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John Elway Hulks Out at NFL Power Meeting ... Robert Kraft Lays Low

3/25/2019 7:46 AM PDT
Breaking News

The most powerful people in the NFL touched down in AZ over the weekend for the Annual League Meeting ... and while most of the owners and GMs strutted around Phoenix, Robert Kraft was unusually low key. 

Everyone from Jaguars owner Shad Khan to Denver Broncos general manager John Elway was spotted in Phoenix -- where the league's top guys meet every year to discuss rule changes and other NFL issues. 

Elway looked pretty jacked, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was scooting around after his foot surgery and Raiders owner Mark Davis was rockin' his usual white blazer with his patented hairdo. 

While Kraft was seen walking with his son, Jonathan, and NFL commish Roger Goodell, he didn't speak with the media and seemed to make an effort to lay low. 

Obviously, Kraft has a LOT going on right now -- he's due in court in Florida later this week to deal with his prostitution case where he's facing two counts of solicitation. 

Kraft broke his silence on the legal issue this weekend -- essentially admitting wrongdoing and apologizing for his actions. 

"I am truly sorry. I know I have hurt and disappointed my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard."

He's facing up to 1 year in jail if convicted -- but it's VERY unlikely he'll serve one minute behind bars. 

The hearing is set for Thursday. 

Gronk I'm Retiring, Guys ... Tom Brady Reacts

3/24/2019 4:18 PM PDT
Breaking News

4:14 PM PT -- Tom Brady has responded to Gronk's announcement with a heartfelt message. He posted a photo of the two of them on the field, and added a caption that read ... "What an honor and privilege to play with you these past nine years @gronk! You accomplished so much and our team was almost unbeatable when you were on the field! Your fun-loving, inspiring, and positive energy made an impact on everybody you came into contact with! Not just that, but for as great as a player you are, you are a better teammate and person. The NFL was a better place with you in it! But I have no doubt you will be a success in anything you do!!! Love you pal!"

New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski says he's finally hanging it up and retiring from football at age 29 ... this after months of speculation. 

The longtime tight end broke the news on Instagram Sunday with a lengthy caption attached to a shot of him holding the Lombardi Trophy. He wrote, "It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far. I will be retiring from the game of football today."

View this post on Instagram

It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far. I will be retiring from the game of football today. I am so grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick gave to me when drafting my silliness in 2010. My life experiences over the last 9 years have been amazing both on and off the field. The people I have meet, the relationships I have built, the championships I have been apart of, I just want to thank the whole New England Patriots organization for every opportunity I have been giving and learning the great values of life that I can apply to mine. Thank you to all of Pats Nation around the world for the incredible support since I have been apart of this 1st class organization. Thank you for everyone accepting who I am and the dedication I have put into my work to be the best player I could be. But now its time to move forward and move forward with a big smile knowing that the New England Patriots Organization, Pats Nation, and all my fans will be truly a big part of my heart for rest of my life. It was truly an incredible honor to play for such a great established organization and able to come in to continue and contribute to keep building success. To all my current and past teammates, thank you for making each team every year special to be apart of. I will truly miss you guys. Cheers to all who have been part of this journey, cheers to the past for the incredible memories, and a HUGE cheers to the uncertain of whats next.

A post shared by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk) on

He goes on to thank Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his head coach, Bill Belichick, for the chance they gave him when "drafting my silliness in 2010." Gronk continued to reflect on his time with the Pats' organization, saying ... "My life experiences over the last 9 years have been amazing both on and off the field. The people I have meet, the relationships I have built, the championships I have been apart of, I just want to thank the whole New England Patriots organization for every opportunity I have been giving and learning the great values of life that I can apply to mine."

Gronk then went on to thank Pats fans for accepting him for who he is, while adding that it's time to move on knowing Patriot Nation is a huge part of his makeup. He ended with one last thank-you to his teammates -- past and present -- by saying, "To all my current and past teammates, thank you for making each team every year special to be apart of. I will truly miss you guys. Cheers to all who have been part of this journey, cheers to the past for the incredible memories, and a HUGE cheers to the uncertain of whats next."

Rob is a 3-time Super Bowl champ with the Pats, a 5-time Pro Bowler and has made First-Team All-Pro 4 times. He's widely seen as a shoo-in to get into the NFL Hall of Fame one day as well.

Originally Published -- 3:10 PM PT

Kamaru Usman Todd Gurley?? He'd Whoop Colby Covington's Ass!!!

