It was just a few days ago when it seemed like Antonio Brown had put his helmet issue behind him and he rejoined the Oakland Raiders. He was on the sideline for the team’s game against the Arizona Cardinals and was very involved with his teammates throughout the game. However, news broke on Saturday that even though Brown was able to find the helmet of his choice that was manufactured in the last 10 years, the NFL still won’t let him wear it, per Pro Football Talk.
Brown issued a response on Twitter and he was obviously not happy about the NFL’s decision. His anger about the issue led to him being absent from Sunday’s practice. General manager Mike Mayock had a chance to address the issue and he was quite blunt:
“Here’s the bottom line: He’s upset about the helmet issue. We have supported that, we appreciate that, okay? But at this point, we’ve pretty much exhausted all avenues of relief. So from our perspective, it’s time for him to be all in, or all out. We’re hoping he’s back soon, we got 89 guys bustin’ their tails. We’re really excited about where this franchise is going and we hope AB is going to be apart of it.”
That is a surprisingly straight forward answer from Mayock. It’s one thing for Brown to fight the NFL about the issue, but him refusing to practice seems to be a little much. He’s already missed almost all of training camp, so even one practice could make a difference. It’s also not good for team comradery. As Mayock noted, there are over 80 guys putting in work in the hot California sun and Brown isn’t showing up because if an issue that has nothing to do with the team. His frustration is understandable, especially since the NFL totally flip-flopped on him, but he still needs to be a professional.
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Training Camp Comes to an End
This whole issue has caused Raiders training camp to end on a sour note. While the team hasn’t confirmed that they are officially done in Napa, The Athletic’s Vic Tafur is reporting that it seems like they’re wrapping things up. The Brown versus NFL saga doesn’t seem like it’s coming to an end anytime soon, so it’s just going to have to be something the team is going to have to live with. Other than the consistent flow of Antonio Brown news, it has been a successful training camp for the Raiders.
Quarterback Derek Carr looks like he’s grown strong connections with some of his new weapons like Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow. It would’ve been nice for the Carr and Brown to get more work together, but the two are just going to have to make do. Brown is a tireless worker, so once he decides he’s ready to move on from the helmet controversy, he should get back into the swing of things rather quickly.