A day after Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock expressed frustration that wide receiver Antonio Brown is not participating in training camp, Brown’s agent said Brown will not be gone long.
Drew Rosenhaus said on ESPN this morning that Brown should be back with the team soon. But Rosenhaus pushed back against the idea that Brown is being a diva, instead saying that Brown takes his health and safety seriously and continues to think the helmet he has worn throughout his career is the right helmet for him — despite NFL regulations that require him to change to an approved model.
“I do think he’s going to be back soon,” Rosenhaus said. “We’re looking into any and all options right now to resolve the helmet issue. Antonio is very genuine. He wants to be there, he wants to be part of the team, he wants to practice, but he’d also like to do it with the helmet he’s worn his entire life. He wore this helmet in pee-wee football, high school football, college at Central Michigan, and he also wore this helmet his nine-year career.
“People keep saying to me that there are 2,000 players that are wearing approved helmets, but there are very few, if any, that have worn the same helmet for their entire nine-year career. He’s a wide receiver. He gets hit across the middle. People are trying to take his head off. He’s a big target. You talk about how many catches he’s had over the last six years, for example, this is his life. He’s risking everything. He’s got a family. He’s had a concussion before. This helmet has kept him safe. He’s had brutal hits. And we’re just trying to find a way to work it out.
“We’ve worked very closely with the Raiders, we’ve worked very closely with the NFL, but I hope people can appreciate, this is not a simple issue. The helmet is the most important piece of equipment and he’s had the same one every single snap he’s played in his football career. This is a major issue for him.”
Mayock made it quite clear that the Raiders want Brown to stop making his helmet a major issue and start practicing again. Rosenhaus thinks Brown is justified in seeking every possible avenue to wear the helmet of his choice.