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Antonio Brown’s Helmet Drama Continues

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Antonio Brown was a headache for the Pittsburgh Steelers last year, which is why they traded him to the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders below value. The Steelers took a third round and a fifth round pick in the next draft in return for, arguably, the best receiver in the league. When Brown got to the Raiders, they rewarded him with a big time contract extension. Why? Because they’re the Raiders and they’re apparently willing to deal with his baggage. Trouble began immediately.  Brown has stayed out of the Raiders’ training camp for almost all of preseason. He finally showed up amid issues over the NFL’s helmet policy. Brown wants to wear the old model of his helmet in spite of the NFL’s transition to a new, supposedly safer, model. The concussion issue looms large for the league. But like a child who doesn’t get his way, Brown has done this to the Raiders, who have zero control over NFL policies. They now have first hand experience with Brown’s baggage. After strong statements from GM Mike Mayock and Coach John Gruden, Brown made his way back onto the field and is “all in” according to his agent. However, Antonio isn’t done with the helmet thing. He has filed another grievance against the league in an effort to get his old helmet back. An arbitrator is going to hear his case this week. Coach Gruden had good things to say about Brown upon his return. “He’s shown great retention of what we’re doing. He (Brown) hadn’t missed the off season program. He’s been here, and out of here, in meetings. And it’s just good to have him back. He’s in great shape, running hard and running good routes.” While it appears Brown is back for now and ready to focus on football, it is hard to imagine this is the last time Brown’s baggage weighs down the Raiders during the life of his contract.

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