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Joe Thomas Mayfield's Better Than Darnold ... Browns Can Beat Anyone

11/14/2018 12:10 AM PST

Baker Mayfield is hot ... Sam Darnold is not ... that's according to a future Hall of Famer who says the Browns nailed the #1 pick by drafting Mayfield, and punting on big Sam.

The man destined to end up in Canton is Browns legend Joe Thomas -- an all-world OL star for 11 seasons -- who made 10 Pro Bowls and 1st team All-Pro 6 times.

Yeah ... guy was amazing.

So, should the Browns have taken Darnold -- widely regarded as the best QB prospect -- or did they grab the right guy drafting Baker with the 1st pick?

"They absolutely did. I think for Sam, if he wouldn't had that really good game on national TV against the Lions early on in the season, people would be talking about him being a bust, because he really hasn't played well since then."

In other words, Thomas really believes the Browns have FINALLY found their franchise QB (he blocked for an incredible 21 signal callers during his career in Cleveland). 

"For me, the future is really bright. Baker is playing really well and he's already exceeding my expectations."

It's been a roller coaster ride of a season for the 3-6-1 Browns (they recently fired head coach Hue Jackson) ... but still, Joe's feelin' super optimistic -- especially with the way B.M. lit it up on Sunday.

"If he can continue to play like that, there's no game on this schedule the Browns can't win."

Le'Veon Bell Doesn't Report, Out For Season ... Forfeits $14.5 Million

11/13/2018 1:00 PM PST
Breaking News

Le'Veon Bell ain't playing for the Steelers this year ... and maybe never again -- 'cause the All-Pro RB just missed the deadline to report to the team.

Bell -- who's been holding out since the offseason in search of a new mega-deal with Pittsburgh -- had until 1 PM PT to sign his franchise tag.

But ... the deadline came and went with no Bell to be found.

As we previously reported ... Bell's been tearin' it up on jet skis and in nightclubs during his time away from the squad -- but most, including the team's owner, expected him to be back with the team today.

Bell, though, decided against it ... and will now forfeit ALL of the $14.5 MILLION the Steelers were set to pay him this season.

It's not like Pitt's exactly crying over the move ... James Conner's been killin' it in Bell's stead -- and teammates have ripped the RB for his holdout throughout the past few months.

In fact, even coach Mike Tomlin threw some shade Bell's way Tuesday ... saying if this so happens to be the last time he ever coaches Bell, "So be it."

Lorde Says Kanye & Cudi Stole Stage ... But Set Designer Shuts Lorde Down

11/13/2018 7:19 AM PST
Exclusive Details

7:15 AM PT -- Es just revealed she first debuted the floating box for the English National Opera in 2007 in a pic posted to Instagram. Clearly, the first time the design was used ... and disabling Lorde's claim in an interview that she came up with the concept on her own ... it was always Devlin's. 

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CARMEN by Georges Bizet , English National Opera 2007

A post shared by Es Devlin (@esdevlin) on

11/13 8:55 PM PT -- Turns out the set designer, Es Devlin, has worked with Kanye since 2005. She's helped him design sets for MASSIVE tours including Touch The Sky, Glow in the Dark, Watch the Throne, YEEZUS and Saint Pablo.

What's more ... it's puzzling Lorde tried making the alleged "theft" a gender issue, Devlin is female. Devlin designed Kanye's floating stage for Saint Pablo in 2016. Just one year later, Lorde hired her to design the suspended box look for her Coachella show and then Lorde copied the concept, making it float for her tour ... ironic.

Our Kanye sources say he's never seen a Lorde show and would never think to copy her. There are also striking similarities between other Kanye tour looks, and what Lorde recently did on tour.

6:28 PM PT -- Kanye just announced he will NOT be releasing his "Yandhi" album on Nov. 23 as he'd previously told us, and the decision seems to be tied to his performance with Cudi. In a tweet, Ye says ... "It felt so good being on the stage last night with my brother Cudi. After performing again, I realize the new album I’ve been working on isn’t ready yet. I’ll announce the release date once it’s done. Thank you for understanding." If that means more collabs with KC ... we're not mad.

Lorde is calling out Kid Cudi and Kanye West for allegedly stealing her idea to perform in a floating glass box -- something she did BEFORE Cudi and Ye.

The "Green Light" singer posted photos on her Instagram story Monday, displaying her floating glass box stage design along with the one KC and KW used Sunday night during their Camp Flog Gnaw performance in L.A. The 2 are almost identical. 

She captioned one of her pics with clear disapproval, saying ... "I'm proud of the work I do and it's flattering when other artists feel inspired by it, to the extent that they choose to try it on themselves." She continues ... "But don't steal -- not from women or anyone else -- not in 2018 or ever."

Lorde put dancers in her floating box, and even hopped in there herself during her 2017 international "Melodrama" tour. She also used the stage prop during her 2017 Coachella performance.

You may recall ... Kanye was the first big artist to use a floating platform stage during a concert, which was a highlight of the "Saint Pablo Tour" of 2016.  It's not the same as Lorde's, but, one could argue, Kanye is the OG of suspended stages.

Originally Published -- 6:34 PM PST   

Juan Gabriel Cálmense, Dad's Definitely Not Alive ... Says His Manager Son

11/12/2018 12:46 PM PST

If you were one of the people who thought "No puede ser" after a rumor surfaced that Juan Gabriel is not actually dead ... congrats, you were 100% right.

One of Juan's sons, Ivan Aguilera, who actually served as his dad's manager for the last 8 years of Juan's life, tells us the claim -- made by a man named Joaquin Munoz that Juan faked his death and is alive and well -- is complete BS. Ivan tells us squarely ... his dad is deceased.

He held his father's cremated remains at a memorial service back in 2016.

Munoz claimed to be Juan's ex-manager and told a Mexican news outlet last week the Latin singer was alive at home and had faked his sudden death. That story was picked up by other outlets ... and, suddenly, the buzz was Juan was going to surface by the end of 2018.

Juan's former attorney and rep for his estate, Guillermo Pous, backs Ivan's account ... telling us Munoz never managed Juan. He was just a pal.

Pous thinks Munoz is only peddling this conspiracy theory to sell a new book. Needless to say, Juan's family is pissed, and Pous says they're considering legal action.

FWIW, we obtained Juan Gabriel's death certificate back in 2016. Juan's official cause of death was arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

So, sorry Juan Gabriel fans ... he will NOT be in the studio recording a Tupac collab anytime soon. 

Tekashi 6ix9ine Shades Cardi B Hires Sisters Suing Her for Nicki Minaj Music Video

11/12/2018 1:00 AM PST

Tekashi69's sending a shady message to Cardi B ... by hiring the 2 strip club bartenders who are gearing up to sue her.

Record label sources say he flew in Jade and Baddie Gi to appear in his music video with Nicki Minaj and Kanye West.

TMZ broke the story ... Cardi was arrested last month and charged with 2 crimes for allegedly ordering an attack on the 2 bartender sisters. Cardi had a longstanding beef with Jade because she thought Jade slept with Offset. The sisters were hurt so badly they were hospitalized. They're getting ready to sue Cardi, with the help of mega-lawyer Joe Tacopina.

Fast forward to this week ... when Jade and Baddie made themselves at home after arriving in Tinseltown ... hitting up Louis Vuitton in Beverly Hills, with Tekashi leading the way. They shut down the luxury joint as a throng of fans and paps desperately trying to get an up-close look.

Our sources say the sisters were on set of the video shoot when gunfire erupted Thursday night at a Bev Hills mansion ... bringing production to a screeching halt. We're told plans remain in place for the sisters to be part of the music vid, if it ever gets off the ground.

As we reported ... approximately 8 shots were fired and no one was hit. 

Tekashi 6ix9ine Sentencing Judge In Sex Case ... Don't Blame Me For Giving Him Probation

11/11/2018 12:11 PM PST

Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Felicia Mennin feels her decision to sentence Tekashi69 to probation instead of prison may have been a mistake, but it's not on her shoulders.

Tekashi violated the terms of his plea deal in his child sex case twice by getting arrested for alleged assaults in Houston and Brooklyn, so he could have been sent to prison for years, but the judge didn't give him a single day.    

Fact is ... prosecutors wanted to send the rapper to prison for 1 to 3 years – but Judge Mennin favored 4 years probation and even downplaying Tekashi’s arrest in Houston -- which she said may have involved "push back against an amateur paparazzi."

Judge Mennin has now pushed the blame to the presiding judge, prosecutors and defense attorneys for cutting the original plea deal.

