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Cardi B I'm the Pepsi Star For Super Bowl 53!!!

1/17/2019 5:13 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Cardi B is about to join a rarefied group of superstars, including Michael Jackson, Beyonce and Britney Spears ... donning Pepsi's red, white and blue for the company's Super Bowl ad campaign ... TMZ has learned.

Production sources tell us Cardi B is officially locked as this year's Pepsi celeb spokesperson. We're told the ad has already been shot and will air during SB 53.

The Pepsi spot is considered the premiere commercial during the big game, which is watched by hundreds of millions and has a long afterlife. 

Cindy Crawford did the honors last year, and her predecessors include Pink, One Direction, Madonna, Mariah Carey and The Spice Girls.

Cardi is also set to put on a show with Bruno Mars in the days leading up to The Super Bowl ... the buzz is that it will be the biggest party of the weekend.   

As we reported ... Cardi was in talks to join Maroon 5 during the halftime show, but negotiations fell apart.

Thing is ... even though she won't be performing on the Super Bowl stage, the Pepsi commercial is a monumental TV moment. 

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

1/17/2019 4:00 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

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 ...

Cam Newton Gets First-Ever Tattoo On Hand ... No Peeking Allowed!!!

1/17/2019 3:10 PM PST
Exclusive Details

Cam Newton got his first-EVER tattoo earlier this week on his left hand ... but the Carolina Panthers superstar played it cool leaving the shop -- hiding the new ink in his swaggy jacket!!

TMZ Sports has learned Cam hit up Bang Bang Grand in New York City to get the piece done ... and, per a source, the art is engraved somewhere on his non-throwing hand. You can see the bandage in the post-sesh pic he took with his tattoo artist, Bang Bang.

But, the QB ain't ready to show off the work just yet ... and the tattoo shop tells us, "it's not our place to reveal tattoos." 

Still ... Newton getting ink is a big deal -- remember, ex-Panthers owner Jerry Richardson reportedly forbade the QB from ever getting a tat in order to keep up a wholesome image.

But, Cam shot that all down on social media Thursday ... writing, "Big lies! He never said I could not get a tattoo or grow my hair. I was free to do whatever I wanted to do!"

"I should have said something the first time this came out years ago but I can not let this fly this time!"

It all begs the question ... what DID Cam get for his first-ever tat?!?!

Stay tuned ... 

Nelly Super Bowl Halftime Outrage Is Stupid ... 'I'd Probably Do It'

1/17/2019 6:29 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

If you watch the NFL on Sundays ... but you're pissed off about Travis Scott doing the Super Bowl halftime show, you're a hypocrite, period. 

... so says rap legend Nelly

"I don't see the big deal on people upset about who's performing at halftime," the St. Louis legend told us at LAX. 

"Because what people have to understand ... if you're really against the NFL, the halftime show is not what you should be concerned about."

"If you're watching the NFL ... if you're supporting your team ... that's how [the owners] get paid. They don't get paid through the halftime show."

We asked if Colin Kaepernick had a point in his criticism of Travis Scott ... Nelly kept it real. 

"I wouldn't say that he has a point in the sense of ... I mean he has his own reasons but again ... if you watch the NFL every Sunday, you support your team, that's how they make their money."

"If you're trying to make a stand against the NFL, you should probably not watch it on Sunday or you should not go to the games ... the halftime show is irrelevant."

When asked if he would consider doing the SB Halftime show if he was asked, Nelly responded -- "Probably."

Gladys Knight 'Proud' to Perform Nat'l Anthem ... at Super Bowl

1/17/2019 6:51 AM PST
Breaking News

Gladys Knight says she's IN for the Super Bowl -- she's decided to perform the National Anthem before the big game ... and it's all for reasons bigger than football. 

"I am proud to use my voice to unite and represent our country in my hometown of Atlanta," the 74-year-old said. 

"The NFL recently announced their new social justice platform Inspire Change, and I am honored to be a part of its inaugural year." 

Knight's statement sounds similar to Travis Scott -- who agreed to perform during the Super Bowl halftime show after the league agreed to donate $500k to Van Jones' social justice organization. 

There has been backlash from some high-profile people -- including Common -- who says the NFL doesn't care about black people and he wishes artists would boycott the league. 

Common and others (including Jay-Z) have said they're extremely upset with the way the league has treated Colin Kaepernick and they want no part of the Super Bowl. 

Meanwhile, other stars like Nelly have said it's pointless to boycott NFL pre-game and halftime entertainment if you're just gonna watch the game anyway. 

As for Knight, she's following P!nk -- who sang the anthem in 2018. Luke Bryan had the honors in 2017. And, Lady Gaga in 2016. 

Doug Flutie Kyler Murray's Short ... But It Won't Matter In NFL!!!

