Antonio Brown has had one of the most bizarre offseasons that a star player has had in quite some time.

Earlier this summer, Brown contracted frostbite after he didn’t wear the proper footwear when undergoing cryotherapy. In addition, the Oakland Raiders offseason acquisition wanted to wear his old style of helmet, and threatened to quit if he wasn’t allowed to.

Brown was previously wearing a Schutt Air XP Advantage helmet and he filed a grievance with the NFL to keep wearing that helmet. However, Mike Jones of USA Today reported that the arbitrator ruled against Brown in his grievance to wear his own helmet.

Antonio Brown wearing a Schutt Air XP Advantage helmet last season, which the company no longer makes.
Ron Chenoy / USA TODAY Sports

Shortly after the ruling, Brown did say that he plans to play football in 2019.

The NFL began the process of banning specific helmets before the start of the 2018 season. However, the league gave players a full year to find a replacement helmet and let players suit up with helmets that are going to be illegal in 2019.

Stars like Tom Brady and Alvin Kamara each wore a helmet in 2018 that will now be illegal. In fact, 32 different players wore what’s now an illegal helmet, but were aware that they would have to switch to a legal one when the 2019 season kicks off.

That Brown wears a Schutt Air Advantage helmet is problematic for two reasons. For one, there are three Schutt helmets on the banned list, and two, Brown’s helmet model is so old that the company doesn’t even make it anymore (here’s our in-depth look at why Brown’s helmet is now banned).

According CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, Brown’s helmet model hasn’t necessarily been banned due to a safety issue, it’s been banned because it’s too old. Every NFL helmet must be certified as safe, and the company that certifies helmets won’t approve any model that’s more than 10 years old, which is the case in Brown’s situation. 

So, how does Brown’s helmet pictured above differ from what players are allowed to wear in 2019? Let’s take a look at some of the new helmet options and compare:

Patrick Mahomes

Mahomes wore this Vicis Zero1 during the 2018 season, which is one helmet that has been approved by the league. The facemask is a little more rounded and the middle portion of the helmet is raised. C.J. Anderson, who’s now with the Detroit Lions, also wore the Vicis Zero1 last season.

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Ryan Tannehill

Tannehill, who’s now with the Titans, wore a Riddell Speedflex helmet when he was on the Dolphins during the 2018 season. Tannehill’s helmet has a panel on the front of the crown and the facemask has a more curved shape in the front.

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Allen Robinson

The Bears‘ Robinson wore the Schutt F7 helmet last season. The helmet features more of a square facemask, but is similar to many of the new helmets that are legal in 2019.

allen-robinson-1400.jpg

Now that we know how Brown’s helmet will be different in 2019, it’s time to wonder who won the offseason trade with the Steelers, and whether his frostbitten feet and helmet fiasco might not even be the biggest problem with the Raiders’ offense.


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