Antonio Brown is no longer fighting to wear the helmet he has always worn. The Raiders receiver said uncle on after losing a second grievance to wear the Schutt AiR Advantage, an outdated model that is essentially banned after recently failing a safety test.
“We’re going to move on,” Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said in an interview with SiriusXM NFL radio. “That door is closed.”
Brown certainly is disappointed in the independent arbitrator’s ruling and the resounding victory for the NFL and NFLPA, but comes out of the entire ordeal sporting a thousand-watt smile.
That’s because all this helmet drama has created a bidding war for his endorsement. Helmet companies are competing to build him a model designed to his specifications, and are willing to pay handsomely for that right.
“As a result of all the publicity accrued from our efforts to get him to wear that helmet, he has multiple offers on the table right now from various companies to custom-make a helmet for him and pay him quite a bit of money,” Rosenhaus said. “We have found, without getting into specifics, some very suitable alternatives. We’re very excited. Antonio will be wearing a helmet. He won’t be missing any time, and he’ll be getting paid a lot of money to do so. It’s sort of a happy ending, even though he won’t be able to wear the old helmet.”
Brown and Rosenhaus are excellent at turning an undesirable situation into something better, as they did by working a trade from Pittsburgh to the Raiders while securing a fat raise.
The receiver’s desire to wear his preferred helmet went on for a while, and though he didn’t win that battle, an endorsement deal’s a nice consolation prize.
And that should do it.
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Brown should just be focused on football at this point. His frostbitten feet have healed and his helmet fight is now over, with two weeks to practice and prep for the regular season opener against Denver.
“The helmet and the foot, all that is behind him now,” Rosenhaus said. “He’s entirely focused on football and is ready to have another prototype Antonio Brown season. He’s going to flourish with Jon Gruden and Derek Carr. I’m very excited for him moving forward.”