a bear hug, and all hell broke loose.

Video shows nearly everyone inside the store got involved in a wrestling match between the two ... before Dupree was ultimately separated from the group.

Dupree then seemed to try to leave the store, but as others stayed inside, the 28-year-old Tennessee defender went back, appearing to try to get others out of the fracas.

A separate video of the incident filmed from inside of the Walgreens, and obtained by Broadway Sports, appears to show Dupree ordered one of the people he was with to take a person's phone in the middle of the altercation.

As we reported, after conducting an investigation into the incident, cops cited Dupree for misdemeanor assault. They say the football player is due for booking on the citation in three weeks.

The Titans -- who play the Texans on Sunday before entering into the playoffs -- said Monday they're "aware of the situation and are gathering additional information."

Titans' Bud Dupree Cited For Misdemeanor Assault ... After Alleged Attack At Walgreens

Cops have just cited Tennessee Titans defensive end Bud Dupree for misdemeanor assault ... after they say he attacked an employee at a Nashville Walgreens on Sunday night.

According to the Metro Nashville Police Dept., several shoppers at the drug store got into an argument with a 20-year-old store employee and then left ... only to return a short time later with Dupree.

Cops say the 6-foot-4, 269-pound pass rusher then attacked the employee -- grabbing the man and his phone.

According to the police, a physical altercation then ensued ... before 28-year-old Dupree left the scene.

In a statement to TMZ Sports, cops say they issued the football player a citation for assault. They added he's due for booking on the citation in three weeks.

As we reported, the incident all went down just hours after Dupree had helped the Titans beat the Miami Dolphins at Nissan Stadium in Tennessee.

Dupree -- who just signed an $82.5 million contract with the team -- logged one tackle in the game and played 60 percent of Tennessee's defensive snaps.

The Titans said in a statement Monday they were "aware of the situation and are gathering additional information." They're scheduled to play next against the Texans on Sunday before heading into the playoffs.

NFL's Bud Dupree Allegedly Involved In Fight At Walgreens ... Wanted For Questioning By Cops

Cops in Nashville say they want to question Tennessee Titans linebacker Bud Dupree ... after he was allegedly involved in a fight at a local Walgreens.

According to a statement from the Metro Nashville Police Dept., cops were called to the store at around 8 PM on Sunday night -- just hours after the Titans had beaten the Miami Dolphins in Tennessee.

Cops say Dupree and "several" people with him got into an altercation with two employees at the store ... after "a male employee began videoing Dupree with his phone."

Police, though, say by the time officers arrived on scene, Dupree and the other individuals with him had already left.

Cops say they're seeking to interview all parties now -- including Dupree -- after they say a 21-year-old female employee and a 20-year-old male employee both needed treatment for cuts they sustained in the alleged altercation.

As of now, no arrests have been made ... and no formal charges have been brought against Dupree or others.

The Titans -- who clinched the AFC South title with their win Sunday -- released a statement saying, "We are aware of the situation and are gathering additional information."

Dupree -- a first-round pick in the 2015 NFL draft -- did play in the team's game against Miami ... registering one solo tackle.

The 28-year-old is in his first season with the Titans -- he inked a massive $82.5 million contract this offseason after an impressive 6-year run with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Chris Johnson Titans Still 'Team To Beat' ... Despite Henry Injury

A BIG LOSS
TMZSports.com

A shot at a Titans Super Bowl title did not end when Derrick Henry got injured Sunday ... so says Chris Johnson, who tells TMZ Sports Tennessee is still "the team to beat."

Of course, most disagree with CJ2K ... considering Henry -- who's expected to miss the rest of the season after foot surgery Tuesday -- was the leading rusher in the league and by far the Titans' best player before his injury.

But, Johnson says he doesn't expect a dip at all from the Titans going forward ... saying there's just too many playmakers on the roster to allow that to happen.

"We got a good quarterback," the ex-Titans star said. "We got two good receivers out there. So we should be all right."

Johnson tells us he expects to see Tennessee turn into more of a passing team ... though he did say he's confident if the team needs to rely on the newly signed Adrian Peterson, it can do that as well.

