Antonio Brown files a new helmet grievance


It’s time for Antonio Brown Helmet Grievance 2.0.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Raiders receiver has filed a new grievance regarding the league’s decision to prevent him from wearing a Schutt AiR Advantage helmet that is less than 10 years old.

Last Monday, a neutral, independent arbitrator found that Brown could not wear a helmet that is more than 10 years old; NOCSAE won’t recertifiy any helmet, regardless of model, that is more than 10 years old. Since then, Brown’s representatives identified an obvious loophole. Because the Schutt AiR Advantage hasn’t been banned generally by the NFL, he should be permitted to wear one that is less than 10 years old, and that can be recertified by NOCSAE.

The NFL did not include the Schutt AiR Advantage within the list of 11 helmet models banned in 2018. The NFL also gave players wearing banned helmets a one-year grace period, allowing them to continue to wear the banned helmet while transitioning to a new model.

Brown hasn’t received that courtesy, because the NFL didn’t ban the Schutt AiR Advantage until he found multiple models that were less than 10 years old, and thus that could be recertified by NOCSAE. He’ll argue that, at a minimum, he should receive the same one-year grace period that was given to players like Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who ultimately won the Super Bowl while wearing a helmet that the NFL has deemed to be unsafe for use.

150 responses to “Antonio Brown files a new helmet grievance

  1. At this point, Brown better be catching 600 yards, 10 TDs per game while quintuple covered just to break even on the colossal headache he’s caused everyone. If he ever shows up to play, that is.

  2. I’m filing an Antonio Brown grievance. AB is taking up too much home-page space on my favorite pro football web site, forcing me to have to search for other articles to read.

  3. That hit from Burfict completely changed this man. Brown should seek serious help there is a chance his life could even get messier of the field. CTE is no joke.

  4. Whatever takes the focus off his feet! He’s stalling…..his feet are in bad shape and need time to heal so he is using this helmet BS to buy some time…that and he’s the ultimate drama queen!

  5. How were the helmets selected to be evaluated initially? If the Brown or the Steelers told the NFL and NFLPA what helmet he used then the NFL was negligent in not having Brown’s helmet evaluated. If neither Brown nor the Steelers told the NFL what helmet Brown was using then the problem is one Brown or the Steelers created. Will some reporter find out how the NFL selected the helmets that were evaluated? We’re all shooting in the dark until we know if Brown was complicit in the Schutt AiR Advantage helmet not being evaluated and banned. If Brown is responsible then he is at fault and needs to be censured. Time for the truth!

  6. Persistent, aggressive ignorance….

    And the “waiver” idea doesn’t fly. He gets hurt and still sues. Claims he wasn’t in his right mind from undiagnosed trauma from using an unsafe helmet for 10 years. The NFL let him continue to use it with waiver, maliciously allowing him to further damage himself. Points to all his crazy behavior as “red flags” that the NFL ignored.

  7. AB just might have a case this time! It all depends on whether the NFL notified him last year that 2018 would be the last season he could wear his old helmet. If they didn’t notify him then, he might have a case now that he’s being held to a different set of rules than other players. But even if the arbitrator agrees with him, then what? Will we go thru all this again next year? I can’t wait…

  8. He was given ample enough time to find a helmet and Drew Rosenhaus was advised of these rules, which is why his client has tried on 15+ styles of helmets. He simply doesn’t want to play point blank period.

  9. As a Steelers fan I hope he wins his grievance. It will further reinforce his view that he can simply complain and get what he wants. Some other team’s problem now.

    I really liked him until this past year because he was the underdog that worked his tail off to get where he was one of the best WR’s of all-time. Now he has lost all goodwill he built up over the years. Sad really. It doesn’t take much to be liked as a player, especially with his talent and production. But somehow he has ruined his image forever.

  10. Grace period or not, it doesn’t matter. All helmets must be NOCSAE certified. Full stop. Even if AB finds his favorite blankey helmet that’s 5 years old it still has to pass NOCSAE certification process, which is highly unlikely.