3/24/2019 12:40 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Colby Covington better watch his mouth around Todd Gurley ... 'cause Kamaru Usman tells TMZ Sports the NFL superstar would whoop his ass if they ever scrapped!!!

"Todd Gurley would maul him," Usman says ... "He would maul him. He'd maul him."

Of course, Kamaru's talking about this 'cause he says he saw the Rams RB get into a spat with Covington seconds before his championship fight with Tyron Woodley at UFC 235.

So, we had to ask ... who'd win if Gurley and Covington were NOT separated that night?!

His answer -- Gurley ... and he ain't just sayin' that 'cause he HATES Covington ...

"These running backs, they have low centers of gravity, big butts, strong legs. All they have to do is -- it's not going to take them long, once they learn the technique, they're throwing hammers."

"So, yeah, I think he could take him."

The tale of the tape IS interesting ... Gurley outweighs Covington by over 60 pounds and is two inches taller -- so, is Kamaru right??

Only one way to find out ... Dana White, make it happen!!!!!

Mohamed Hadid Tom Brady Can Be Olympic Skiier ... 'Amazing Form!!'

3/24/2019 12:15 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

As if 6 Super Bowl rings ain't enough ... Tom Brady has what it takes to compete for ANOTHER set of rings if he wants ... 'cause Mohamed Hadid says he's got Olympic skiing talent!!

TB12 has been hittin' the slopes all week ... freaking Pats Nation out while he posts videos shreddin' through the snow (Hadid thinks he was going around 70 miles per hour).

Naturally, we had to find out how Brady's ski skills compare to the pros ... so we asked Bella and Gigi's dad -- an Olympian for Jordan in 1992 -- if he thought the QB could have been good enough to rep the USA in the Games.

"Oh, for sure ... he has amazing form," Hadid says ... adding Brady should KEEP skiing, despite how scared fans get watching their superstar fly down the slopes.

Hadid says it's actually really dangerous to do what Brady's doing ... but can't emphasize enough how solid he looks ... so, rest easy, New England??

Robert Kraft I'm Sorry, I Would Never Disrespect Women ... My Late Wife Taught Me That

3/23/2019 10:42 AM PDT
Breaking News

Robert Kraft is finally speaking out about getting caught in the South Florida prostitution sting ... and he's apologizing to his friends, to Patriots fans and to all women.

Kraft says, "In deference to the judicial process, I have remained silent these past several weeks. To correct some of the misinformation surrounding this matter, my attorney made his first public comments on Friday night. I would like to use this opportunity to say something that I have wanted to say for four weeks.

"I am truly sorry. I know I have hurt and disappointed my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard."

His statement continues, "Throughout my life, I have always tried to do the right thing. The last thing I would ever want to do is disrespect another human being. I have extraordinary respect for women; my morals and my soul were shaped by the most wonderful woman, the love of my life, who I was blessed to have as my partner for 50 years."

TMZ Sports broke the story ... Kraft's legal team, along with 14 other defendants, filed for a protective order earlier this week which would prevent all evidence in the case -- especially the surveillance video from inside the Orchids of Asia spa -- from going public. Kraft's lead attorney, William Burck, insists that video, recorded on cameras set up by police, was illegally obtained.

Burck told the NY Post, "We’ve looked at the law around the warrant for the video surveillance inside the spa, and we think it is a violation of the fourth amendment. We also believe the traffic stop [made by police as the men left the spa] was illegal and a violation of the constitution."

As we first reported, Palm Beach County prosecutors have refused to sign off on the protection order to keep the video from going public -- despite police insisting they are concerned about victims of human trafficking. 

Burck also addressed the alleged "trafficking," calling out law enforcement in Palm Beach and Martin Counties. He says they "have said this is a human trafficking case, but have produced no evidence [to corroborate that]. They have falsely connected Robert Kraft and other men to human trafficking. Now they should correct the record. I have asked that the record be corrected and there’s been no response."

Kraft and his legal team have not accepted a plea deal offer ... which would require him to admit he would have been found guilty if the case went to trial.

Kraft added in his statement, "As I move forward, I hope to continue to use the platform with which I have been blessed to help others and to try to make a difference. I expect to be judged not by my words, but by my actions ... I hope to regain your confidence and respect."

Jets' Jamison Crowder I'm Going To Have A Huge Year ... 'Cause Of Le'Veon Bell!!!