1/17/2019 12:45 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Think Kyler Murray is too damn short to be a successful QB in the NFL?

YOU'RE WRONG ... so says fellow short guy Doug Flutie, who's telling TMZ Sports he's living proof that the vertically challenged can THRIVE in the pros! 

Flutie is 5'10" -- which is a good height among normies but short by NFL quarterback standards. 

Murray is also 5'10" -- and the knock on the Heisman Trophy winner is that he just doesn't have the height to make the tough throws over those gigantic NFL linemen. 

Enter Flutie, who's really going to bat for Murray ... explaining, "The biggest problem with a lot of short quarterbacks is they don't have the arm strength. [Murray] does. He can make all the throws."

Flutie also says the implementation of spread offenses throughout the NFL will help Murray find passing lanes ... and says it shouldn't be hard for him to replicate the success he had at Oklahoma.

"He can throw from all kinds of angles. We see that with [Patrick] Mahomes and you'll have the same thing with Kyler Murray."

Best news for Kyler?? If Flutie's wrong ... there's always baseball!!

Super Bowl Halftime Show Lil Jon, Jermaine Dupri Involved ... Says Jazze Pha

1/17/2019 12:20 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Two more huge names are helping out with the Super Bowl 53 halftime show -- Lil Jon and Jermaine Dupri -- this according to mega-producer Jazze Pha

Pha is a producing legend who's from ATL and is one of the most plugged-in people in town -- and when we saw him at LAX, he told us he had just come back from halftime show rehearsals. 

The big bombshell here ... Pha strongly suggests Lil Jon and J.D. are now a part of the show -- but he wasn't specific about what their roles will be. 

"I think Lil Jon and Jermaine Dupri and everybody gonna make it hot," Pha says ... "They gonna make it live. Maybe I let the cat outta the bag, I don't know!"

The issue ... there are huge stars calling for African-Americans to boycott the show -- including Common, who says the NFL doesn't support black people

In fact, Common said he wishes Travis Scott would pull out from the show over the way the league has treated Colin Kaepernick.

Now, with two gigantic hip-hop legends seemingly signing on -- ya gotta wonder what the reaction will be. 

Either way, Jazze says he was super impressed with what he saw at rehearsals and expects the show to blow people's minds! 

We'll see! 

Baker Mayfield Mocks Drunken Arrest ... During Fortnite Stream

1/16/2019 4:00 PM PST
Breaking News

Baker Mayfield's clearly moving on from a drunken arrest he called "the biggest mistake of my life" ... 'cause he joked about the whole incident on a Fortnite stream earlier this week.

The Browns superstar took to Twitch to show off his gaming skills ... and while he was running with his avatar, he said, "Hopefully I’m running faster than I was in Arkansas right now!"

Of course, Baker was arrested back in Arkansas in February 2017 ... where he was infamously blasted by a cop who caught him immediately after he tried to run from being questioned.

Baker apologized shortly after the incident, saying, "I made the biggest mistake of my life by putting myself in this situation."

"The shame, guilt, and embarrassment I have felt over the past few days and continue to feel is something I would never wish upon anybody."

Clearly, Bake's ready to joke about the whole thing now ... broadcasting his Twitch stream to thousands of followers.

Wonder if Lincoln Riley is laughing??

Ex-NFLer Tony Beckham Breaks Man's Face For Allegedly Masturbating Near Daughter's Window

1/16/2019 12:15 PM PST
Breaking News

Former NFL DB Tony Beckham -- a Titans 4th-round pick in 2002 -- beat the hell out of a man after he allegedly caught the guy masturbating outside his 15-year-old daughter's window.

Cops in Palm Beach County, Florida say Tony saw a man with his hands down his pants in the bushes next to his daughter's window Monday morning ... and went after him when he saw the guy making masturbating motions.

Police say Tony chased the guy down about 50 feet from his house ... and proceeded to smash the guy up bad -- breaking his face in a couple different places.

Cops arrested the man -- a 48-year-old named Geoffrey Cassidy (who claimed he was a transient) -- and booked him for Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition in the Presence of a Child.

If convicted on that count, Cassidy faces up to 15 years in prison.

Cassidy is still being held in Palm Beach County Jail on $1,500 bond.

Beckham played 5 seasons in the NFL from 2002 to 2007 ... logging 6 total starts and 1 career interception.

Travis Scott, Kaepernick Spoke BEFORE Super Bowl Deal was Signed ... But Travis Didn't Ask Permission

1/16/2019 10:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

10:30 AM PT -- We've now made sense of what happened between Colin and Travis, and sources connected with both sides agree the two men spoke, but the timeline and substance of the convo are critical.

Sources connected to Travis acknowledge, when TMZ broke the story on December 20 that Travis would perform at the Super Bowl, he had indeed made that decision. The contract, however, had not been signed.

