Raiders Rumors: Antonio Brown Files New Grievance vs. NFL in Helmet Dispute

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2019

El wide receiver de los Raiders de Oakland, Antonio Brown (84), se coloca el casco antes de un juego de pretemporada de la NFL contra los Cardenales de Arizona, el jueves 15 de agosto de 2019, en Glendale, Arizona. (AP Foto/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Antonio Brown really loves his old helmet.

According to Pro Football Talk, the Oakland Raiders wide receiver "filed a new grievance against the NFL over its attempt to prevent him from wearing any Schutt AiR Advantage helmet less than 10 years old."

ESPN's Adam Schefter also reported Brown filed a second grievance.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Brown is "arguing that he should be afforded the same right provided to other NFL players to have a one-year grace period to phase out his helmet in 2019 season. He claims the NFL is arbitrarily applying rules."

He added that "the expectation is that it will be heard by an arbitrator on an expedited basis."

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wrote Brown is essentially trying to use a loophole to win this second grievance. As he noted, the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment won't certify any helmets that are over 10 years old. However, the Schutt AiR Advantage helmet Brown prefers hasn't been banned by the league, and he located helmets of that variety that were less than 10 years old.

Players were given a one-year grace period to replace banned helmets. As Florio noted, Brown's argument is that since the Schutt AiR Advantage wasn't banned and he has a model that is less than 10 years old, he should be given that same grace period.

The NFL will likely argue it has already given Brown a year to identify a new helmet and make the necessary adjustments.

Brown lost his first grievance and left training camp amid the dispute. He returned to the Raiders on Monday after general manager Mike Mayock appeared to give him a thinly veiled ultimatum.

"You all know that A.B. is not here today. So here's the bottom line: He's upset about the helmet issue," Mayock said. "We have supported that. We appreciate that. But at this point, we've pretty much exhausted all avenues of relief. So from our perspective, it's time for him to be all-in or all-out. So we're hoping he's back soon."

It's unclear if Brown will remain with Oakland during this second grievance. But the Raiders and their fans are almost assuredly tiring of this ongoing situation—a level of fatigue that will only be amplified if Brown leaves the team again.

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