3/23/2019 12:05 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Le'Veon Bell is going to help Jamison Crowder have a MONSTER season ... so says the wide receiver himself, who tells TMZ Sports he's going to be open A LOT 'cause of the RB.

"He's going to definitely draw a lot of attention," Crowder says ... "He helps open it up for guys like myself."

Of course, New York went crazy in free agency this month ... signing a bunch of good players to huge-money deals, including Jamison and Le'Veon.

But, Crowder seems most excited for the Bell deal ... telling us, Le'Veon is so good out of the backfield -- there's going to be A LOT of space for him to work in the secondary now.

"I'm just excited to play alongside a guy like Le'Veon Bell."

Crowder ain't kiddin' ... Le'Veon's been a BEAST in the passing game -- and did help open things up for guys like Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster when he last suited up for Pittsburgh.

Jamison's takin' note ... and is predicting not only a big season for himself -- but others in the receiving corps too!!!

By the way, Crowder -- who's been working out at his old school, Duke, this offseason -- is running a camp next month for a VERY good cause, and he told us all about why.

Chris Johnson Launches Supplement Biz ... Wanna Run Like Me?!

3/22/2019 3:08 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

You'll never run as fast as Chris Johnson ... but you can take what he takes before working out, 'cause the ex-NFL superstar is launching his own supplement line.

TMZ Sports talked to CJ2K -- who retired from football after the 2017 season -- about getting into the MULTI-BILLION dollar supplement industry ... a biz he's dreamed of being in since he was a teenager.

"When I first got to college, I was 150 pounds and I was a smaller guy," Johnson says.

"It was always something I was trying to, some type of supplement or something I was trying to get so I could gain weight and get bigger like the rest of the guys."

"So, I was like, one day I'm gonna come out with my own supplement."

Yeah, Chris ... the guy who ran a 4.24-second, 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine and went on to become a 3-time Pro Bowler who made 1st team All-Pro, won Offensive Player of the Year in 2009, and rushed for over 2,000 yards in a single season (he's 1 of only 7 guys to accomplish that feat) -- wasn't always a physical specimen.

Johnson Performance Supplements launches April 1 ... and Chris says the brand will feature a bunch of dope products including a pre-workout shake.

It's not only about working out ... Chris says he's also got products that have helped him with his memory.

So, even if you don't run a blazing 4.24 ... ya might be less forgetful.

Terrell Owens Say Cheeks!!! Snaps Pics For Mystery Beach Babe in Thong

3/22/2019 11:30 AM PDT
Breaking News

Terrell Owens has a new, MUCH BETTER gig in retirement life -- personal photog for an insanely hot bikini-clad woman at the beach ... and TMZ Sports has the pics!!

The 45-year-old Hall of Fame receiver hit up the beach in Miami on Thursday ... lounging around with the mystery woman and catching some rays, laughing and taking pics on his phone.

We haven't been able to ID the beach babe yet ... but we're working on it.

While TO doesn't budge from his spot (why would he??) ... the mystery lady doesn't hesitate takin' a dip in the water to cool off. We take it he was snappin' pics for her the whole time.

Owens has proven he's still in incredible shape and could probably make a return to pro football if he really wanted to ... but after looking at these pics -- WHY WOULD HE!?!?!

Bill Belichick Hot Date In WeHo with Girlfriend ... We're On to Craig's!!!

3/22/2019 8:16 AM PDT

Bill Belichick ditched his hoodie for a blazer and took his girlfriend out on the town in L.A. on Thursday ... and TMZ Sports has the vid!!

The Pats head coach and longtime GF Linda Holliday hit up Craig's in West Hollywood ... and in rare form, the dude was grinning from ear to ear!!

BB's been busy lately ... bouncing around from the combine and pro days to check out all the potential future Patriots players prepping for the NFL Draft ... but Bill's always got time for his lady.

The couple just got back from a romantic beach vacay filled with bikini pics, golf, card games and ice cream last week.

Of course, we had to ask Bill if he's trippin' over Tom Brady's skiing videos (TB's goin' really fast) ... but if you've ever watched a Belichick interview, ya know how that went.

Cam Newton Gives Up Sex ... To Be A Better QB!!!

3/22/2019 6:43 AM PDT
Breaking News

Cam Newton says giving up sex will make him a better QB ... so the Carolina Panthers superstar is done with it!!!

For real!!!

Newton went on "The Late Late Show With James Corden" and -- in the process of explaining why he's going vegan -- he dropped a bomb saying he's done banging!!

