Antonio Brown returns to Raiders; agent shuts down AB retirement talk

Antonio Brown returns to Raiders; agent shuts down AB retirement talk

NAPA – Antonio Brown walked from the Napa Valley Marriott to the Raiders' training camp field house midway through Tuesday’s practice, with agent Drew Rosenhaus and an associate in tow and “Hard Knocks” cameras on all sides.

He came back into view minutes later, rocking a black No. 84 jersey, and caught the tail end of practice from the sideline. He hadn’t been in Napa for nearly two weeks, getting treatment on feet frostbitten during a cryotherapy incident that still bother him.

Head coach Jon Gruden welcomed him back during a post-practice huddle, and then the team got back to the grind.

“He smiled and waved at everybody, but it wasn’t like a ‘hoo-rah’ moment,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “We’re just happy that he’s back and that we can start working on some stuff.”

He drove to Napa from the airport early Tuesday morning and was at the team hotel before practice. There was some uncertainty about when Brown would come back, but there never was a real doubt Brown eventually would return.

Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said a report that Brown was considering retirement over a prohibited helmet was not accurate.

Brown cares a great deal about wearing the now discontinued Schutt Air Advantage helmet he has worn in some model or another since high school, but he wasn’t going to quit after formally losing his grievance to wear a no-longer-certified helmet that is more than 10 years old.

“I don’t think there was ever any legitimacy to the retirement talk, or him leaving the team,” Rosenhaus said. “It was about getting healthy. The helmet wasn’t a focal point as much as the feet were. He had a major injury. This is not a typical injury for a football team to deal with, so he was off with an expert to get laser (treatment) for frostbite and a burn like that. It wasn’t his intent to leave the team for the period of time that he did. He has always had a good line of communication with the club. Actually the Raiders and the NFL are working closely to get the helmet issue resolved.”

There’s no timetable for Brown to return to practice, but his private foot treatment was completed to the point that he could return to Napa and re-join the team.

“It’s a process. We don’t make excuses,” Brown said. “I’m here today to get things on the up and up. I’m feeling a lot better. It has been a process, through all the adversity, but I’m still here standing so it’s an opportunity for me to do what I desire.”

[REALTED: AB tweets in search of finding helmet he wants to wear]

Brown wants to continue playing football, with proper equipment that he feels comfortable wearing. Brown’s camp has made progress on the helmet front, and he could have a solution soon. It isn’t resolved yet, but Brown was set on rejoining the team. He certainly wasn’t relinquishing the opportunity to earn the nearly $50 million on his three-year Raiders contract, which includes $30 million guarantees and roughly $15 million due in 2019.

“He’s ready to have a fantastic season, and we’ll do what it takes to work with the league and the Raiders and the NFLPA to get it resolved," Rosenhaus said. "All the talk about retirement and everything else, that’s not a consideration right now. He’s committed to the team and the season. Everyone can take solace in that. He will be playing this year, and he’ll be playing for the Raiders."

Raiders shut out of Pro Football Focus' top 50 NFL player rankings

Raiders shut out of Pro Football Focus' top 50 NFL player rankings

The Raiders challenged for the playoffs last season, but if the data-driven Pro Football Focus player rankings are to be believed, Las Vegas’ new NFL team may struggle to do that again.

No Raiders made PFF’s top 50, but nine players from their three AFC West rivals were ranked.

Five of those were from the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs — quarterback Patrick Mahomes at No. 2, defensive tackle Chris Jones at No. 16, tight end Travis Kelce at No. 19, wide receiver Tyreek Hill at No. 22 and offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz at No. 23.

Read more on Las Vegas Review-Journal

Raiders' iconic Al Davis Memorial Torch debuts at Allegiant Stadium

Raiders' iconic Al Davis Memorial Torch debuts at Allegiant Stadium

It’s an old tradition that will carry on in the Raiders’ new Las Vegas location.

The Al Davis Memorial Torch will continue to be lit in honor of the late long-time team owner. It was debuted on Wednesday through the massive retractable lanai doors in the backdrop at Allegiant Stadium:

It’s a more updated version of the original torch, but the message remains the same. According to, that vision is “the fire that burns brightest in the Raiders’ organization is the will to win.” That was a quote by the late Davis and before every home game, fans pay tribute to him with a flick of the flame.  

Former Raiders and celebrities have created the flame including Bay Area-native rapper MC Hammer, former Super Bowl-winning head coach John Madden, Marshawn Lynch and many, many more.

[RELATED: Raiders moving training facility from Napa to Nevada]

Current owner Mark Davis admitted he was sweating a little bit on the construction of the 65,000-foot, $2 billion stadium amid the July 31 deadline.

But for now, at least a part of Al Davis will be there. 

[RAIDERS TALK: Listen to the latest episode]