The Oakland Raiders have been very supportive of wide receiver Antonio Brown while he has dealt with issues regarding the NFL's helmet rules, but the situation has now changed. The NFL and the NFLPA are officially working together on the matter and have decided that the Schutt Air Advantage helmet was not fit after testing. This means that Brown will not be able to wear his preferred helmet during the 2019 season due to the failure.
There is a possibility that the story could continue if Brown decides to sue, but the Raiders are ready for this helmet issue to no longer be news. They made clear of that with their message sent on Sunday.
Sunday afternoon, general manager Mike Mayock talked to reporters and gave Brown what seemed like an ultimatum. With this latest news and ruling, he expects the dynamic receiver to either show up to practice and be all in or step away from football for good. With only two games remaining until the regular season, the time has come for Brown to get to work, and he expects the star receiver to be a part of the team's future.
"You all know that AB is not here today, right? So, here's the bottom line – he's upset about the helmet issue," Mayock said on Sunday. "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, OK? So, we're hoping he's back soon. We've got 89 guys busting their tails, we are really excited about where this franchise is going and we hope AB's going to be a big part of it, starting Week 1 against Denver. End of story. No questions, OK? Just wanted you guys to know where we were. Fair?"
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the NFL decided to require testing of the Schutt Air Advantage after previously informing the Raiders that Brown could wear the helmet, provided he found one less than 10 years old. Well, the receiver was able to track down multiple helmets, including one from 2011 that had been certified by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment.
However, the NFL decided at that point to require the helmet be sent in for testing. Brown's representatives complied and sent the helmet for testing, which it failed. He responded to the news with graphic language while slamming the NFL.
Brown is certainly unhappy with the league, but what will he do now that the matter has seemingly been settled? Will he report to the Raiders and adjust to the new helmet, or will he walk away from the NFL?
Whatever Brown decides, Mike Mayock and the Oakland Raiders expect an answer very soon, and they are tired of answering questions about the matter.