"Adrian's been able to show that he's been able to come in and can contribute to whatever team that he goes to," Johnson said.

The former running back explained a Titans' Super Bowl run is still more than possible ... and even delivered an uplifting message to downtrodden Tennessee fans.

The first game without Henry is slated for Sunday night against the Rams -- who, by the way, just added Von Miller to the roster this week.

Good luck!

A.J. Brown Pondering Chipotle Deal Despite Food Poisoning ... I Won't Eat It Though!!!

NEVER AGAIN
Tennessee Titans

NFL star A.J. Brown says there might be some good to come out of his food poisoning disaster ... telling reporters Friday he could land a deal with Chipotle over it all.

The Tennessee Titans receiver revealed Chipotle has reached out to him after he claimed that some bad food from the restaurant gave him serious issues prior to, during and after his game against the Bills on Monday night.

And, in their talks, Brown said there has been some initial discussion with the company about "possibly doing something with me."

Brown -- despite saying he felt like hell over the food -- seemed interested in signing on ... though he made it clear there's no way he'll do a deal that requires him to consume the product again.

"I don't know," he said of the potential pact. "I'm not eating it, though. No, sir!"

Brown did say Chipotle was trying to remedy the situation, asking him which location he ate at so they could presumably fix any future issues.

Deal or no deal ... Brown reiterated he'll never eat ANY type of fast food again following the whole ordeal, saying, "The way I was feeling guys, I'm telling you, no fast food for me."

What's interesting ... Brown actually had his best game of the year while dealing with the illness, going off for 7 catches and 91 yards against Buffalo.

Can ya imagine what he'll do this week sans food poisoning? Heads up, Chiefs!

Pacman Jones I Belong In The Hall Of Fame I Was Better Than Hester!!!

PACMAN GOLD
TMZSports.com

Adam "Pacman" Jones says he belongs in the Hall of Fame on either the 1st or 2nd ballot ... telling TMZ Sports he believes he was a better special teamer than Devin Hester.

The former Tennessee Titans superstar made the claim to us before his big Rough N' Rowdy fight last week ... explaining he truly believes he's one of the best return men of all-time.

"If you just go back and look at the history, who would be your top three, four returners from 2005 to 2017-18 season?" Jones said.

"If you look at the average per yard, how many times I've touched the ball, with even with being suspended, I had more yards than Devin Hester if you look at the amount of times we touched the ball."

Jones averaged 1 more yard per kickoff return than Hester in his career ... although Devin had Pacman in just about every other stat.

Still, Hester took nearly double the amount of returns that Jones did in their careers -- something Pacman says Hall of Fame voters should take into account when looking at the numbers.

"We'll see, man," Jones says. "You know I had a lot of baggage that went along with me but I got that out the way ... I truly feel that I was if not number one in returns, I got to be one or two. No less than three."

Of course, returners have yet to get into the Hall solely based on their accomplishments as a special teamer -- though many believe Hester could get in next year.

Jones (who's eligible for the Hall in 2024) seems to be content with his career even if he doesn't get in ... telling us, "I've outlasted my whole draft class beside the quarterbacks and my work is speaking for itself, man."

"It speaks for itself."

Chris Johnson I'm The Fastest NFL Player Ever ... 'No Question'

NOBODY FASTER THAN ME
TMZSports.com

It's not Deion Sanders, Tyreek Hill or Bo Jackson ... no, the fastest NFL player ever is Chris Johnson -- so says CJ2K himself.

The legendary Tennessee Titans running back made the claim to TMZ Sports ... saying if he lined up for a race against every fast NFL legend ever -- and everyone was still in their prime -- he would've dusted them all.

"No question," Johnson says.

The statement is a bold one -- after all, Sanders alone is rumored to have once run a 4.1 40-yard dash -- but Chris says he believes in his speed THAT much.

"You look at my tape, I've never been caught," Johnson says. "I made people pull hamstrings!"

Johnson's obviously not lying ... the guy ran a 4.24 40-yard dash at the 2008 NFL Combine -- and his speed was consistently on display throughout his 10-year NFL career.

As for if CJ2K could still get it done on the track ... he told us that just ain't happenin' now -- admitting Hill would beat him in a sprint today.

But, hey, we'd still definitely watch that if they lined it up!

2 Chainz 'Bummed' Over Julio To Titans ... But I'll Rock His Jersey!!!

IT'S A BUMMER
TMZSports.com

Rap star 2 Chainz says he's sad as hell to see the Atlanta Falcons trade his good friend Julio Jones ... but tells TMZ Sports he's still gonna support his guy by coppin' his new Titans jersey!!

Of course, the "Grey Area" MC is a diehard Dirty Birds fan ... and has been tight with JJ over the years.

Now that the Falcons are entering their first season since 2011 without Julio ... we had to ask how 2 Chainz is holding up.

"I'm bummed out about it, man," Julio told us outside Amiri on Rodeo Drive. "I'm a Falcons fan, but "I'm a Julio fan. He's a great friend of mine."

"I'm a huge Julio fan," he added. "Somebody today called me about the suites up there at the Falcons. I don't know how I feel yet."

2 Chainz explains Falcons fans had a strong relationship with Julio ... which is why it stings to see him go.

But, good news for Julio -- 2 Chainz says he's gonna be sure to get Jones' new #2 jersey with the Titans ... after all, the number couldn't be more perfect.

We also chatted about the Hawks and just how much money he's been making off their wins ... and how much he threw down for Friday night's game!!

Julio Jones WR Won't Steal #11 From A.J. Brown I'll Take #2 Instead!!!

UPDATE

4:43 PM PT -- The Tennessee Titans have revealed Julio's new number ... and the star receiver is going with #2!!!

UPDATE
UPDATE

We must say ... the guy looks good with the new look, so everyone wins!!

For the first time in his NFL career, Julio Jones will NOT wear #11 ... A.J. Brown just revealed the newest Tennessee Titan has refused to take the digits.

Brown said Tuesday he tried like hell to give Jones the number -- considering, you know, Brown did recruit the former Falcons star to Tennessee HARD -- but he claims Julio just wouldn't accept it.

"I tried to give it up and he wouldn’t take it," said Brown, who got the Titans' #11 when he joined the team in 2019. "Respect."

Julio was drafted by the Falcons in 2011 and got the #11 shortly after ... but he'll clearly have to find a new number in Nashville now.

As for potential replacements ... Jones did rock #8 during his college career at Alabama -- and while Titans rookie punter James Smith has already been assigned the ocho, something tells us that'll change if Julio wants it bad enough.

After all, the Titans did give up a 2nd-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft AND a 4th-round pick in the 2023 Draft in order to get Julio (and another '23 pick) over the weekend.

Happy new number hunting from here, Julio!

Originally Published -- 9:32 AM PT

Julio Jones Lands in Tennessee In Private Jet ... After Being Traded to Titans

TOUCH DOWN IN TENNESSEE
Tennessee Titans

Here it is ... Julio Jones' first touchdown in Tennessee as a member of the Titans.

The superstar WR just landed in Nashville after being traded from the Atlanta Falcons ... and of course, he made the trip in a private jet!

The 32-year-old perennial All-Pro seemed to be in a great mood as he stepped off the plane ... ready to enter his 11th season in the league with a serious Super Bowl contender.

He was greeted by Titans GM Jon Robinson.

As you may know, the Falcons sent Julio (and a 2023 draft pick) to the Titans for a 2nd-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and a 4th-round pick in the 2023 Draft.

After the deal became official, Robinson told reporters he was STOKED about the move.

"Excited to add Julio to the football team. He's excited to be part of what we've got going on in Nashville. It's a big day for our team."

Jones will add even more firepower to an already dangerous offense that includes superstar RB Derrick Henry and explosive wide-out A.J. Brown.

Titans QB Ryan Tannehill is also excited -- tweeting out, "Let's Gooo!!"

As for the Falcons, they kept it classy -- tweeting out a tribute video to their former superstar.

Old news is old news!
Be First!

Get TMZ breaking news sent right to your browser!