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Tom Brady Says He Doesn't 'Really Love' His NFL Helmet amid Antonio Brown Rumors

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2019

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is seen before a preseason NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Antonio Brown isn't the only one who doesn't like the new helmets the NFL is mandating. Tom Brady isn't a huge fan, either.

"I've been experimenting with a couple different ones and I don't really love the one that I'm in, but I don't really have much of a choice," the New England Patriots quarterback said on the Greg Hill Show on Monday, per Gabby Guerard of WEEI.com. "So I'm just trying to do the best I can to work with it."

"You get used to the same helmet for a long period of time. My last helmet, I wore it the last four Super Bowls, so it was a pretty great helmet for me. I hated to put it on the shelf," said Brady. "It's kind of what I'm dealing with."

Brown has made waves this summer by leaving Oakland Raiders training camp and reportedly threatening to retire if he can't wear his 12-year-old Schutt Air Advantage helmet. According to a thread from Michael Silver of NFL.com, Brown has repeatedly tried to sneak his old helmet onto the practice field, only to be told he's no longer permitted to wear it.

The NFL has been testing and ranking helmets based on safety in the past five years, outlawing any helmets that don't pass its standards. Brown's old helmet didn't meet the criteria, and he reportedly said during a grievance hearing Friday that he would hold the league liable if he suffered an injury while being forced to wear a new one, per Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic.

As a source told Kaplan: 

"I think it'll be interesting if the NFL forces Antonio to wear a different helmet. And he does play and he doesn’t retire as some people have reported he will do. And then he suffers a really severe injury. I'd hate to be the NFL. Because now you've forced him into wearing a different type of helmet. And I think at that point, though, the liability will be dramatic."

The opposite perspective is that if the NFL did grant Brown a waiver to wear an older helmet, which seems incredibly unlikely, it would likely be free of any liability in the future if the wide receiver suffered head injuries. It would also set a precedent for allowing other players to petition the league to wear non-approved gear. 

So Brown seems unlikely to win this battle.

The next question, then, is whether he'll bite the bullet and return to the NFL, or if he will seriously consider retirement over the dispute. It would be a shocking decision if Brown gave up the $30.1 million he's guaranteed during the next two years over a helmet.

Brady, after all, may not like the new helmet he's required to wear. But he's still with the Patriots.