    Enough with this soap opera. Send the 5-day letter and let’s see who blinks first.

  11. i actually hope at this time that he takes a helmet to helmet hit from his now-teammate Burfict that knocks AB out of the league with a life altering permanent disability.

  12. he should receive the same one-year grace period that was given to players like Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who ultimately won the Super Bowl while wearing a helmet that the NFL has deemed to be unsafe for use.


    And how many players either didn’t make it or lost the SB wearing an outdated helmet during their one year grace period.

    I don’t get how Brady comes into the equation. I guess Brady is never going to get another SB ring all because he has to use a new helmet now? Or maybe Brown will win a SB if he’s allowed one year grace period?

  13. With all the new money he got how come he can’t buy a newer version of the same helmet???

  14. Brown hasn’t received that courtesy, because the NFL didn’t ban the Schutt AiR Advantage until he found multiple models that were less than 10 years old, and thus that could be recertified by NOCSAE.

    When did the NFL state that they banned the helmet?

  15. All y’all miss the real point here.
    Every time he drops a pass, or runs the wrong route, or makes any mistake whatsoever, it will be the helmet’s fault – limiting him in some ridiculous way.
    It’s a shame teams don’t have the Lambert type anymore. There were lotsa guys like that who would end this issue in the locker room – Layne, Gilchrist, Carson to name just a few.

  16. No way! This dude was given the same courtesy as everyone else. A list of all of the approved helmets you could choose from moving forward. Regardless that they didn’t list that helmet as unsafe until he found one that might the timing criteria. Who in their right mind would want to wear a helmet that is that old anyw . . . .

    You find a loophole, the NFL will find a way to close it. It’s their league, figure it out.

  17. Ok you don’t like Brown. Now address the issue of granting the one year waiver that other players received after their helmet was banned, it’s a legitimate point. We know what this is all about not that one helmet is appreciably safer than the other. The NFL is covering its rear against future lawsuits.

  18. Big Chest just bought himself a year if he wants it bad enough, haha.

    Big whoop.

    If he had any sense, he’d move on from his beloved helmet NOW and start trying to get used to LEGAL helmets

    But he has no sense. What a dope.

  19. He’ll get his way, use his outdated helmet, receive a horrific concussion and sue the NFL.

  20. AB makes TO look like an amateur when it comes to the needing some attention game.

  21. this dude A.B. is a pain in the rear from literal “head” (helmet-gate) to “toe” (frostbite).

    when was the last time a team won the Super Bowl with a complete diva; like A.B., like Ochocinco, like OBJ, like many others on the team? Perhaps there is a time but I just can’t think of one. To me, football is truly the ultimate team game, basically dependent on all 33 starters…divas never seem to help the situation and perhaps why New England never has one (maybe you could say Randy Moss was a diva, but that was early in his career, by the time he got to Foxboro he realized it was likely his last shot and behaved)

  22. PFT: To your question “Who’s to blame in Oakland for the AB mess? There’s plenty of blame to go around but you must start with AB. Accountability is a life lesson that must be learned. AB has yet to learn this lesson. He plays a team game and is on team. He views himself as an celebrity that is separate from the team. From the time he Face-timed from the Steeler locker room you could see that something is terribly wrong in the mind of AB. The Raiders knew the risks they were taking with AB the diva but made the catastrophic mistake of giving him a large amount of new money. That much new money was unnecessary. They also didn’t get out in front of the helmet ordeal. They should have been working on that right from the beginning. AB should have been required to be at the facility working out, studying the playbook, while they helped navigate helmet options. He should have been working out with a different helmet while they continued to work towards finding a more recent Shutt AiR. You have actually helped educate he and his legal team about possible grievances. Stop it!! Let him learn on his own. Finally the league also has fault for their handling of this whole situation. What a train wreck! It’s almost as if Al Davis is still running the show there.

  23. He needs a helmet that can survive a Vontaze Burfict hit, ohh wait they’re on the same team!! Lol what a dumpster fire the Las Vegas Raiders are burning

  24. But Brady is protected by the fact that anybody who breathes on him gets a 15 yard penalty. Brown will actually have to get hit while wearing his helmet.