"I hope this is an adult crowd, it looks like it is," Newton says ... "No climax."

So, why?!?! 

Cam says it's all part of a master plan to have a bounce-back season after a disappointing 2018.

The QB tells Corden he's taking on a different challenge every month -- it started with no gambling in January, no meat in February and now no sex OR WiFi in March -- in order to be mentally tougher.

"It makes my mind stronger," Cam explains ... "I feel like if I go back and I say I did those things, I'm mentally stronger."

The good news for Newton (and his GF)? He says the no-sex rule plan -- for now -- is only in place for one more week.

Good luck!!!

Prosecutors to Robert Kraft We Won't Help Keep Spa Vid Private ... The Question is Why???

3/21/2019 12:37 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Robert Kraft's bid to make sure his prostitution sting video doesn't see the light of day might be a little more difficult ... because prosecutors are refusing to play ball.

Sources familiar with the case tell TMZ ... the State's Attorney's Office in Palm Beach County declined to join in on the motion Kraft and 14 other suspects filed Wednesday in Florida ... seeking to prevent the release of any evidence, including video footage from inside the Orchids of Asia spa.

This is a big deal because if prosecutors were on board with the motion to protect the evidence, it would be much more likely the judge would sign off on it. However, prosecutors opted to let Kraft and the other alleged Johns fly solo with their motion, so it's unclear if they'll get their wish.

This begs the question -- why wouldn't the State's Attorney want to cooperate in the effort to keep evidence under wraps?? Especially considering it's an open investigation where police have, very publicly, claimed to be concerned about alleged victims.

We put that question to the State's Attorney's Office, and got a "no comment."

As we reported ... Kraft and the other suspects in the sting were offered a plea deal. It would require Kraft to complete a course about prostitution, 100 hours of community service and submit to an STD test, while also admitting he'd be found guilty if it went to trial. In exchange, the charges would be dropped.

It's pretty clear to us ... the deal's a non-starter for Kraft because it would be just like being convicted -- at least under the offered terms. It seems prosecutors want leverage over Kraft in negotiating a plea deal ... and the video is their weapon.

Dallas Cowboys' Rico Gathers Cuts Deal In Weed Case ... Avoids Jail Time

3/21/2019 11:14 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Dallas Cowboys tight end Rico Gathers cut a deal in his weed possession case and won't face jail time ... TMZ Sports has learned.

The 25-year-old was arrested back in August in Frisco, Texas just after Cowboys' training camp ... when cops say they found him with less than 2 ounces of weed.

Gathers was charged with possession of marijuana ... but on Thursday, he struck a deal with prosecutors and will avoid time behind bars for the incident.

Court officials tell us Gathers had his charge reduced from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class C misdemeanor in exchange for a guilty plea.

Rico's punishment? He has to keep his nose clean for the next 90 days ... and, if he does, the conviction will be wiped off his record.

Rico also had to pay fines and court costs.

It's good news for the young tight end ... his role on the Cowboys is in limbo after Dallas brought back veteran Jason Witten this offseason.

Gathers -- a former basketball star at Baylor -- started 4 games for the Cowboys at tight end last season.

Johnny Manziel's Wife Wipes QB From Social Media ... Broken Up?!

3/21/2019 11:17 AM PDT

Johnny Manziel's wife, Bre Tiesi, has DELETED all traces of the QB from her Instagram page -- and removed "Manziel" from her last name ... and all signs point to a breakup. 

Unclear what triggered the move -- we're working on the story right now. 

Bre just came back from a girls' trip to Bali while Johnny has been working on getting his football career back on track by signing with a team in the AAF league. 

Obviously, SOMETHING happened ... we're trying to figure out what. 

Bre and Johnny had been going strong for years ... the two hooked up back in 2016 -- and it only took about a year for Johnny to ask her to marry him.

In fact, Manziel was so head over heels for Bre -- he gave her all the credit for pulling him out of his downward spiral that started with him being cut by the Browns after the 2015 season.

"When you find a girl as amazing as I did that saved me from where I was in my life, you absolutely put a ring on it."

But now, it seems the relationship could be over. 

It's just another rough time for the embattled QB ... remember, it was just a few weeks ago when he was cut from the entire Canadian Football League for violating the terms of his contract.

Things had started looking up for Johnny, though ... he just signed on with the Memphis Express in the AAF and could get some playing time.

For her part, Bre's been in Bali the last few days -- clearly trying to booty shake the pain of a breakup away.

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