Travis has a track record for charity work and donations -- and wanted to incorporate that into his deal -- and that's when he started thinking of some sort of donation the NFL might make. We're told Travis' people started negotiating a donation amount with the NFL and Travis was "willing to walk" if he didn't get what he wanted.

Before the contract was signed, sources tell us Travis reached out to Colin ... presumably to get him on board but not to ask for permission. We're told Colin was not supportive of Travis performing at the Super Bowl, and the 2 men disagreed. Multiple sources characterize the conversation as "cordial and not hostile."

The NFL contract, we're told, was only signed a few days ago ... AFTER the conversation between Colin and Travis. That contract includes a $500,000 donation to Van Jones' charity, Dream Corps.

One final thing ... a Travis source underscored, although he respects Colin, "Colin doesn't tell Travis what he can and can't do. That's Travis' decision."

Colin Kaepernick and his close circle of friends are strongly DENYING a report rapper Travis Scott "consulted" with the ex-NFL quarterback before agreeing to do the Super Bowl halftime show. 

The report claims Travis and Kap spoke over the phone -- and while they didn't exactly see eye to eye, there was a mutual understanding.

The report seemed to imply Kap was okay with Scott performing because the NFL and Scott agreed to donate $500k to a social justice organization. 

But now, Kap's crew is calling BS -- and the QB is putting his stamp of approval on the public denials. 

Kap's friend, Ebro Darden -- the famous HOT 97 radio host who works closely with Kap's girlfriend, Nessa -- tweeted, "Kap did not approve this bullshit! Get the f*ck outta here."

Kaepernick retweeted Ebro's statement -- and Nessa also weighed in saying, "FACTS @EBRO!!! THEY NEED TO STOP LYING."

In fact, the same day it was announced Big Boi from Outkast would also be performing at the Super Bowl, Nessa posted the urban dictionary definition of the word, "Sell out."

She added, "If you are with them, then you are definitely not with us."

Originally Published -- 6:15 AM PT

Virgil Abloh Off-White Fashion Show Gridiron Glamour

1/16/2019 9:23 AM PST
Breaking News

The F in NFL now stands for FASHION ... 'cause Wednesday morning, pro and college football team helmets were the hot accessories in Virgil Abloh's big runway show! 

Abloh is one of the HOTTEST names in the industry -- and his Fall/Winter 2019 show at Paris Fashion Week was one of the most anticipated events! 

Of course, people are talking about the unique clothing -- but the headwear is also getting some serious buzz. 

From the Kansas City Chiefs to the L.A. Chargers to the University of Texas Longhorns ... model after model hit the runway looking ready for a full-speed collision!!! Some even wore dark visors! 

Clemson got some love ... so did Iowa. The Colts. Even the Bengals were represented for some reason. 

So ... does this mean people will start walkin' down the street lookin' like Andrew Luck? Probably not.

But hey, if fanny packs are back in style .... anything's possible. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Rubs Patriots' Win In Haters' Faces

1/16/2019 5:49 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Senator Elizabeth Warren can't hear all the Patriots' haters ... 'cause she's too busy CELEBRATING YET ANOTHER TRIP TO THE AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME!!!

We got the biggest New England fan on the Hill out at Reagan Airport when she couldn't help but gloat over Tom Brady's EIGHTH straight trip to the conference championship game.

"Hey, the Pats win!! I know, what can I say?? Talent, talent, talent!!!"

As for all the haters -- the ones who say they're tired of seeing the Pats make it this far EVERY year -- Warren says she's too busy loving New England's success to hear them.

"Come on. Nobody's envious. Everybody loves the Patriots. At least that's what I heard!"

As for if the Pats will pull out the win over the Chiefs on Sunday and advance to their third straight Super Bowl ... Warren says book it right now!!!

"We're going all the way!!!"

Sorry, Mahomes.

MTV's Julia Rose She's One Helluva Super Bowl Snack ... Big Prediction Here Too!

1/16/2019 12:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

MTV star Julia Rose has got you covered for all your Super Bowl cravings ahead of the big game -- 'cause she's serving up all the good stuff on one irresistible platter ... herself.

The model turned reality TV star -- who appeared on MTV's "Are You the One?" -- did a smokin' hot shoot with Chris Applebaum ... where she's half covered in L.A. Rams gear, and half covered in an ice cream sundae. Weird pairing ... but we ain't complaining!

Julia's been featured on Sports Illustrated before, so it looks like she's getting back to her OG pastime in the modeling department. She's also making a bold prediction here about who'll be in the big game. 

The Rams are playing the Saints Sunday, and if they advance ... they'll play either the Chiefs or the Pats. But, in the meantime ... just enjoy this awesome pre-game show.

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