The AB Era in Oakland Begins with Him Being a Drama Llama Over His Helmet

There is no denying that when Antonio Brown puts his mind to it, he is one of the best wide receivers in football. There is a reason that he will have a 98 overall rating in Madden 20. That being said… he also has one of the most difficult personalities to work with, and he’s shown it time and time again. From live streaming Mike Tomlin’s post game speech about needing to focus, to going AWOL before Week 17 of last season, to his spotty at best relationship with Ben Roethlisberger

That, in addition to JuJu Smith-Schuster maturing into a possible WR1, is why the Steelers were more than happy to dump AB and his baggage onto the fledgling Oakland Raiders. And boy oh boy did the Raiders receive plenty of baggage with that trade. It was a known fact that Brown was not fully participating in training camp due to his NSFW feet. However, even before he got frostbite (and what looks like gangrene) he had this going on. 

That’s right. Antonio Brown’s new drama alert is all about how he can’t wear his favorite helmet anymore. The NFL banned some helmet models that no longer coincided with new and improved equipment regulations, but allowed a one-year grace period for certain models, such as Brown’s. That grace period was last season, so when Brown showed up to OTAs this year looking for his favorite helmet that he’s worn for his nine-year career but was unable to use it, he did what every 31-year-old multi-millionaire would do in his situation: he bitched and complained, threw a hissy fit, and essentially went AWOL on the Raiders. Some of my favorite tidbits from Mike Silver are (10, 11, 12) : 

I want to interview that poor intern who had to pour over the internet looking for footage of Packers OTAs looking for Aaron Rodgers in his new helmet. How much does this sound like someone dealing with a five-year-old? (The answer is it sounds a lot like dealing with a five year old.) But wait, there’s more! (13)

We have an artist’s rendering of what that looked like. 

ABHelmetRendering

That man straight up dug his old Steelers helmet and tried to pass it off as a legitimate Raiders helmet. Again, just so he could wear that model since he didn’t want to wear a new one. His teammates are taking notice, too. (16, 17)

We haven’t even reached Week 1 and AB has put the Raiders into peak dysfunction. On the surface it looked like the Raiders picked one of the best wide receivers right out of the Steelers pockets. However, the more this saga develops, and the more that AB continues to be AB in Oakland, maybe the Steelers sent a ticking time bomb Jon Gruden’s way instead. Last season the Raiders were just straight up bad. This year it looks like they’ll still be really bad, but at least it might be interesting. Maybe Le’Veon might actually win some games with the not-quite-as-bad Jets.

I’ve never really paid attention to Hard Knocks much, but my eyes are going to be glued to the TV this time around hoping to catch a glimpse of whatever you want to call this. If we go through the entirety of Hard Knocks without seeing a second of this then you’re just gonna have to cancel the series again cause they don’t know when gold is staring them right in the face. Mike Silver has a great 20 tweet thread laying it all out on the table, I suggest checking it out. 

P.S. Amidst writing this reports are pouring in that he might quit because he can’t wear his helmet. What a way to go out!

 

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