Antonio Brown‘s “helmet-gate” saga with the NFL is not coming to an end anytime soon.
According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, the Oakland Raiders wide receiver isn’t letting go of the rule that prevents him from wearing his Schutt AiR Advantage helmet — a helmet that is more than 10 years old and is prohibited because it’s more than a decade old.
As Rapoport reports, Brown is filing another grievance after the NFL had apparently closed the issue on Saturday. Brown’s latest grievance argues that he should be afforded the same right as other NFL players in having a one-year grace period to phase out his helmet.
The “helmet-gate” saga has taken on a life of its own as there has never been a situation anywhere close to this one when it relates to a player having an issue with the league regarding what helmet he can wear.
It has apparently reached a breaking point with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock, who responded to Brown’s absence during practice on Sunday by giving him an ultimatum — he’s either “all-in or all-out.”
Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, responded to comments made by Mayock during an appearance on ESPN’s Get Up! on Monday, claiming that both sides “are on the same page.”
“I’ve talked to Mike multiple times (Sunday). We are on the same page, we are working together,” Rosenhaus said Monday morning on ESPN’s Get Up! “We’re trying to iron this out so everything can go smoothly the rest of the season. We’re looking for a permanent solution.
“(Brown) is a wide receiver, he gets hit across the middle, he’s a big target. This is his life. He’s risking everything, He’s got a family, He’s had a concussion before. This helmet has kept him safe. He’s had brutal hits. We’re just trying to find a way to work it out.”
Rosenhaus continued to diffuse the situation, stating that Brown wants to be in Oakland and that he believes Brown will be back soon.
“We understand the club’s frustration, we understand they want Antonio back,” Rosenhaus said Monday on Get Up! “We get all of that. Everyone, please understand that he wants to be there. It is difficult to practice, take hits with piece of equipment he’s never used before.”
“I do think he’s gonna be back soon,” Rosenhaus said. “We’re looking into any and all options right now to resolve the helmet issue. Antonio is very genuine. He wants to be there, he wants to be a part of the team. He wants to practice. But he’d also like to do it with the helmet that he’s worn his entire life. He wore this helmet in pee wee football, high school college football at Central Michigan. He also wore this helmet his nine-year career.
This is not a good look for Brown, who is entering his first season in the Silver and Black. The 10th-year veteran inked a three-year, $50 million contract with the Raiders in the offseason, making him the league’s highest-paid receiver.
The fact that Brown also had a falling out as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2018 season, doesn’t make his image look any better. Brown skipped practices leading into their Week 17 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, eventually benched by the team for the game. The 31-year-old receiver eventually requested a trade out of Pittsburgh.
One thing is for certain — the Raiders are losing patience with Brown and it’s not even Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season.
It remains to be seen how the NFL will respond to Brown’s latest grievance regarding the use of his helmet.
Follow D.J. Siddiqi on Twitter @DJSiddiqi