Was Antonio Brown’s ridiculous helmet drama a money ploy?
On Sunday, an independent arbitrator denied the Oakland Raiders’ receiver’s second grievance against the NFL, affirming that his helmet was not safe and therefore could not be worn.
Over the last few weeks, Brown missed significant parts of Oakland’s training camp practices, in part because his feet were peeling from cold burns, and in part because he refused to take the field unless he was wearing the Schutt AiR Advantage helmet he’d been wearing for more than a decade.
Brown looked for a younger version of the same model — the non-profit National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, or NOCSAE, won’t certify any helmet that’s 10 years old — but the testing group the NFL and NFL Players Association contracted to test helmet safety wouldn’t certify the newer AiR Advantage helmets, either.
Brown has rejoined the Raiders, and practiced with a league-certified helmet.
But on Sunday evening, Brown’s agent Drew Rosenhaus said on SiriusXM NFL Radio, “we’re going to move on ... that door is closed,” in regards to his helmet-fueled disagreement with the league.
Rosenhaus also said Brown will end up profiting from his self-created soap opera.
“As a result of all the publicity accrued from our efforts to get him to wear that helmet, he has multiple offers on the table right now from various companies to custom-make a helmet for him and pay him quite a bit of money,” Rosenhaus said. “We have found, without getting into specifics, some very suitable alternatives. We’re very excited. Antonio will be wearing a helmet. He won’t be missing any time, and he’ll be getting paid a lot of money to do so. It’s sort of a happy ending, even though he won’t be able to wear the old helmet.”
So, in much the same way that Brown decided he didn’t want to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers anymore, forced the team to trade him and got a raise from Oakland in the process, he and Rosenhaus have apparently figured out a way to turn this latest temper tantrum into a money-maker.
As Brown likes to say, boomin’.
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