Just when it looked like Antonio Brown and the Raiders were out of the woods with regards to helmetgate, somehow the saga still has a pulse -- and it appears Oakland general manager Mike Mayock is sick of it.
After Brown missed another practice on Sunday whilethat has prevented the wide receiver from wearing the same type of helmet that he's worn his entire career, Mayock met with the the media on Sunday to discuss Brown's absence. The GM didn't waste time or pull punches, delivering a rather emphatic message to the missing wide receiver.
"You all know that A.B. is not here today. So here's the bottom line. He's pretty upset about the helmet issue," Mayock said. "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."
That was all Mayock had to say on the issue, but it seems quite clear that he's had enough of this drama from his new star wideout. Also, the fact that the Raiders' official Twitter account shared Mayock's address should say something: The team is fed up and frustrated that Brown continues to miss preseason reps over this issue, and they want everyone to know it.
The Raiders have seemingly been plenty patient and supportive of Brown's quest to wear his old helmet, at least up to this point, but it hasn't exactly paid dividends. Between the helmet saga and Brown's ugly frostbite issues, the star receiver's first year in Oakland is off to a brutal start and he's not doing himself many favors to win over his new club.
Earlier this month, the NFL informed Brown that the helmet he's been wearing his entire career no longer meets the league's safety standards and that he would need to find a new type of helmet. Brown unsuccessfully appealed the decision, though the league told him he could stick with his preferred brand (Schutt Air Advantage) if he found one less than 10 years old.
Brown found one that was made in 2014 and certified for use by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE), and he returned to the field to rejoin the Raiders prior to their preseason game against the Cardinals on Thursday night. It seemed as though the saga had ended.
However, the NFL put that helmet through a required testing process and later informed Brown that his new lid failed the test. As such, he'd once again need to search for new head-ware.
This set Brown off and caused him to disappear from Raiders camp once again, and now those running the ship in Oakland are clearly losing their patience. That frustration is understandable, especially considering Brown just arrived to the club via offseason trade with the Steelers and hasn't gotten much work in with his new teammates and coaches.