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NFL's Larry Johnson I Could've Saved Kareem Hunt

2/17/2019 12:20 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Ex-NFL star Larry Johnson is sick of watching young players like Kareem Hunt make the same STUPID mistakes he made as a player ... and wishes they'd "get their heads out of their asses" and reach out for help. 

"I hope these guys will start realizing that there's nothing you've done that other players haven't done already," the former K.C. Chiefs running back told us. 

Of course, Johnson was a STUD in his prime -- but, his NFL career was marred by off-the-field issues ... including violent incidents with a woman. 

But, Larry says he's a changed man now -- he's learned the hard way -- and wants to make sure other talented players don't throw away their careers because they're too dumb to learn from his mistakes.  

"Hopefully young guys will start reaching out to older players who have been in these situations before they get themselves in these situations," Johnson said.

"I wish these young players will get their heads out of their ass and really use the veterans to help them stay away from these issues."

It's obvious Johnson feels he could've been a real impact as a mentor for Kareem Hunt and others who are having trouble staying out of trouble

Earnest Byner If Hunt's Changed ... I Support Browns Signing

2/12/2019 1:30 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Earnest Byner says he's in favor of the Browns giving Kareem Hunt a second chance ... IF the ex-Chiefs superstar and the team can show he's a changed man.

TMZ Sports spoke with the ex-Brown shortly after Cleveland inked the troubled RB ... and he says BOTH Hunt and the team have to show more for him to accept the controversial signing.

Byner -- who trained with Hunt before the draft -- tells us he wants to see if Kareem has "gone through a process of development" before he throws his support behind the move.

Don't get it twisted ... Earnest says he's all in favor of second chances -- he just believes what Kareem did to a female in an altercation at a Cleveland hotel last year was unacceptable.

"We don't support the violence against women. Okay? That will never happen. That should not be."

For their part ... both general manager John Dorsey and Hunt himself issued statements insisting the running back has learned his lesson.

"What I did was wrong and inexcusable," Hunt said Monday.

"That is not the man I was raised to be, and I’ve learned a great deal from that experience and certainly should have been more truthful about it after the fact."

Kareem Hunt Signs with Cleveland Browns ... Issues New Apology

2/11/2019 11:04 AM PST
Breaking News

The Cleveland Browns have announced they've signed Kareem Hunt -- the former Chiefs star who was cut after TMZ Sports posted a video showing him getting violent with a woman in a Cleveland hotel. 

Browns general manager John Dorsey announced the signing today -- a reported 1-year deal -- saying there were two important factors to signing the RB:

"One is that Kareem took full responsibility for his egregious actions and showed true remorse and secondly, just as importantly, he is undergoing and is committed to necessary professional treatment and a plan that has been clearly laid out."

Hunt had previously said he was getting treatment for alcohol and anger management after multiple allegations of off-the-field violence. We broke the story ... Hunt shoved and kicked a woman during a Feb. 10, 2018 altercation.

For his part, Hunt has issued a new statement saying, "First off, I would like to once again apologize for my actions last year. What I did was wrong and inexcusable."

"That is not the man I was raised to be, and I’ve learned a great deal from that experience and certainly should have been more truthful about it after the fact."

"I’m extremely grateful that John Dorsey, Dee and Jimmy Haslam and the Cleveland Browns organization are granting me the opportunity to earn their trust and represent their organization in the best way possible on and off the field."

"I am committed to following the necessary steps to learn and to be a better and healthier person from this situation. I also understand the expectations that the Browns have clearly laid out and that I have to earn my way back to the NFL."

"I’m a work in progress as a person, but I’m committed to taking advantage of the support systems that I have in place to become the best and healthier version of myself."

The Browns are pretty solid in the running back position after a strong rookie year from starter Nick Chubb. It'll be interesting to see how Hunt fits into the offensive plans. 

John Dorsey acknowledges the Hunt signing is controversial -- and says the team thought long and hard before signing him. 

"We fully understand and respect the complexity of questions and issues in signing a player with Kareem’s history and do not condone his actions," Dorsey said.

"Given what we know about Kareem through our extensive research, we believe he deserves a second chance but certainly with the understanding that he has to go through critical and essential steps to become a performing member of this organization, aside from what the NFL determines from their ongoing investigation."

At this point, the NFL still has not decided on a punishment for Hunt -- he could face a serious suspension. 

We recently spoke with Hunt's former teammates, Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, who told us they're rooting for Hunt to get a second chance and still consider him a friend. 

Patrick Mahomes Dad Begged Him To Quit Football ... 'Luckily He Didn't Listen!'

