Antonio Brown filed a second grievance with the NFL to wear his preferred helmet on Monday, a matter that will reportedly be heard later this week.
Regardless of whether or not he’s allowed to wear the Schutt AiR Advantage, Brown won’t let the decision pull him away from Raiders team activities.
That’s what his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said on ESPN Wednesday morning.
“That’s correct,” Rosenhaus said. “…He is determined to play this year, and what we’re trying to do is get him in the safest equipment possible. He believes, and we believe that the helmet he has worn for nine years – he’s had unparalleled production throughout those nine years – that it’s imperative for us to continue with that helmet because that it is what has kept him safe.
"We understand these new rules. We hear on the testing and we’re not disputing it. That may be great for every other player, but this is something that has worked so well for him and we want to maintain that consistency and that safety.”
Brown’s camp will plead its case for a one-year grace period with the outdated helmet too old to be certified, one that recently failed a safety test. They could appeal a decision from an independent arbitrator if the initial ruling doesn’t go Brown’s way.
If everything keeps going against Brown, the receiver will capitulate and play with a certified helmet. He has recently worn a Schutt Vengeance Z10 LTD model that rates highly and is among the helmets certified by the NFL and NFLPA.
“We’ll exhaust that process but, if it doesn’t work out, so be it,” Rosenhaus said. “At least we can say we tried everything possible, and he’ll move forward and make it work with an approved helmet.”
If Brown sticks to that plan, that means we’ve mercifully reached the end of Antonio Brown’s training camp saga. His frostbitten feet have largely healed and the helmet situation will conclude, one way or another, without him leaving the Raiders protesting a helmet-related decision against him.
The focus will revert to football, where he’s one of the NFL’s best skill players and should give the Raiders dynamic play-making ability during the 2019 season.