A very weird story keeps getting very, very weirder.
The latest wrinkle to Antonio Brown‘s absence from the Raiders comes from his refusal to replace his old helmet with an approved model. Unlike Tom Brady, however, the model of helmet Brown wears has not been prohibited. Per a league source, the specific helmet Brown wants to wear is simply too old.
Yes, the grace period for 11 prohibited helmet models has ended, requiring players like Brady to ditch wearing models that were not deemed to be sufficiently safe. Brown’s helmet isn’t one of those 11 models. For Brown, the prohibiton comes from the requirement that each and every helmet must be certified by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, and that the NOCSAE will not certify a helmet that is more than 10 years old.
The source explains that Brown’s specific model has been discontinued, requiring him to find another model. But he doesn’t want to find another model, even though the rules apply to all players.
Brown wants the rules to not apply to him. And the reason for that may be quite as simple as this: Ever since becoming one of the best players in the NFL, Antonio Brown has always gotten his way, on everything. So, naturally, he expects to eventually get his way on this, too.