Antonio Brown Has Apparently Found A Loophole That Would Allow Him To Wear His Preferred Helmet This Season
Antonio Brown might be able to wear his preferred helmet this upcoming season after all.
For the past week or so, Brown has been sparring with the NFL because they won’t allow him to wear his old Schutt AiR Advantage helmet because it is non-compliant to the league’s current helmet policy.
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown has filed a grievance against the NFL to be allowed to wear the helmet he prefers, not one of the helmets that league rules mandate, league sources told ESPN on Friday.
Brown is expected to have a hearing about the helmet as early as next week, and an arbitrator will decide whether he gets to wear the one he wants.
Long-standing NFL rules requiring players to wear certified helmets say he can’t. The helmet that Brown is comfortable in and has worn throughout his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers — believed to be the Schutt Air Advantage helmet, which the company has discontinued making — is no longer certified by the National Operating Committee for Standards and Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE).
The crux of the issue is that Brown’s helmet is over 10 years old and cannot be certified under the league’s current helmet policy.
While the helmet model that Brown personally owns is over 10 years old, the AiR Advantage helmets he wants to wear were not discontinued by Schutt until 2011 which means that if Brown can find an Air Advantage helmet made in 2011 he could wear it next season and it would be legal under the NFL’s helmet policy.
PFT has confirmed with a source close to the situation that the NFL, the Raiders and Brown’s representatives have been in contact, and that the NFL has approved Brown wearing the helmet model he wants — the Schutt AiR Advantage — if he finds a helmet that fits him and is less than 10 years old.
Schutt stopped making the AiR Advantage in 2011, and Brown’s helmet is more than 10 years old. But there are AiR Advantage helmets out there that are eight or nine years old, and if Brown can find one that fits him properly and is in good condition, the league will let him wear it, the source said.
Right now, the source said, Brown and his representatives have not found an AiR Advantage helmet that is less than 10 years old. But they’re hoping to. Anyone who has one may be able to get a pretty penny from Brown for it.
While Brown keeps looking for someone to sell him a 2010/2011 Air Advantage helmet in his size he has announced that he will play next season despite threatening to retire last week.