Mennin's spokesperson, Lucian Chalfen, tells TMZ…"Although Judge Mennin was the sentencing judge, the long-standing plea agreement was agreed to by the presiding judge at the time, and the other parties involved."                                         

As we reported, hours after the sentence, a member of Tekashi's crew got shot after a melee at an NYC restaurant.

Last week, Tekashi and his crew got into a nasty confrontation with Slim 400 and his posse in LA. ... the rapper had to be held back.

And just last Friday, 8 shots were fired during a Tekashi/Kanye/Nicki Minaj video shoot at a Beverly Hills mansion.  

Pusha T I Didn't Approve 'F**k Drake' Visual It Was the Corny Tech Guy!

11/11/2018 11:22 AM PST

Pusha T appeared to be trolling his rap rival when a "F**K DRAKE" graphic showed up during his show at Camp Flog Gnaw ... but PT says kill the messenger, figuratively speaking.

Push was performing at Tyler, the Creator's music fest Saturday in L.A. when the huge white flashing sign popped up in the background. The 'Daytona' MC didn't acknowledge it right away, but when the crowd started chanting "F**k Drake," he admitted he heard them.

He didn't tell the crowd to cut it out but rather went on with the show as if nothing had happened. He later addressed the presumed shot at Drizzy though, saying that a tech guy had screwed with his screens and that dissing someone with a graphic isn't his style.

Considering the beef is all but dead, it was probably wise of Push to distance himself from the visual.

Eli Manning Wants To Stay With NY Giants ... Archie Manning Says

11/9/2018 12:20 AM PST

As tough as it may be, Eli Manning NEVER wants to play for another team besides the New York Giants ... his dad Archie Manning tells TMZ Sports.

"I know he doesn't want to," Archie told us at LAX ... "Eli's theory is kinda, 'Go win a game.' So, that's kinda mine too. Hopefully, they can go win a game and win another game."

The Giants have been struggling this season -- and last season -- they're 4-20 in their last 24 games and even NFL legends like Terrell Owens have called for the org. to bench Eli and move on. 

But, Archie's still optimistic -- "I think they can win some games and get going in a good direction."

We asked Archie if people should be pointing the finger at Eli ... 

"A lot of people [are] on Eli and he's the quarterback and that's kinda the way it works."

And, how long does Archie think 37-year-old Eli will play in the NFL?

"Eli, I always said a quarterback north of 35 can play, if he's healthy, as long as his team's good. Last couple of years we haven't been that good, so hopefully, they can turn that around second half of the season."

Our guy also asked ... if the Giants can't turn things around, what's your advice to Eli?

"I'm sticking with Eli. Go win a game and don't look beyond that." He's hanging tough and we'll see what happens."

The Giants take on the 49ers on Monday night. Archie will definitely be watching. 

"I do think they can win some games and get going in a good direction."

'All the Boys' Star Noah Centineo Team Went into Damage Control Over Busy's Ghosting Story

11/8/2018 12:43 PM PST

Hollywood heartthrob Noah Centineo got called out by Busy Philipps on TV for ghosting her pal, which made his team go into overdrive trying to protect his rep ... TMZ has learned.

Noah and Busy both appeared on James Corden's 'Late Late Show' Wednesday and, at one point, she revealed the Netflix stud had completely stopped talking to a friend of hers, whom he'd apparently been chatting up. It was slightly awkward, but mostly light-hearted.

As it turns out ... we're told the actual convo ran longer than the clip that aired, and that wasn't by chance. Sources close to the situation tell us Noah's team were worried about the segment, and asked Corden's people to heavily edit it down.

We're told Busy went into detail about how Noah met one of her writers on a dating app, and dragged him for ghosting her. Our sources say Noah's team feared the story would ruin his boy-next-door image. 

You can tell 'Late Late Show' execs obliged -- there's an obvious edit at about 56 seconds, plus they didn't post it on their YouTube channel ... as they usually do with noteworthy segments.

Noah blew up this year after starring in Netflix's rom-com, "To All the Boys I've Loved Before."

Plus, he was Camila Cabello's love interest in the "Havana" music vid, and he's in People's new Sexiest Man Alive issue.

Ariana's Ex-BF Nathan Sykes She Left Me Out of 'thank u, next' ... That's AWESOME!!!

11/8/2018 12:50 AM PST

One of Ariana Grande's famous exes is beyond thrilled he didn't make the cut for her new hit song about past romances ... so much so, he couldn't contain his sense of relief. 

We got Nathan Sykes of The Wanted Wednesday at LAX, where we asked how he felt about not being named in Ari's song "thank u, next" ... which name-checks the likes of Big Sean, Ricky Alvarez, Mac Miller and, of course, Pete Davidson.

Nathan, who dated Ariana briefly in 2013, hasn't heard the track yet ... but after we described it, he breathed a genuine sigh of relief. Seriously, you have to see his reaction -- pure joy.

The song's basically about what AG's learned from each of her ex-BFs. So, we had to ask Nathan what HE learned from her.

We're not saying he shaded her -- he actually showed Ariana a lot of love here -- but let's just say there was a looong pause after our question.

As for her being single now? Nate's good.

Scott Stapp I Didn't Try To Kill Myself!!! But, T.I. DID Help Save Me

11/8/2018 12:30 AM PST

Scott Stapp admits he might not be alive today if it wasn't for T.I. being in the right place at the right time, but denies the rapper's claim he was suicidal. 

We got the ex-Creed frontman Wednesday at LAX and asked about T.I.'s long-held claim he intervened in Scott's 2006 alleged suicide attempt in Miami. Scott tells us T.I.'s version of the story isn't entirely accurate. 

Check out the clip ... Scott says he'd had an accident when T.I. found him bleeding out on a balcony at the famed Delano Hotel, but says it was NOT an attempt to take his life.

T.I.'s memory of the event has become music folklore, but Scott doesn't seem to mind. In fact, he gushed about how the ATL rapper really was a guardian angel of sorts.  

For the record, in recent years, Scott's described the incident as a fall from his hotel room window while he was on a drug binge. 

Bottom line ... Scott has nothing but love for T.I. and sent him a heartfelt message, via our photog.

LaMelo Ball Can Be NBA's Top Pick After H.S. Stint ... Says Spire Coach

11/7/2018 12:10 AM PST

With the first overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft ... the Cleveland Cavaliers select -- LaMelo Ball?!?!

Don't laugh ... Ball's new high school coach tells TMZ Sports that could EASILY happen now that Melo's announced he'll play at Spire Prep Academy this season.

"In my opinion, LaMelo Ball can be the No. 1 pick in a year or two going to the Cleveland Cavaliers," Jermaine Jackson says.

"Ain't no question about it."

Jermaine would know ... dude played several years in the Association from 1999 to 2006 and has been around the game in some capacity ever since -- and he says Melo is just THAT talented.

"He's known as that all over the world" J.J. says ... "He has a talent that, some of it just can't be taught."

Of course ... getting LaMelo to that point means Jermaine will have to navigate around LaVar Ball -- who's been known to meddle in Melo's teams.

But, Jermaine tells us he's off to a great start with the Big Baller ... and says he foresees no issues with the BBB founder.

"If LaVar's meddling in our team, we'll have conversations and we'll talk. And, I'm about what's right. It's not about who's right. It's about what's right."

Jermaine says Melo arrives in Ohio to join the team Friday and could see some run in the team's game in Philadelphia on Saturday.

Sooo -- getcha popcorn ready ... and bring enough for the NBA scouts.

The O'Jays to Prez Trump For the Love of RiRi ... Here's a Song You Can Use at Rallies!!

11/6/2018 10:12 AM PST

The O'Jays are reaching out to President Trump -- perhaps repairing their fractured relationship -- and giving him permission to use ONE of their songs at his rallies. Yes, it's a total troll.

We got Eddie Levert and Walter Williams -- OG members of the soul group -- out in NYC and asked what they made of Rihanna ripping into Trump for playing "Don't Stop the Music" at a recent rally. She later sent him a cease and desist letter.

Eddie and Walter get RiRi's outrage ... having already fired off their own warnings to Trump in 2016 for using "For the Love of Money" -- the old 'Apprentice' theme -- during his campaign. They did the same for their hit, "Love Train," and you gotta hear them describe what he wanted to do with it! 

That's all water under the bridge, though, because Ed and Walt tell us they're willing to let him crank up their newest track, "Above the Law," whenever he wants ... even during his rousing rallies.

If he only heard the title, we suspect POTUS might be all in for using the song. However, we're guaranteeing he'll pass ... IF he listens to the lyrics or watches the music video.

Hint: It's not exactly 45-friendly.

Trump and The O'Jays -- they've come a loooong way since "The Apprentice." 

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