- Antonio Brown is entering his first season with the Oakland Raiders.
- Well, we thought he was entering his first season with the Oakland Raiders.
- After a wild offseason that led to his trade to Oakland, he’s now making a big fuss about his helmet.
Ah, Antonio Brown. We know Antonio Brown.
Antonio Brown, as NFL fans know very well, has been one of the best wide receivers in the league over the past decade. He’s a 7-time Pro-Bowler, and has been a staple of good fantasy teams since 2011. Brown also spent a significant portion of the offseason demanding that he now be referred to as “Mr. Big Chest,” making the rounds looking like this, and, eventually, forcing his way to the Oakland Raiders in a trade.
Now, though, the Oakland Raiders aren’t looking so definite. Brown has been absent at training camp for the most part to this point, and most thought it was due to his incredibly frostbitten feet—a result of not wearing the proper footwear in a cryotherapy machine. But it turns out, thanks to reporting from a number of NFL reporters including Michael Silver and Adam Schefter, that the bigger issue that Brown’s been having has been with his helmet. So much so, that, apparently, he’s threatening to leave the game forever.
Apparently, the helmet that Brown’s used to this point in his career was outlawed in the offseason by the NFL due to safety reasons. Brown wasn’t alone—star QBs Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady would also be required to select different helmets. Apparently, Brown was vocally upset at camp that Rodgers and Brady weren’t being held to the same standard. When a team official showed him a video of Rodgers, at Packers camp, wearing the approved helmet, Brown apparently showed up, took the new helmet, and went on with his day. A few weeks later, though, he became upset once again. And here we are.
According to Schefter, the Raiders have been sending Brown helmets that have been approved by the league to be worn, but he’s not interested in wearing a different helmet. Brown is said to be meeting with league officials today, seeking approval to wear his old helmet. As Schefter says in his tweet, “his NFL future could be riding on it.”
If, after the offseason he just had, Brown ended up never playing an NFL game again because of an extremely specific helmet technicality, well, that would actually be quite fitting.
You can check out Silver’s entire 20-part Tweet thread right here for a bit more clarity on the whole situation: