Drew Rosenhaus: We’re still trying to come up with a helmet solution for Antonio Brown


The Raiders think it’s time for Antonio Brown to Schutt or get off the pot. As explained by his agent, Antonio Brown doesn’t agree that the time has come to pick a new helmet and move forward — or to walk away from the game.

“We’ve worked very closely with the Raiders, and we will continue to work very closely with the Raiders,” agent Drew Rosenhaus said Sunday night in an appearance on WSVN-TV. “I’m not sure that we agree that we’ve exhausted all the options, as [Raiders G.M.] Mike Mayock said. But there’s no doubt it’s still an ongoing process. We are trying to work with the team and the league and the union to come up with a solution. We haven’t figured it out yet. To say that AB is upset about the decision to not let him wear his helmet is accurate, but we’re still processing it and figuring it out. I wouldn’t make too much about him not being there today, as much as we’re still trying to come up with a solution that works for everyone.”

From the perspective of the team and the league, the only viable solution seems to be selecting a helmet model from the menu of permissible helmets. So what other options exist that would allow Brown to continue to wear a Schutt AiR Advantage?

At this point, the best (and perhaps only) alternative option would be the filing of a new grievance that challenges both the decision to expedite testing of the Schutt AiR Advantage in order to make that entire helmet model, which previously had not been prohibited by the league, a banned helmet model and the decision to not give Brown a one-year grace period to phase out of his helmet of choice.

The argument would be a simple one. First, the NFL had never banned the Schutt AiR Advantage until Brown found multiple models that could be recertified for use by NOCSAE because they were less than 10 years old. Once Brown identified, and exploited, the obvious loophole emerging from last Monday’s grievance ruling regarding his more-than-10-years-old helmet, the NFL moved quickly to close the loophole by testing, and failing, the Schutt AiR Advantage generally.

Look at it this way: If the specific helmet Brown had worn since entering the NFL in 2010 had been made that year, he’d still be able to wear it this year, because it would be less than 10 years old. The NFL had never flagged, tested, or banned the Schutt AiR Advantage until Brown challenged the league’s position on wearing a helmet that is more than 10 years old. Then, once Brown realized that he could still wear a Schutt AiR Advantage that was less than 10 years old (indeed, last Monday the Raiders told Brown’s camp that the league had said he could), the NFL came up with a way to disqualify the Schutt AiR Advantage generally, and entirely.

Last year, the NFL banned specific helmet models previously worn by players like Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Even though those helmets had been determined to be unfit for further use by NFL players, the NFL gave them a full football season to process that decision, to explore alternatives (as Brady did, regularly embracing a new helmet before reverting to the old one, several times over), and to eventually pick a new helmet after the one-year grace period expired. Brown, whose helmet model of choice wasn’t prohibited by the league until late last week, isn’t getting that same courtesy.

These are the nuances that are being glossed over by those who think that Brown is simply being a baby about the situation. At the end of the day, the Brown grievance — and his seemingly viable strategy for an end run — resulted in the league waking up to the fact that it had never tested the Schutt AiR Advantage for possible placement on the banned helmet model list, rushing to get that testing done, and then refusing to give Brown the same one-year transition period that others got after it was determined that their own preferred helmet models had been banned.

For as flimsy as Brown’s first grievance was, his second grievance — if he pursues it — would be much stronger.

121 responses to “Drew Rosenhaus: We’re still trying to come up with a helmet solution for Antonio Brown

  1. In English, what Antonio is saying is, Business Ain’t Boomin in Oakland. In Atlanta and New Orleans it is boomin.

    Arbitrary Helmet changes. Frostbitten feet. They are all different when business is boomin.

  2. Drew please advise your client to stop being absurd and find a helmet. I guess if you are talking about the helmet you aren’t talking about his feet he hurt being a bonehead.

  3. Here’s a solution, A.B. — put on a regulation helmet and play the game, or go play with Terrell Owens in a high-school parking lot, telling people you’re still the greatest of all time.

  4. Yes let’s get Drew chiming in….Gotta have a reason for not being able to catch as many passes as he did from Ben….the phrases “me” and “I” are this clown’s favorites

  5. So glad that this spoiled brat is no longer a Steeler. PFT can sugar coat this all it wants. Forget about the helmet for one second. He should there with the team even if he is just standing there observing things. It must be making his coaches and teammates frustrated and angry that he refuses to even show up. I hope the team starts to fine him and consider suspending him to recoup some of the money they are throwing away because because he simply refuses to show up.

  6. @Antonio Brown doesn’t agree that the time has come to pick a new helmet and move forward — or to walk away from the game.

    I find this entertaining. I’m so glad he’s not on my team.

  7. It doesn’t matter what the NFL did.
    The fact remains that no matter what helmet AB wears he would still try to sue the NFL if he suffers any concussions.
    Therefore the NFL is limiting its own liability and I see zero problems with that.

  8. Use the same material that WALLS are padded with in MENTAL ASYLUMS to create him a custom helmet. It will help AB get used to his post-playing career.

  9. Brown has every right to be upset. They gave Brady time but for Brown, even with a sudden decision, he gets bo time. And many of you are upset that Brown is acting this way. So what if Kawai Leonard was told he coulsnt wear his oreferred sneaker anymore becauae the league now has a show deal with Big Baller Brand shoes. Kauai shoukd just get in line, right? Probably not!

  10. There’s a key difference with “Brady & Aaron” (why single them out?) – their helmets didn’t fail existing standards it’s just last year the NFL decided to increase the standards, enforcing them this year. It gave all players, INCLUDING Brown, a year to find an approved helmet.

    Those new standards are now in force. The only reason Brown’s wasn’t specifically banned was because, like him, the NFL couldn’t find one under 10yrs old anyway! Now they have and confirm it doesn’t meet the newer standards announced in 2018 to be enforced in 2019.

  11. Wow, if that’s actually the case, I can’t believe I am saying it but I think he has a point. I will go buy a lottery ticket today because that will never happen again.

  12. Drew Rosenhaus and Antonio Brown vs. the NFL, the NFLPA and logic. The fans will lambaste Brown throughout the season triggering more and more childish behavior. I suspect he knows he’s taken his “protest” to an absurd level and has tainted his reputation, perhaps irreparably. The Raiders will never get the player they thought they were trading for – Brown will not be the tireless leader on the practice field. He’ll be the malcontent he was at the end of his tenure in Pittsburgh because it has worked before. The only practical solution is to send him the five day letter and forfeit his guarantees. He’ll show up in a disgruntled mood and poison the team. Mayock and Gruden know this so they have a choice – get a disgruntled Brown who is angry at the NFL and NFLPA or get a disgruntled Brown who is angry at the Raiders. Either will likely sabotage the 2019 Raider team. Send the letter and discipline the player if he acts out. He may experience a plethora of unprovable soft tissue injuries and become a cancer in the locker room becoming the modern version of Albert Haynesworth.

  13. These are the nuances that are being glossed over by those who think that Brown is simply being a baby about the situation.

    Everyone thinks he’s being a baby, and they are correct. And not just about the helmet, don’t forget about the self-inflicted frost bite.

  14. Raiders GM Mayock has a solution for AB. All in or all out. That means he either finds his helmet and starts playing or he can sit in a rocking chair and call it a career. Right now he is All Bull.

  15. What you need to come up with is the medical solution for his mental health issues. The guy’s elevator stops off somewhere before the top floor.

  16. Antonio would have had his grace period, If he would have played last year. Good luck with this Prima Donna Raiders.

  17. hey Roseyhouse, i have a solution. Either he obeys the rules that all the other players
    adhere to or get a real job in the real world. You should go along with him. It is time the
    nfl rids itself of all these prima donnas’ once and for all.

  18. Short version: Because my commission may depend on finding one, I’m still spanning the globe, on the lookout for the elusive, less than ten years old, Schutt AiR Advantage.

    They should know by now, when/if it’s not the helmet, it will be something else.

  19. Except Brown knew at least as early as the offseason he would need a new helmet. PFT had a post about it when this drama started: the team told him during the OTAs, they helped him find an approved one, which he did at one point, and they had no reason to think he wasn’t fine with it until he showed up to minicamp with his old one which he had re-painted. My guess is someone told him about this loophole sometime between when he chose a new helmet and minicamp so that’s why he dug in during training camp.

  20. He can play with a different helmet. He should be at practice getting used to a new model helmet. This would be the perfect time to start to get used to the helmet and adjust, if he even needs too. I didn’t want AB and this type of stuff is why. He is one of the best receivers during his time on the NFL, but he isn’t worth dealing with this BS. However, we are stuck with him, as I don’t see us getting rid of him considering his contract.

  21. The best thing to happen to the Bills this offseason was having trade talks with the Steelers break down.

  22. The funny thing is that if he would have just picked a helmet, he could have used training camp to get used to the net helmet.

    Man… divas are going to diva.

  23. AB is obviously being singled out for special treatment by the NFL.
    It’s as if they searched for some way to harrass him.
    They decided the helmet thing would work, and man, were they ever right.

    Good thing Hard Knocks is there or else we’d never know about it.

    Free Antonio Brown!!!!

  24. So AB obviously makes poor choices in protective wear given the result of his footwear choice while in cryotherapy. So given his history no real surprise.

    So my question/suggestion is if the helmet only presents a danger to AB why can’t he sign a waiver and play? If the NFL&NFLPA consider the helmet a danger to other players that is completely different matter and if articulated in a clear manner would also close the debate.

  25. I understand his frustration at the last minute denial. However, how long should the NFL wait to ban a helmet once it is known to fail the testing standards? Any delay in pulling the helmet can be seen as side stepping safety, and at a time that brain injuries are at the forefront of sports lawsuits.

  26. If you read the FMIA article you will see that the new helmets offer a better field of vision than Brown’s helmet as well as being safer.

    There is no argument to be made for the 10 year old model that Brown prefers.

    He can hold his breath until he’s blue in the face.

  27. As much as I find Browns antics hilariously silly… It is interesting that Brady got a year with his old helmet and Brown is told he won’t get that option. Could the league be any more clear on who the golden child is?

  28. The NBA Offseason is much better. Their playoffs are better, the stars are much bigger. If they somehow cut their regular season in half (laughable will never happen) to make every game more meaningful, they’d be number 1. NFL will always reign supreme because every week of the regular season is an event, and it draws more fantasy players. But it sure as heck doesnt mean the quality of product is much better. Love how these NFL teams charge full price for preseason games for the privilege of watching the dolphins and bucs 3rd teamers barf all over themselves for 3 hours. That is not good entertainment, and i actually feel sorry for people that enjoyed it

  29. If we can’t trust the anti-science NFL to test air pressure of footballs, how can we trust them to test the safety of helmets, especially after they spent decades and millions to cover up the long term effects of concussions? Brown is a stooge, but the NFL are crooks. Who’s worse?

  30. Were Brady and Rodgers given a grace period? I think they were given advanced notice. If Brown was playing with a uncertified helmet more than 10 years old, why wasn’t he given the same advanced notice?

  31. the 5 day letter should have been mailed August 1st. Solution: NFL sends out memo to all teams.
    Every person under contract will wear league approved items or be banned for life.

  32. I believe that AB is in breach of contract – should give the Raiders some cap space to play with.

  33. He still has no valid argument. All players that wore helmets discontinued after the 2017 season were given a 1 year grace period to still wear that helmet last year (2018). It was well publicized that they would all be banned moving forward. So all players were afforded the same courtesy of a 1 year grace period. They have treated AB no differently, he is the only person acting like an idiot and not following the rule

  34. We moved offices back in March, I should have said that I liked my old desk and office space better and would not report to our new office until I had my old space back. Wonder how that would have gone over? I do know I would have had a lot more time on my hands this summer…

  35. No Drew your trying to tell your nut case client the Bears have had it and are ready to move on, its sit or get off the pot time. Guess who doesnt get any money then, both of you.

  36. Not much to process here Drew, the guy’s being a total idiot and its your job to straighten him out. You better shut up and do that if you want your commission because if he retires you won’t

  37. Let him play with no helmet this way he can show off those pearly whites before he gets laid out. Nobody likes this guy anymore.

  38. So much for changing the locker room culture that Mayock and Gruden espoused. The Raiders knew exactly what they were getting in AB……the difference between the Patriot culture and Raiders is that AB would never have been signed to begin with…..I like Mayock, but this was a very poor signing.

  39. There was a lot of talk from my fellow Packer fans this past off-season about how we should acquire AB. Wonder what they’re thinking now…

  40. Isn’t is about time somebody sets an Over/Under number of games AB will play for the Raiders (1) this season and (2) ever. (maybe it’s already out there somewhere?)

    Whatever the lines are, being a Steelers fan and knowing AB like we Steelers fans do, put me down for the Under on both.

  41. “A helmet solution”

    Don’t we all wish our days could be filled with such no-brainer problems as this?

  42. In all the hubbub, I have yet to see a reason WHY Brown doesn’t like the new helmet. It’s also hard to understand why someone would balk a wearing a helmet that has supposedly proven it protects a player better. Raiders need to tell Brown to wear the new helmet or be in breach of contract and start fining him.

  43. AB’s trying to make it seem like he has a legitimate reason for wanting to wear his old helmet… better visibility, etc… They’ve debunked ALL of that. The truth is, he’s just a big baby, an egomaniac who doesn’t like it that other people can tell him what to do. Grow up, AB, or relinquish the PRIVILEGE of playing in the NFL. When you work a job, you have to do what your boss says, whether you like it or not.

  44. As much as I have been deriding ABs behavior (and I still do) I think the NFL has also now taken improper steps. AB got a decision he did not like and I thought it was a laugh when he started running a scavenger hunt for helmets less than 10 years old. But he did Indeed actually find some, and so he did find a way to get his way in the end. I wasn’t rooting for him because I think he is a cancer, but I can still admit he found a way to get what he wanted without breaking rules or usurping the NFLs policy and decision on his grievance. But that wasn’t good enough for the NFL. They cant settle for a ‘both side comes out ok’ type ending, they felt a need for the other side to flat out lose. This reminds me of Deflategate a little where it turned out to not be about deflated balls but rather a battle about who had how much power (and in the end the court filings were about exactly that and not at all about ball deflation or cell phones or any of that other nonsense that never actually happened.) In this case the NFL has doubled down by writing new rules after the fact. I hear them rolling the new rules out in the same voice I heard that guy suddenly announcing there was a double secret probation in play in that scene from Animal house. I would bet that if AB went to court over the new testing rules being slapped on him after the fact and won (because he would have an argument) I could see the NFL going right back with the same appeal they did against Brady and winning because the CBA says they can do what they want simply because they said so. I always thought that ‘commissioners powers’ thing was just to create a concession that would have to be negotiated for in the next CBA talks and I cant rule out that the way they are slamming the door on AB is just to reaffirm with everyone that they do have such power and are willing to be as heavy handed as they want until someone concedes something to get them to give it up.

    This is no longer about helmets, this is about both AB and the NFL being determined to come out as ‘the side that won’ in the end. And in the NFLs case they cant be happy just winning, they need the other side to lose too. (At least AB was willing to accept an NFL victory as long as he still found a way to get what he wanted too) But maybe that really is just to harden the point they want to carry into the CBA negotiations.

    This is also why the NFL doesn’t (the article makes a really good point on this) give him a year to absorb the rule change they just made. They want everyone to see that the CBA allows them to just invent a rule and slap it on a guy however they want.

  45. npobserver says:
    August 19, 2019 at 9:41 am
    Walmart is hiring. You don’t have to wear a helmet there.
    Actually, I think that they are changing that policy.

  46. From all accounts of former players I have recently heard, the fit of their helmet and how it feels when they play is a big deal. However,all the current players have adjusted. Begrudgingly or otherwise. AB just needs to cave and play. If the new helmet was required for branding and marketing reasons or something trivial, I could see the argument, but the league is causing this inconvenience to the players for safety reasons. AB just has to suck it up.

  47. geobh says:
    August 19, 2019 at 9:21 am

    the 5 day letter should have been mailed August 1st. Solution: NFL sends out memo to all teams.
    Every person under contract will wear league approved items or be banned for life.
    Banned for life? What drama. The player can’t play without approved equipment. Their equipment is checked.

  48. The actual solution seems to be the only thing the entitled lunatic refuses to try. Grow the hell up, accept the safety requirements like EVERYBODY ELSE and do your damn job.

  49. You can “nuance” the argument all you want Florio (says the lawyer in you)…..but it’s time to play football! Make a decision either way.

  50. Why is no one discussing the reasoning why Brown is nowhere to be found at Training Camp?!???!???

    He can still file a grievance and participate in many things associated with Raiders. Even though he couldn’t necessarily practice in old helmet (can he or can’t he not been addressed anywhere I have seen?) He could be a mentor to other receivers, show up to meetings, get treatment & rehab for his injured feet, learn the new offense, and build rapport with his new QB, teammates, coaches, etc..

  51. Rosenhaus: “I wouldn’t make too much about him not being there today, as much as we’re still trying to come up with a solution that works for everyone.”

    There’s no good reason for AB to not be at camp. Why can’t he at least be there for walkthroughs, meeting, non-contact drills? Even with his foot issues he should still be at the facility doing whatever he can.

    But he’s not. Because he’s nothing more than a selfish baby. And he’s making Chucky look like a chump.

