Antonio Brown is not going down without a fight. He has a special bond with the specific helmet that he has worn throughout his career, and is on a mission to find a league-approved replacement. If achieving this goal means handing over some autographed merchandise, then so be it.
Tuesday morning, Brown posted a message on Twitter saying that he was seeking a Schutt Air Advantage Adult Large Helmet that was manufactured in 2010 or after. In exchange for this piece of equipment, Brown was offering up a Raiders practice helmet that he would autograph.
The Oakland Raiders star trade acquisition received news on Monday afternoon that his request to wear the Schutt Air Advantage helmet had been denied by an arbitrator due to it being more than 10 years old.
"I'm looking for a Schutt Air Advantage Adult Large Helmet that was manufactured in 2010 or after. In exchange I will trade a signed practice worn @Raiders helmet."— AB (@AB84) August 13, 2019
The NFL has been moving toward different styles of helmets in an effort to improve player safety and removing these helmets from the rotation was one of the critical steps. Unfortunately for Brown, tracking down this helmet will be far more difficult than he initially expected.
Schutt stopped making this particular line of helmets in 2011. If Brown can indeed track one down, the newest helmet would be eight years old. That's still pushing the boundaries of allowed headgear, but it would fall within the NFL's current requirements.
Of course, this also brings up a very obvious question. Is Brown willing to go through this hoopla again in 2020 and possibly 2021? If he can find a Schutt Air Advantage helmet to wear during his first season with the Oakland Raiders, this will only temporarily fix his problem. The replacement helmet will no longer be allowed within the next one or two years.
At this point, Brown should find one of the allowed helmets that can be a possibility, and he should wear it every single place that he can. It doesn't matter if it's during practice or out to the Golden Corral. Brown should just continue to wear the new style of helmet as much as possible in order to get used to the changes. Eventually, he would grow accustomed to the new style and would be able to perform as capably as before.
While this quest for a new helmet is important to Brown, the Raiders and head coach Jon Gruden would simply prefer if he shows up to training camp healthy and ready to roll. This offense is searching for a boost in production, and Brown could be the catalyst for success.