  25. footballpat says:

    Ok you don’t like Brown. Now address the issue of granting the one year waiver that other players received after their helmet was banned, it’s a legitimate point. We know what this is all about not that one helmet is appreciably safer than the other. The NFL is covering its rear against future lawsuits.
    In effect, though, AB is now lobbying for what would, for him, effectively be a two year grace period. Frankly, I’m tired of hearing about the drama queen, who, incidentally, has been “mentored” by none other than T.O. over the past year. If I never hear about either of them again in this lifetime, I’ll be very happy. Won’t happen though, the media just won’t let it go, and instead use it as click bait.

  26. The NFL and NFL Players Association eliminated the grace period after last season.

    From an ESPN article dated April 13, 2019 titled “NFL enforces helmet ban for Brady, 31 others”

    The NFL and NFL Players Association have added 11 helmets to their joint list of approved equipment for 2019 while eliminating a grace period for other models that have fallen short in laboratory testing, engineers and executives representing both groups said Friday.

  27. I say it’s time to cut our losses with AB & move on… This is why he wore out his welcome with Pittsburg… Now doing the same in Oakland…

  28. simple- test the new Air helmet he wants, if it falls within safe parameters okay, nut it is not going to – to try and loophole this as a not listed is absurd- there are 89 cereals to choose from , pretty sure there are at least that many helmet companies as well, can;t list them all- and he was already granted a years grandpa clause last year, so yeah, dude get a clue, or get out of football and seek some assistance from the Dalai Lama to calm your brain waves to the point where you can think cogently

  29. He knew last year he would be unable to wear his current helmet (due to age) and had a year to adjust. The fact that he ignored it is not the NFL’s problem.

    The league is currently testing and failing any helmets that Brown submits. Good luck getting an arbiter to allow you to wear a helmet which has failed testing.

  30. Unless the NFL just added the 10 year rule, AB knew last year was his last for that helmet. He’s had his 1 year and now he wants another. All of this points to a guy that knew he needed to find a new helmet, but has never heard “no” in his life so he figured he’d just continue wearing it. Unfortunately lawyers are involved and he’ll probably get his way again for another year. One thing has been made abundantly clear in all of this, Antonio Brown is going to be dead or in jail as soon as football passes him by because the real world doesn’t work like the NFL and his mental problems won’t translate well to non nfl reality.

  31. Such a diva! There’s a million guys who would play with a concrete block around their head if the NFL said it was safer to use. His agent, his mommy, nana, someone needs to give him a reality check!

  32. This guy – what’s his name, AB? – yeah well, he’s starting to be an annoyance, ya know?

  33. Show him the helmet currently being used vs. the old leather helmet. Tell him he’s got 30 seconds to decide which one he wants to wear. At 31 seconds, bench him or tell him to retire and return the money.

  34. There needs to be an overall index of sorts, which measures a player’s impact on the field, while also factoring in things like general life intelligence, emotional stability, and likelihood to churn out reality-show BS drama. Historically speaking alone, AB is a train wreck.
    It’s freaking 2019. This can easily exist.

  35. Ha ha …this isn’t a dumpster fire anymore. More like the opening scene of “Apocalypse Now” when the jungle explodes as “The End” by the Doors plays.

  36. Is there any reason AB could not have addressed this in the off-season, rather than wait until training camp?

  37. Good for him..stand for something or fall for anything. I this case he is squarely playing by the league’s rules. But the league is attempting to have different rules for different players.

  38. I can see the case for a one year waiver but hard to see the NFL allowing it. After all the talk about player safety especially head injuries can they let a guy play wearing a helmet that doesn’t pass their own test?

  39. I don’t agree that “he has a point” on this. The players that received a 1 year grace period received that because the NFL banned their choice of head gear. In Brown’s case, the manufacturer stopped making the helmet, as in, he can’t wear it forever, eventually he needs a new helmet. Eventually became now. It wasn’t a sudden change in policy, it hasn’t been manufactured in a decade… If he didn’t know the NFLs rule on 10 years for helmets, that sucks, but he should have been getting ready for this for the last 5 years. The decision was made for the NFL by the manufacturer of the helmet. Just get a new fu#%ing helmet and lets move on

  40. I’m not even hating here but, I’m already tired of the AB news. Everyday it’s something new over a HELMET!!!

    It’s on PFT, it’s on ESPN, sports radio
    (live in bay area) it’s on my phones news feed, and I’m not even a raider fan.

    I like watching him as a NFL fan because, obviously his talent is top notch.

    But the coverage on this issue is just over kill. We all know he will be there week 1 barring injury new helmet or old helmet. He isn’t walking away from 16mill.

  41. In my opinion, I think he should be allowed to play without a helmet. Problem solved for everybody.

  42. Brown has known for a year he had to switch an approved helmet. There is no loophole here. He was directly told along with Brady and Rodgers he had to wear an approved helmet. He has no argument.

  43. Ok I have a solution, have AB lace up and put on his coveted helmet and have nemesis and new teammate Burfict unload on him.

    Figure it may possibly knock the gears back in place or finally convince him to just grab a new damn helmet.

  44. Wait a minute … Brady won a Super Bowl with a banned helmet????
    Oh no … helmetgate!

  45. Brown’s being a baby about all this, but so is the league. They only ban the helmet AFTER he finds one that would be admissible on the field? Come on. That’s some immature damage control right there.

    Let him play with the helmet. Have him sign a waiver that the NFL is not responsible or liable in any way for any concussions Brown may receive and move on.

  46. Crybaby-Diva. OMG, get a new helmet and play football. I am a Raider hater, but damn, this needs to end.

  47. Who care’sif they wear a helmet or not? They are getting paid millions… Crap like this is why the NFL is dipping in ratings year after year

  48. Technically he already had his year. Everyone knew this was coming, they allowed everyone to use whatever last season and told everyone that was it. That’s how Brady and Rodgers got to wear theirs

  49. The NFL is clearly moving the goalposts on this one but AB needs to just get over it and move on.

  50. Andrew Teal says:
    August 19, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    Persistent, aggressive ignorance….

    And the “waiver” idea doesn’t fly. He gets hurt and still sues. Claims he wasn’t in his right mind from undiagnosed trauma from using an unsafe helmet for 10 years. The NFL let him continue to use it with waiver, maliciously allowing him to further damage himself. Points to all his crazy behavior as “red flags” that the NFL ignored.
    If he gets his wish, he’ll sue like the cliche of a car accident “victim” in court with a neck brace. That lawsuit happens 10 minutes after he retires.

  51. I still see that one year grace period as the reason why I am on his side. The league gave it to two star QBs…something else is different between them and Antonio Brown, I can’t quite put my finger on it….

  52. Brown having an issue with a helmet or his feet still have no relationship to him not being at camp (even if he is just standing or sitting there observing) surrounded by his new coaches and teammates. Mr. Florio worries about how the NFL is not being fair with him about his helmet, but why doesn’t he talk about why the guy hasn’t at least been attending practices or meetings, and after he just got paid? This guy is not a team player, plain and simple. He only cares about himself and his stats, regardless of whether or not the team wins. Just go look at some of his sideline antics while on the Steelers, let alone the other things he did while with the team. So glad this egomaniac is no longer on the Steelers.

  53. The helmet is designed to protect the players head. Helmet design has made great advances in the last 10 years due to CTE, safety concerns etc. Just as the league was able to use “sanctity of the collective bargaining agreement ” in the Brady and Elliott cases ( a sure winner ). They will use the “safety of the player card ” for the win. Start looking for a new helmet that you like AB.

