The long, strange saga of Antonio Brown and his helmet continues on, unresolved. The latest event won't be scoring the NFL any points with the star wide receiver.
The last year has been a whirlwind for Brown. He had a pretty rough exit from the Pittsburgh Steelers, and was traded to the Oakland Raiders, who then signed him to a record deal for a receiver.
In recent days, a new issue arose regarding Brown's helmet of choice. Because it is over 10 years old, he is no longer cleared to wear it.
He appeared to find a loophole, and set out to find the same model helmet—the Schutt AiR Advantage—made in the last few years. The company stopped making the model in 2011, but if Brown found a 2010 or 2011 edition, he would be fine.
He located a few models, including one made in 2010 and a special one made in 2014 for use in a film. Unfortunately for Brown, the 2010 helmet has been rejected for use by the NFL after he and agent Drew Rosenhaus submitted it.
Brown had found several Schutt AiR Advantage helmets that had been made within the last decade, including an AiR Advantage made in 2014 for film. NOCSAE certified one specific helmet, made in 2010, for use. But then the NFL told the Raiders that the helmet would have to be tested before it could be used.
Brown’s representatives recently sent the helmet for testing. Earlier today, Brown was informed that the helmet failed the test.
The Schutt AiR Advantage was not among 11 models that became prohibited this year. Brown wasn’t able to use the helmet he’s worn his entire NFL career because it’s more than 10 years old, and NOCSAE will not certify any helmet that is more than 10 years old.
Despite the fact that the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment okayed the helmet, the NFL has rejected it. PFT's Mike Florio went on to clarify that the 2014 helmet has not yet been tested.
Brown is clearly unhappy about the entire fiasco, sending an expletive-laden tweet in response to PFT's story.
Earlier in the saga, there were reports that Brown was willing to go so far as to retire if he isn't allowed to wear the AiR Advantage helmet. He's since rejected that report, saying that he's excited to join his teammates once he's recovered from the foot issue, but the NFL certainly isn't making that return easy on him.