Everyone was shocked to hear Antonio Brown was willing to retire if he couldn’t wear his preferred helmet. And by saying “everyone” — that includes Brown, who denied the notion Thursday.
“I’m like, ‘Where did you get that from?’ ” Brown told reporters after the Raiders’ 33-26 win over the Cardinals. “I never said that. … Who made that up? Why would I retire? I’ve got a beautiful career. I’m healthy. I love to play the game. Obviously, I inspire people with the way I play the game. I’m grateful to play, and I’m excited to put on this uniform.”
That tone certainly makes the Raiders organization feel better than Brown’s “#paidinfull” post from earlier this week.
Brown has reached a compromise with the NFL allowing him to use the helmet model he likes (the Schutt AiR Advantage) if he can find one made within the past 10 years. He sent out a cry for help on Twitter and seems to have a handful of options with the regular season approaching.
“I’m still trying helmets right now,” he said Thursday. “As long as they’re league-certified, those are the helmets I’m trying out, and I’m trying out what I have. A lot of great fans sent in a lot of great helmets.
“I’m still working with the NFL to make sure everything’s legal. I’m just excited to move forward and be here with my teammates and achieve our shared goals and get everything we deserve.”
Antonio Brown looks comfortable running routes, and finishing with a dunk over the crossbar. pic.twitter.com/vTJdi1tlJw
— Scott Bair (@BairNBCS) August 15, 2019
Raiders coach Jon Gruden, who admitted the team has gone through “a strange, strange couple weeks” with its new star wide receiver, said the helmet Brown wore before Thursday’s game against Arizona was legal and that he looks forward to getting Brown fully integrated with the team.
“We weathered the storm. It’s great to see him out there with his teammates and he appears to be in great spirits and like he’s ready to get going,” Gruden said. “This Antonio Brown, I’m excited about him.”
Though Brown was in uniform Thursday, he only participated in pregame routes.