  54. I’ve heard several former NFL players say they understand Brown’s point, one player said he had the same shoulder pads for ten years, players are superstitious with their equipment

  55. Dude is a cancer who should be cut out asap. Oakland is wasting their time with this clown. Let’s see how good he is without seeing 15-20 targets a game from Big Ben. Don’t forget, he QUIT on the Steelers before their biggest game of the year last year

  56. It’s my understanding that there is a list of “approved” helmets that was agreed upon by the NFL and the Union. Which helmets were vetted and tested and eventually were placed on that list is irrelevant – the final list was approved and agreed to by the NFL and the Union. The fact that the Schutt AiR Advantage was not “banned generally by the NFL” is also irrelevant. I’m pretty sure leather helmets are also not “banned generally by the NFL.” There is only an “approved” list, not an “unapproved” list. If a helmet is not on the “approved” list – for whatever reason – then it’s defacto an “unapproved” helmet.

    Why is this so difficult to understand?

  57. Well, we all know what the definition of insanity is, and in this case now there is 2, him and his lawyer.

  58. So the Raiders have Hard Knocks AND AB distractions ALL pre-season. Can’t see how they will win more than 4 games in 2019. I really feel bad for Oakland Raider fans who paid for final season tickets in Oakland….and thats hard for me to say.

  59. The story that just won’t go away. When he comes back, if he play poorly, he’s going to blame the helmet… just watch.

  60. listen just because Tom Brady can do something doesn’t mean you can! LOL

    especially if you’re a Raider you should know that by now

  61. murphyslaw40 says:
    August 19, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    I don’t think we care this much about him and his helmet.

    Well I’ll bet some fantasy owners do… and a few Raiders fans maybe?

  62. I don’t see how he wins this. The NFL didn’t ban the helmet he was wearing and not give him time to replace it. They gave him a year’s notice that the helmet he was wearing wasn’t going to be acceptable this year. He then went out (after fighting that first decision for a while) and found another helmet to wear but that one didn’t pass testing. He isn’t owed a year’s grace period for a helmet he has never worn. Based on that logic he can just get a different year’s version of the same helmet next year and say he is owed another year on that one. I don’t see how an arbitrator ignores the fact that the helmet he has never used didn’t pass testing.

  63. I’m just embarrassed for the suits in the league office. The league office continues to be a clunky hot mess in handling situations that only require basic common sense. The helmet. PI replay review. I swear…some of these suits should be greeters at Cracker Barrel at best. Not deciding the fates of billion dollar franchises and their employees.

  64. Come September 1, there will be 1,000 guys who will be willing to play with whatever helmet you give them. I am sure one or two can replace AB.

  65. So, basically the NFL is in this mess because of a lack of foresight (again). Rather than providing a list of APPROVED helmets they provided an incomplete list of banned helmets and an entitled player wants to cry and exploit a loophole just to make a fuss and get his name everywhere while click-baiters and Hard Knocks promote and profit from the stupidity. Got it.

  66. Oakland was so gungho to get this crazy guy. He was in Pittsburgh for 9 years and they never won a superbowl in that time period, so why did they think he was worth all this crazy crap. People don’t change- and if he’s creating this mess before even being on the field, it’s just the beginning folks of their problems with him. Maybe now he’s trying to force them to cut him and he’d still get paid-wouldn’t surprise me.

  67. He already was given a grace period to wear it 1 more year last year. I believe when they said he could try to find a newer model, that he was also told it would have to pass testing. It didn’t. so what is this grievance about anyway?

  68. Message to Antonio from Kung Fu Panda: Quit. Don’t quit. Noodles. Don’t noodles. You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present. Now please just put on an approved helmet and play football in the present for your new team.

  69. Brown and Drew Rosenhaus – the winning combination for any team.

    Why teams are still willing to sign Rosenhaus clients is beyond me.

  70. The entire league new what a head-case & cancer Brown is but Gruden traded for him anyway. Not surprising because no other exec with personnel power would’ve traded away a future HOFer in his prime like Khalil Mack – but Gruden did anyway.

  71. Gruden: it’s time to pull the plug on this idiot. Once the helmet issue is over, it will be something else in a couple of weeks. people like bell and brown will always feel like they are above the rules. Only way to stop this crap is to institute rules that are 100% followed or your out, not fined or suspended.