2/11/2019 12:05 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Sometimes it's GOOD to defy your parents -- just ask Patrick Mahomes Sr. who says he REALLY tried to get his son to give up football back in the day to pursue other sports. 

THANK GOD HE DIDN'T LISTEN!!! 

Pat Mahomes Sr. made the shocking revelation to us ... saying he was convinced Pat had a better shot at going pro in baseball and basketball -- especially since the Univ. of Texas was recruiting him to play DEFENSE!! 

"They were recruiting him as a safety. And, I was telling him, 'Why don't we quit this and let's just concentrate on the other two?'"

"I said, 'We're just wasting time with this football thing.'"

Pat's suggestion wasn't exactly misguided ... the elder Mahomes was an MLB pitcher for more than a decade -- and says his son showed clear talent to be a future pro in BOTH baseball and hoops.

But, the QB didn't listen to Sr. ... and said, "Dad, I want to be out there with my teammates. I want to be out there with the guys I've been playing with forever."

Turned out to be a pretty good decision ... Mahomes starred at Texas Tech -- and is the best young quarterback in the NFL right now.

BUT ... it does make ya wonder -- what IF Mahomes had decided to step off the gridiron and focus solely on the other two sports??

Something tells us we'd be seein' a whole lot of this in the NBA right now ...

Travis Kelce Andy Reid's Speech ... Helped Chiefs Get Over Offsides Call

2/2/2019 12:45 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

How did the Chiefs avoid killing Dee Ford for being offsides on a game-winning interception against the Patriots in the AFC Championship game???

Travis Kelce tells TMZ Sports it was simple ... they just listened to their head coach, Andy Reid.

"Andy Reid said it best in the meeting room the day after the game," Kelce tells us at the EA Sports Madden Bowl event in Atlanta.

"He said, 'You know what, Dee Ford was four inches to a foot offsides. Everybody on that team could have been four inches -- including coaches -- coulda been four inches to a foot better that game, for 60 minutes, and the outcome could've been different.'"

The play will go down in Kansas City sports lore forever -- Charvarius Ward picked off Tom Brady while up 28-24 with 54 seconds left to play in the game.

But, Ford lined up offsides ... the play was called back ... and the rest is now history.

Kelce tells us there are no hard feelings whatsoever toward Ford for the play ... and Kansas City players don't even joke with the guy about the miscue.

"I feel bad for my guy, man," Kelce says ... "You can't put it on him."

The worst part of the story??? Ford did it again in the Pro Bowl last weekend!!!

Good news for Chiefs fans ... at least Ford's now got seven months to figure out where the line of scrimmage is.

Patrick Mahomes Supports Kareem Hunt ... 'Hopefully He'll Get Another Chance'

2/1/2019 6:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Two huge K.C. Chiefs stars refuse to turn their backs on Kareem Hunt -- with Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce saying they're supporting their ex-teammate as he gets help off the field. 

Of course, the Chiefs cut Hunt back in November after he was captured on video attacking a woman at a Cleveland hotel. He's been getting treatment ever since and hopes to play in the NFL again. 

So, when we saw Mahomes at the EA Sports Madden Bowl event in Atlanta, we asked if he's been keeping in touch with the running back. 

"He's still a buddy," Mahomes tells TMZ Sports ... "I wish all the best to him."

"It's stuff that he has to handle off the field and hopefully he might get another chance on it."

When asked if he thinks a team will sign Hunt next season, Mahomes told us, "I know he works hard. I know he does a lot of things on field really well."

"As long as he keeps doing stuff off the field and getting back right, I'm sure he'll get another chance."

As for Kelce, the Chiefs tight end echoed his QB -- saying Hunt is "always gonna be a brother to me."

Kelce also says Hunt can count on him for support as he continues to seek treatment for his personal issues. 

Hunt has apologized for his role in the February 2018 incident -- saying, "I deeply regret what I did. I hope to move on from this."

As far as his football career goes, Hunt is only 23 years old and has already been talking with NFL teams -- including the Chicago Bears. 

Dick Vermeil Andy Reid Will Win S.B. With Chiefs ... Bet On It!!!

1/21/2019 3:20 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Andy Reid WILL win a Super Bowl with the Chiefs despite yet another championship game heartbreaker Sunday ... so says legendary coach Dick Vermeil.

"I would bet on it!" Dick tells TMZ Sports ... "I would bet that they will win one!"

Of course, Reid's history says otherwise ... his loss to the Pats on Sunday was his 6th championship game L (4 NFC championships, 1 AFC championship and 1 Super Bowl) in his 20-year, ring-less career.

