The 2019 NFL season is right around the corner and it appears one of the NFL’s biggest stars may…or may not be a participant when the Oakland Raiders begin play on Sunday, September 8.
Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown’s latest attempt to have an older helmet approved fell short with the NFL over the weekend. Now, Raiders general manager Mike Mayock said it’s time for Brown to pick a definitive side moving forward.
Mayock addressed the media about Brown’s absence from practice on Sunday with a short and succinct message:
“You all know that A.B. is not here today. So here’s the bottom line. He’s pretty upset about the helmet issue. 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. So we’re hoping he’s back soon.”
Perhaps the most interesting part of Mayock’s statement is how it was released. The team released the video, which by NFL standards is extremely progressive. Teams might release a statement during or after a media cycle. However, Mayock jumped in front of the story and addressed it…loud and clear.
From his stormy departure from Pittsburgh to his frostbitten feet to wanting to play in a helmet that doesn’t NFL safety requirements, Brown’s actions over the past year appears to have made him one of the league’s biggest distractions. Look no further than his tweet on Saturday after his helmet request was denied.
Ultimately, whenever the end arrives with Brown in Oakland (and it will arrive sooner rather than later probably), it will not end well.
The career of a potential future Hall of Famer could unfortunately be defined by how it ended rather than the glorious portions that came before it.