  72. The issue that the NFL used a third party agency to retest the helmet is moot. the NOCSAE does not certify equipment. It sets the standards and test setups. Its just like any other standards organization. It even says right on thier website ” NOCSAE sets performance and test standards for athletic equipment. NOCSAE does not certify or approve athletic equipment. Safety Equipment Institute (SEI) oversees the certification of athletic equipment to NOCSAE standards.” Thus if the NFL tested the equipment to NOCSAE standardss using a facility overseen by the SEI, then the helmet failed the certification to the new standard. End of story. You do not necessarily need to ban something for it to not comply with standards. Should Brown get a grace period? Honestly No. The helmet was determined to be unsafe, You don’t get a grace period in racing, or baseball. You wear what is safe.

  73. No offense to Browns fans, but Oakland is clearly the new Browns except very unlikeable as well.

  74. I have my phone set up to notify me whenever a new Brown/Helmet story is NOT being written. The phone has never dinged!

  75. I think there may be a good idea in here but this requires much more detail to evaluate. For example, what exactly does this “attribute” consist of? How will virus checkers and other software used to scan PDF files interpret this? How exactly does it interact with the user to capture information and how exactly and in what format is this information captured and returned to Dell?


    And he will blame his new helmet because it weighs 1.3oz more than his old helmet

  76. As long as he is showing up at practice and working with the team however they ask him to then there is no problem if he wants to at the same time keep arguing about the helmet. It was the not showing up that was the real problem.

  77. I think everyone is missing the point. His Attorney’s are setting up The NFL and NFLPA as providing equipment that was substandard. They keep talking about how bad the old helment’s were. So the question is: Why did they let the league keep using them? They banned some immediately, but not his. If Brown comes down with CTE he can make the argument that the NFL and NFLPA colluded and put profit ahead of player safety. Wouldn’t they be negligent because the league caved to Tom Brady and didn’t instantly ban the helmet’s in question?

  78. FoozieGrooler says:
    August 19, 2019 at 8:53 pm
    Somebody on the Raiders needs to step up and straighten this guy out the old-fashioned way.

    Burfict is there now

  79. He’s going to lose this one too, because at the end of the day we’re still talking about 2 classes of issues. His helmet was never banned…the grace period applied to banned helmets. His helmet is discontinued…the manufacturer no longer makes it. There is no rule allowing for a grace period if a manufacturer stops making the helmet. His argument is o different than if he showed up with an old timey leather helmet. The NFL hasn’t specifically banned that model, but it is 1) more than 10 years old and 2) doesn’t pass their testing. He wouldn’t automatically be granted a free 1 year period to wear the leather helmet by claiming the 1 year loophole because the NFL never specifically banned that specific model. The 1 year grace period applies specifically to previously approved models that the NFL specifically bans, so a player doesn’t have to suddenly switch with no warning. In this case they did not need to ban the helmet because it falls under a different disqualifying category, the 10 year rule. Under that rule, AB has had since 2011, when Schutt discontinued the model, to find another compliant model. The NFL can successfully argue he has had 8 years to find an alternative model and known for many years that this switchover was looming. He has no chance of winning.

  80. I’m just waiting for him or his agent to start the race angle…dude needs to get a new helmet and move on. He has 30 million reasons to be there and working

  81. Mayock needs to shut this down it has to be effecting the concentration of the other players and coaches except Gruden who is on another planet altogether.

  82. Screw it. Let him play with no helmet. Sign a waiver, cancel his Medical Ins. and let him rock. “Worry about things you can control,” Brees said. “I didn’t really control that one, right? They were outlawing it. They scan your head and they do all this fancy stuff. And I figure if it’s if it’s going to help protect me a little bit more then that’s probably a good thing.”

  83. Dennis Bloshuk says:
    August 20, 2019 at 6:03 pm
    What a clown.
    On behalf of a friend who is a graduate of the Ringling Bros. Clown College, I think that’s insulting to clowns everywhere.

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