But, Vermeil says Reid WILL get it done sooner than later ... saying K.C. is just too talented.

"There's no question in mind they will get there and there's no question in mind, if he sticks with it long enough, he's gonna win it."

In fact, Vermeil thought earlier this season THIS would be the year for Reid ... and said he was downright ill seeing Reid and the Chiefs fall to Tom Brady in overtime.

"Kansas City, I'm just sick. I woke up three times during the night thinking about that ballgame. I was so disappointed."

2019 season kicks off in 7 months ... could that finally be Reid's year??

Stay tuned.

Drake to the NFL's Final 4 Fine, I'm Cursed And Now, So Are You

1/20/2019 11:32 AM PST

Drake has finally realized that if he sides with any one sports team, they'll probably lose -- so he's sending the final 4 NFL squads good vibes by equally cursing all of them.

We're kidding, of course ... and clearly, so is Drizzy. He posted a photo of himself late Saturday night wearing a sweater with patches bearing all four remaining NFL teams --the L.A. Rams, the New England Patriots, the Kansas City Chiefs and the New Orleans Saints.

He captioned his pic ... "For everyone who believes in the Drake curse good luck tmrw."

In case you're unfamiliar ... Drake has a pretty bad streak of supporting teams ... and those teams being doomed with losing records or big losses in general (just ask the University of Alabama's football team, they're his latest victim).

Drake has also supported Kentucky basketball (title-less since 2012), the Toronto Raptors (zero finals appearances), Conor McGregor (who got smashed up by Khabib) and Serena Williams (who lost at Wimbledon last year). 

As for this latest pledge of allegiance ... it's probably a good idea to remain neutral. Smart call, D.

Chiefs' Tamba Hali I Don't Regret Retiring ... Before Epic Season

1/15/2019 8:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Does one of the greatest Kansas City Chiefs ever regret retiring just months before the team's best run in recent franchise history???

Tamba Hali tells TMZ Sports not one bit ...

"I think there were measures -- I could've did more about being on the team this year, but I'm happy for those guys."

Hali is a legend in K.C. ... having played the last 12 seasons there and racking up 89.5 sacks -- but he retired after last season having never gotten further than the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

That's why we at TMZ Sports wondered if there was at least SOME regret that he decided to call it a career just before Patrick Mahomes got the Chiefs on an epic run this season.

But, 35-year-old Tamba says while it is "bittersweet," he's at peace with the decision.

"I think the way coach [Andy] Reid treated me was great. He kind of saved me, because I played the game wreckless. I probably would've been on the other side -- would've wrecked my body."

"So, I'm happy, yet it is bittersweet."

As for the Chiefs' AFC Championship Game against the Pats this weekend ... Hali says he's giving the edge to Mahomes over Tom Brady in the big matchup, and ya gotta hear why.

Bears Coach Matt Nagy Speaks With Kareem Hunt ... Not Ruling Out Signing

1/14/2019 11:47 AM PST
Breaking News

Bears head coach Matt Nagy says he spoke with Kareem Hunt just a week ago ... and didn't rule out signing the troubled RB when asked about the possibility Monday.

Hunt's been out of the NFL since TMZ Sports published video of the ex-Chiefs star shoving and kicking a woman during a February altercation at a Cleveland hotel.

But ... Nagy's got a great relationship with the RB -- he was Hunt's OC during the RB's rookie season in 2017 -- and says he wanted to check in on him when they spoke just a few days ago.

"I talked to Kareem completely wanting to know how he's doing. And we had a good conversation."

Nagy says the convo never turned to football ... but he did say he's a coach that has always been in favor of giving players second chances.

"Me, personally, depending on certain people's situations, I'm a guy that has always been that. I've been kind of raised that way to give guys second chances."

Does that mean Hunt will be in a Chicago uniform next season? Nagy certainly didn't seem opposed to the idea ... but GM Ryan Pace says the Bears need more time to make that call.

"We're not even there yet," Pace said ... "I know what [Hunt] is as a player, obviously, from watching him. Matt knows a little bit more about him as a person. But we're not even close to that point."

Hunt is still facing suspension -- which is expected to be AT LEAST a 6-game ban next season -- from the league for the incident.

Tony Gonzalez NFL MVP Race 'No Contest' It's Mahomes Over Brees

1/12/2019 12:15 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Drew Brees' dream of his first NFL MVP is DEAD ... that's according to Tony Gonzalez, who says Patrick Mahomes is the league's most valuable, and it ain't even close.

Mahomes is having a RIDICULOUS season ... 50 TDs and 5,000 yards (yikes), but some thought Brees would get the nod because of the Saints team's success and his INSANE efficiency.