  52. There was a time when Indy Car drivers didn’t wear seatbelts, hated the very idea of them. The suits said sorry, wear them or quit, it’s a safety issue, for your sake and the sake of the sport, which is in danger of being legislated and litigated out of existence because it is killing and maiming its participants in shocking numbers.
    Sound familiar? For the NFL, and for its players, this is that time. For the sake of the players and the sport, which is in danger of…
    The drivers dealt with it. They weren’t happy, some bitched about it the rest of their careers and lives, but they dealt with it, and they moved on.
    Deal, AB. Deal, Chucky. Deal, Weaselhouse. The NFL has no choice but to move on. Either do you.

  53. If Brown wants to fight to use his favorite helmet that is all well and good, but NOT SHOWING UP because of this issue is pathetic. He should be in practice getting used to the new helmet he may have to wear (which by the way he knew about in May). He is blatantly using this excuse to skip training camp. The guy has totally lost his mind. He has zero concept of team. So yes, 100%, he is being a big baby.

  54. AB just doesn’t want to go to camp. Period. This is a lame excuse. 5 years ago the NFL had an agreement with Riddell. When other, better, helmets were on the market, the NFL was forced to allow players to explore other, better, options. Go back a month ago and read Peter Kings detailed article about his visits to 3 different helmet manufacturers. Enough said. These companies now make custom helmets for each position group. It’s a smokescreen he is using to not have to report to camp. Plain and simple. Lastly, do you know how many sales reps would offer to fly him in to get fitted for one of their helmets that are already approved? All of them. Especially if he gets some endorsement money to wear it.

  55. geobh says:
    August 19, 2019 at 9:21 am

    the 5 day letter should have been mailed August 1st. Solution: NFL sends out memo to all teams.
    Every person under contract will wear league approved items or be banned for life.

    I was completely with you until I got to those final three words. But if you replaced them with “not allowed to practice pr play” I would agree with you. Of course, I’m pretty sure thats what the rule says already.

  56. bonitalocal says:
    August 19, 2019 at 10:26 am
    npobserver says:
    August 19, 2019 at 9:41 am
    Walmart is hiring. You don’t have to wear a helmet there.
    Actually, I think that they are changing that policy.

    They are not a bad idea even just for shopping.

  57. The league was sued for millions of dollars because of head injuries and spent millions more to advance research on safer helmets. Send the letter. Go to work or retire.

  58. AB is the only player I know who needs to have an “emotional support helmet.” The Raiders look really good by drawing the line here and now. If the Raiders are still in this place next week, then they are going to look like the buffoons they have been the last 18 years.

  59. Brown could care less about the helmet. It’s another one of his acts he’s putting on, and the reason he’s doing it is to take the rest of training camp and the pre-season off. Don’t be fooled by his facade. What the Raiders should do is demand that he reports to practice no later than this afternoon and if not, announce he’s in breach of contract, then take him to court to recover his signing bonus.

  60. Yeah…he’s still being a baby. He’s had over a year to work this out & find something suitable. He just didn’t want to go to camp & now he just doesn’t want to give in, his ego won’t allow it because he’s a child.

  61. I get that AB wants to use a specific helmet. But, why does the require being away from the team? Why can’t he wear a different helmet, at least for pre-season activities, while he pursues the grievance process?

    It all makes me wonder if this is really about the helmet. Or, is the helmet just an excuse to skip practice?

  62. Before the 1968 Super Bowl (AFC / NFC Championship game) they had two giant helmets on the field painted like the Raiders and Packers helmets. I wonder if they saved that Raiders helmet, because that one might fit Brown’s head.

  63. I believe the “solution” involves him putting his Big-Boy pants on and picking an approved helmet.

    Besides, it looks like his old helmet didn’t work at all.

  64. When Mayok says and he is the boss, they have exhauste all remedies, the lawyer can blab all he wants but the fact is, the Raiders call the shots until the NFL tells them to stop. The NFL ruled and its final.

  65. The headline from the Agent says it all

    We’re still trying to come up with a helmet solution for Antonio Brown

    Fact is – they have no standing in this argument. The League and the Players Union have already spoken on this – to have one idiot player trying to say he worried about using a new tested helmet instead of his preference, an old untested helmet – is ridiculous

  66. I’m enjoying the irony of the league and the Raiders being on the same side of a dispute.

    I also think that when AB walked out on his old team for the last week of last year, he’d have been well advised to spend the “extra” time sampling the various available, approved helmets.

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