Raiders' Antonio Brown Will Play in Xenith Shadow Helmet After Losing GrievancesSeptember 4, 2019
The Xenith Shadow it is.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown will play in the Xenith Shadow helmet during the 2019 season after an offseason of multiple lost grievances, crowdsourcing on Twitter for new models and helmet discussions on HBO's Hard Knocks.
Schefter noted the seven-time Pro Bowler believes this model "makes him feel more agile and comfortable, and allows for better visibility" than the Schutt AiR Advantage.
The Brown helmet drama has been one of the dominant storylines in an offseason that has seen Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon holdout and Andrew Luck retire.
He missed time at training camp as part of the dispute that boiled down to the NFL telling him he couldn’t wear his old helmet because it didn't meet the league's safety guidelines. The dispute reached a point where Schefter reported on Aug. 9 that Brown told the Raiders he wouldn't play again if he wasn't allowed to wear the old helmet.
Brown even took to social media trying to find one that would meet the league's standards:
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk noted the crux of the issue was the NFL did not include the Schutt AiR Advantage among the 11 helmet models it banned last season. Brown argued other players were given a year transition period to wear their old helmets, and he wasn't given that same timeline because his was not previously on the banned list.
Brown lost two grievances and won't even be wearing the Schutt AiR Advantage with this switch.
The drama has extended past the helmet issue, as Brown let his feelings about a $13,950 fine from the Raiders for missing a mandatory walkthrough be known on Instagram:
There is still no questioning his skill-set as one of the best receivers in the entire NFL. He finished with 104 catches for 1,297 yards and a league-leading 15 touchdowns last year and will look to start replicating that impact on the Raiders during Monday's season opener against the Denver Broncos.