NFL rumors: Antonio Brown files second grievance with NFL over helmet issue

NFL rumors: Antonio Brown files second grievance with NFL over helmet issue

Antonio Brown really, really wants to wear the helmet he's worn most of his athletic life, and isn't taking no for an answer. 

The superstar Raiders receiver has filed a second grievance against the ruling refusing his request to wear the Schutt Air Advantage helmet which has been discontinued and has not been certified by the NOCSAE, according to Pro Football Talk. The independent body that regulates athletic safety does don't certify helmets more than 10 years old for use. 

AB’s initial grievance was denied by an independent arbitrator assigned by the NFL and NFLPA on Aug. 12. He thought he found a loophole. His representatives believed he could wear his preferred helmet if he found one less than 10 years old and could get it re-conditioned. Brown's camp crowd-sourced the effort and acquired several helmets that fit that description. 

They submitted a 2011 model, which the NFL and NFLPA mandated be re-tested by an Ottowa-based laboratory. The helmet failed that test. That failure essentially banned the Schutt Air Advantage from use, with the steadfast belief that other models -- Brown also had helmets from 2010 and 2014, per NFL Network -- would also fail tests. The Schutt Air Advantage was not on the NFL/NFLPA list of prohibited helmets sent out in April because it was never tested due to it being outdated. The failed test of the 2011 model essentially banned that helmet from use. 

Brown was informed of the Air Advantage's failed test, and he expressed displeasure with that news on social media using inappropriate terms. After proving healthy enough to join the Raiders for pregame warmups before Thursday's exhibition at Arizona and two Saturday walk-through practices, which are conducted without helmets, he left the Raiders training camp facility and did not practice Sunday with his team. 

That prompted Raiders general manager Mike Mayock to release a statement Sunday, with a clear message that Brown needs to decide whether he is “all-in or all-out." Brown rejoined the team Monday morning for a team meeting as training camp broke, but his helmet fight was far from over. 

[RELATED: Top Raiders storylines outside of AB drama]

This grievance, according to PFT, argues that Brown wasn't given a one-year grace period that others received to wear outdated helmets, or those no longer certified. Because the Schutt Air Advantage wasn't previously banned, Brown could argue he never used the grace period. According to NFLN, Brown's grievance could be heard soon.

It's ultimately uncertain if Brown will practice with the Raiders on Tuesday, considering his helmet issue remains up in the air. He has a strong allegiance to the helmet, claiming it helps his vision.  

NFL draft 2020: First round the best place Raiders to fill cornerback need

NFL draft 2020: First round the best place Raiders to fill cornerback need

The Raiders entered this offseason hoping to secure the services of a shutdown cornerback. They haven’t done that yet, though it wasn’t for lack of effort.

They backed up the Brinks truck for Byron Jones and offered Chris Jones Jr. a decent sum. They poked around on a Darius Slay trade. They didn’t get any of those guys.

They agreed on terms with Eli Apple as an alternate plan, but even that deal fell apart. They signed Damarious Randall, but the initial expectation is that he’ll play free safety.

So Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock enter the NFL draft looking to satisfy a pressing need that exists despite their affinity for 2019 fourth-rounder Isaiah Johnson.

They have two first-round picks to acquire a cornerback they could plug in and play outside opposite Trayvon Mullen, at Nos. 12 and 19. There’s a belief among NFL draft experts that their aren’t many instant impact cornerbacks available, so it may take a high pick to get one.

Ohio State’s Jeff Okudah falls decisively into that category, but there’s no way in holy heck he lasts until the Raiders pick. The Raiders could possibly trade up to get him – our Josh Schrock thinks the Raiders should do that – but it would take significant capital to get high enough and might not be worth the expense.

So let’s eliminate Okudah as an option and focus on players the Raiders could realistically get where they’re currently slotted:

No. 12 overall

C.J. Henderson, Florida (6 feet, 204 pounds): The former Gator is probably the only cornerback considered worthy of the 12th pick if Okudah’s gone as expected. He’s certainly a step above every other draft prospect, with the size, length and athleticism to be a respected NFL cornerback. He challenges routes and is a competitive sort, which the Raiders would like. He has experience playing both man and zone but is a top tier press-man prospect, and that fits what the Raiders are looking for. The rare knocks, per draft analysts, are that he’s not a great run defender, not a sure tackler and he doesn’t have elite ball skills, but his work ethic suggests he could develop in those areas.

[RELATED: Why Raiders trading up for Jeff Okudah is perfect move]

No. 19 overall

Trevon Diggs, Alabama (6-foot-1, 205 pounds): The former member of the Crimson Tide secondary has elite size, length and strength for the position. Stefon Diggs’ younger brother has competitive drive to spare and has experience in a press-man scheme. He got better with technique and discipline, but still has room to grow. He already has excellent ball skills, analysts say, with an ability to jump routes an defend passes.

Jaylon Johnson, Utah (6 feet, 193 pounds): The former Ute is built for press coverage, which may be enticing for the Raiders. He has the size and length to play tough at the line of scrimmage and delay timing of receiver routes. He can also play off, armed with the anticipation and ball skills to break up passes. He’s also a good communicator and has good leaping ability on deep balls. There’s development left to be made, analysts say, especially when the ball’s on its away, and that he can struggle against precise, elite route runners. He’s still projected as a quality NFL starter, which the Raiders definitely need. The Raiders might still be able to snag him a trade way down the first round, getting a good corner and an extra selection or two.

A.J. Terrell, Clemson (6-foot-1, 195 pounds): The Raiders already have one starting cornerback from Clemson. Why not two? Mullen showed proficiency running the Raiders scheme, so there’s reason to believe Terrell could do the same. He struggled mightily in the national title game versus LSU, but there’s plenty of good tape out there. He’s another press-man cornerback who can close in open space and make plays on the ball. He’s good working deep, but overall there’s improvement to be made in several areas and he might not qualify as the plug and play right away cornerback the Raiders need.

Others worth consideration: Kristian Fulton, LSU, Jeff Gladney, TCU

Second Raiders stadium site worker tests positive for coronavirus


Second Raiders stadium site worker tests positive for coronavirus

A second person working at the Allegiant Stadium construction site tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19), according to stadium officials commissioned to build the Raiders a new venue just off the Las Vegas Strip.

Mortensen-McCarthy, a joint venture leading the stadium construction effort, issued a statement Wednesday announcing the finding.

The statement, sent to the Las Vegas Review-Journal and other local media, said the company was notified Tuesday of the positive test. The worker, according to Mortensen-McCarthy, was on site for one week before leaving on April 2, prior to experiencing symptoms.

The company said the infected worker wasn’t close to others due to social-distancing measures implemented on the construction site. The worker is self-isolating and won’t return to work until medically cleared to do so. The company said the area where the worker was assigned was shut down and thoroughly sanitized.

The stadium site has strict guidelines for workers on site and sanitizing protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus for workers.

The first COVID-19 case from a stadium site worker was announced on March 25.

While Nevada has issued a stay-at-home directive, construction is considered an essential business and has continued despite the coronavirus pandemic.

[RELEATED: Trump reportedly says NFL season should start on time]

Allegiant Stadium is still expected to be ready for the 2020 Raiders season should it start on time. The coronavirus pandemic has put sports on hold, with no timeline for return. The NFL, however, currently is planning to start the season as scheduled.

The Raiders are set to play their first season in Las Vegas after spending previous seasons in Oakland and Los Angeles.

Listen and subscribe to the Raiders Talk Podcast: