Antonio Brown has a potential helmet loophole

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Raiders receiver Antonio Brown has a potential helmet loophole, if he chooses to try to use it.

Brown can’t use his preferred helmet — a Schutt AiR Advantage — in 2019, because that specific helmet is more than 10 years old. However, because the NFL has not affirmatively banned from use the Schutt AiR Advantage, Brown apparently could use one that is less than 10 years old, if he can find one.

A PFT reader communicated directly with the NOCSAE on this subject, and Executive Director/General Counsel Michael Oliver has confirmed to PFT via email that, indeed, the Schutt AiR Advantage helmets that are less than 10 years old can be recertified.

The NFL did not directly address the question of whether Brown would be permitted to use a Schutt AiR Advantage that is less than 10 years old. In response to that specific inquiry, the NFL forwarded to PFT a graphic containing the 11 helmet models that became prohibited as of 2019; the Schutt AiR Advantage is not on the list. The graphic also includes a lengthy list of preferred helmets, but it does not say that these are the only approved helmets.

So, apparently, if Brown can find a Schutt AiR Advantage in his size that was made in or after 2009, he could get that specific helmet certfied and use it this year. Because the Schutt AiR Advantage was discontinued in 2011, he has only a narrow window before it will be impossible to recertifiy any versions of the Schutt AiR Advantage.

39 responses to “Antonio Brown has a potential helmet loophole

  1. Or, like the other 2,016 players in the league, he could pick one of the approved helmets, shut his mouth, and do his job.

    Doesn’t seem like much to ask.

  2. Honestly, still no caring.

    A review of the teams performance in the first Preseason game would be more interesting. Heck, even a “What to watch for” by team would be much preferred heading into Week 2 preseason.

  3. The NFL and Goodell allowed this malcontent (who by the way was still under contract) to literally sabotage a trade between the Bills and the Steelers via social media. They get what they get with this brain dead fool.

  4. I don’t understand how a helmet could be okay even 2 games in a row. A car seat has to replaced after any accident, and any helmet hit is like a car crash.

  5. antonio gets a bad wrap for this but we all have that special pen at work we never want to lose! Show some respect for one of the games greatest on and off the field

  6. Here is the issue at hand….there are 2 versions of the Advantage…an early model and a late model. The early model had thinner padding inside thereby it used a smaller shell (hence the better vision quip by AB). As NOCSAE increased their standards Riddell & Schutt improved their helmets by using thicker padding which required a larger outer shell. Brown and other players noticed the decreased peripheral vision when wearing these “improved” helmets. Riddell went thru the same thing when they improved the VSR-4 with the Revolution model….they made the padding thicker and some players stuck with the VSR-4 instead (Brady, Brees etc.)
    Unfortunately for Brown his early version (thin padded Advantage model) was discontinued ten years ago. Schutt continued to make the Advantage but with the thicker padding inside and the larger shell. So yes the guy at NOCSAE is correct…they still test and recertify Advantage models…the later versions ONLY. There are no more early versions and very soon the late versions will expire.

  7. After all the discussion over this one helmet you’d think a hard target search has already been ongoing and I would bet one or more have been located. And behind the scenes a price is being negotiated with the Raiders being handed the bill….

  8. Shouldn’t the helmet be manufactured after 2009? Not 2019. So a helmet made in 2010 or 2011. Does the helmet have to be new? Is there a limit on how long a player can use an helmet for? There should be. Of course it would be position dependent. If a player gets an concussion can the player use the same helmet? If anything this will open a discussion about helmet safety.

  9. Mike Tomlin deserves a Nobel Peace Prize or something for keeping both Brown and Bell on the field for those years. What a couple trouble makers.

  10. So I am guessing the cryotherapy people told AB sure wear what you want. We are just saying….

  11. AB suffered a concussion and missed a playoff game in 2016 with his old helmet. If he “wins,” he may be worse off than if he loses and has to wear a new improved model.

  12. There is a Pop Warner league out there that has a helmet or two that will fit the bill. AB or the Raiders should look for it, offer to have all the helmets in the league certified plus buy all the kids new helmets in exchange for whatever out of date but still “legal” helmet AB can fit is head in. And we will all live happily ever after.

  13. Let him wear whatever helmet he wants, but only if he signs a waiver clearing the NFL of any injuries he incurs while wearing “his” helmet.

  14. Caveat to brown, now you can never sue for brain damage. you turned down the approved helmit and the league for sure will require you to sign an affidavit saying so.your screwed pal.

  15. Antonio Brown is not a Steeler, why is all this helmet mess and everytime he posts on twitter linked to the steelers?

    They’ll never find a helmet big enough for his inflated head!

  16. One of my best buddies is a Raiders fan.

    He was REALLY giving it to me right after his team only needed to give up a 3rd and a 5th to my team for AB.

    I haven’t heard a peep from my buddy about that deal since then.

  17. Anybody remembers the helmet that Don Beebe used to wear when playing for the Buffalo Bills…????

  18. What I don’t get is why can’t the company make a ‘newer’ version of the helmet for Brown. You have a star WR in one of the most popular sports of all America that is BEGGING to wear your helmet. You can’t tell me they don’t have a way to design a safer helmet of that model.

  19. simple way around this, ban helmets. than people would think twice about running 20 miles an hour and slamming their head into someone else

  20. He has a better chance of getting his old girlfriend back than getting his old helmet back, but then after ten years of pent up bitterness she would probably be more unsafe to him than a helmet.

  21. johnnyrow says:
    “..I don’t understand how a helmet could be okay even 2 games in a row. A car seat has to replaced after any accident, and any helmet hit is like a car crash…”

    Good point. As a motorcycle rider we’re advised to replace any helmet that has sustained an impact…

  22. Maybe a silly question, but because the helmet is 10 years old and branded with Steelers, is he expecting his helmet to be repainted silver and branded Raiders???

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