Antonio Brown may have reported to Raiders practice today, but the drama is far from over. Pro Football Talk reports (via Twitter) that the star wideout has filed a second grievance against the NFL for their unwillingness to let him wear his desired helmet. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the grievance will be heard on “an expedited basis.”
Specifically, Brown is upset that the league won’t let him wear any “Schutt AiR Advantage helmet less than 10 years old.” Rapoport tweets that the receiver believes “he should be afforded the same right provided to other NFL players to have a 1-year grace period to phase out his helmet in 2019 season.” Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com writes that the NFL allowed Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to play last season with a helmet that wasn’t deemed safe.
The 31-year-old’s first grievance against the NFL ended with an arbitrator ruling against the wideout. As our own Zach Links detailed, Brown’s preferred helmet is too old to be re-certified, and this means the helmet is not sanctioned by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment. Brown had previously threatened to retire if the league would not let him wear his preferred headgear.
Brown showed up at the Raiders’ facility Monday morning and was in attendance for the daily team meeting. The wideout has put the Raiders through the ringer in recent weeks. A cryotherapy mishap left the wide receiver with a foot injury, which was believed to have been the cause of his training camp absence. Instead, the no-show was attributed to the helmet dispute.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.