Tony ain't one of them, and when we got him out in Beverly Hills, he shot Drew's dreams down.

"I thought Drew Brees would've had a chance, but 50 touchdowns, 5,000 yards, it's no contest."

According to Gonzalez, the Chiefs game this Sunday will also be no contest, because he's got the Arrowhead gang stomping all over the Colts.

"Obviously, I'm picking the Chiefs, not 'cause I have to either."

Full disclosure, Tony is one of the greatest Chiefs of all time, and royalty in Kansas City. We're not saying he's biased or anything ... we're just saying.

LAPD Trolls Kansas City Police Dept. After Chargers Rob Chiefs

12/14/2018 7:17 AM PST
Breaking News

POLICE BEEF!!!!

The Kansas City P.D. was talking all sorts of crap about the Chargers before they took on the Chiefs Thursday night. 

So, when K.C. choked away the game, the LAPD decided to rub some salt in the wound. 

It all started before the big "Thursday Night Football" matchup ... when the KCPD threw shade at the Bolts for their lack of fan support in BOTH San Diego and L.A.

"While our football team doesn't have to move cities to get fans, we'd like to keep our city's traffic (both fans & commuters) moving during tomorrow's Chiefs vs Chargers game."

"Stadium full of people will be going to Arrowhead during rush hour. Plan alt. routes or extra time."

So, when Philip Rivers and company stormed into Arrowhead and silenced the 75,000 fans with a last-second, come-from-behind victory ... the LAPD decided to clap back. 

"It’s ok...we’ll take the 11-3 playoff-bound @Chargers and their great win over the @Chiefs."

SHAAAAAAAAAAAADEEEEE!!

Of course ... L.A. cops weren't the only ones getting in on the K.C. trollin' -- Rivers made sure the fans at Arrowhead got some in person too!

The best news for all parties?? Both teams have clinched a playoff berth ... which means we could all get round 3 in just a few weeks.

Can't wait.

KC Chiefs Owner Clark Hunt Team Knew About 3 Violent Incidents ... Before Cutting Him

12/10/2018 7:03 AM PST
Breaking News

Kansas City Chiefs owner, Clark Hunt, says the team knew Kareem Hunt was involved in 3 violent incidents BEFORE they cut him ... but says the TMZ Sports video took things to another level. 

Clark Hunt finally broke his silence about Kareem to the media after the Chiefs defeated the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday ... saying, "We were obviously shocked by the video, like anybody who saw it."

He added, "We’d had some issues with Kareem not being truthful with what happened that night and we just really felt for everybody’s best interests we needed to head in a different direction."

As we previously reported, Kareem has been accused of getting violent on 3 separate occasions during the NFL offseason -- allegedly attacking a man at a nightclub in January, the hotel incident in February and another altercation at an Ohio resort in June.

"We did know about [those incidents], yes," Clark Hunt said ... "We were familiar with all 3 of the incidents that he had had in the offseason ... They’d all been reported to the NFL, and the NFL was investigating them."

During the media scrum in the Chiefs' locker room, Clark Hunt was also asked about the NFL's investigation into Kareem Hunt ... and how the league could do a better job handling similar investigations in the future. 

"I’m not sure I’m at a point right now where I can say there was a breakdown and specifically what that breakdown was. The league has spent a lot of time and resources trying to build a department that can handle these types of situations."

"Obviously, it’s imperfect. I’m not sure you can ever reach perfection. There are limitations on the type of information that league security people are able to get, and I’m not sure that we can change that."

Clark Hunt was also asked if Chiefs' draft scouts ever saw any red flags when it came to Hunt's off-the-field actions before they took him in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft. 

"Our staff felt comfortable with taking him, otherwise we would not have selected him," Hunt said.

"Our scouting staff does a really good job of vetting players. And part of that analysis is their character. Obviously, it’s very hard to learn everything about somebody. Sometimes you have somebody who in college didn’t have any incidents and they get to the pro level and with the fame and fortune and so forth that comes with the position, they do something that you don’t expect."

"So, we’re certainly going to try to get better, but I don’t think you can ever be perfect in that regard."

Despite leaving on bad terms, Clark Hunt says the organization is still rooting for Kareem to better himself

"I think the most important thing for Kareem is that he get some counseling that can help him with his issues ... and I heard today that there was a report that he was going to do that, and certainly we wish the best for Kareem in the future. I hope that at some point he’s able to come back to the National Football League, not sure when that will be."

"But, our message to him was that even though we’re having to part ways with you today, we’re still supportive of you. And, if you need us to get you some help off the field, we’re willing to do that."

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