Antonio Brown has a new team. Now he’s in search of a new helmet.
It was announced on Friday that the helmet manufacturer Xenith has decided to end its relationship with the New England Patriots mercurial wide receiver.
“We look forward to seeing the Xenith Shadow worn by football athletes at all levels of play this fall,” the company told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Brown’s helmet saga dates back to the preseason, where at one point he threatened to retire if he wasn’t allowed to wear his old helmet, which is the now-discontinued Schutt Air Advantage. He lost his grievances with the NFL and ended up announcing a partnership to wear the Xenith Shadow.
“NFL athletes have a choice in what helmet they wear. I choose Xenith,” Brown said last week. “It’s not easy to make a change like this so far into your career, but the Xenith Shadow was the only helmet that could fit my needs on the field.”
A photo of Brown holding the Xenith helmet was still his Twitter avatar as of Friday afternoon.
It was noticed during his practices with the Patriots this week that Brown was sporting a different helmet — one of the Schutt Air XP models, according to Pro Football Talk.
Antonio Brown Week 2 Status: WR Expected to Play for Patriots
Brown has had bigger problems to deal with than his overblown helmet drama this week.
Brown has been accused of sexually assaulting his former trainer in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida.
After an offseason which Brown spent with the Oakland Raiders, multiple issues resulted in the team opting to release him prior to Week 1. After signing with the Patriots shortly after, his status for Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins could depend on whether he’s placed on the commissioner’s exempt list.
Schefter reported that the NFL will not place him on the list — for now. The case is a civil matter and there are no criminal charges facing Brown.
When asked about Brown’s status, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick responded in his usual monotone manner.
“We’ll do what’s best for the team,” he said. “Long way to go, obviously. Not familiar with our offense. The systems he’s been in have been quite different. He’s working hard to pick it up and we’re working hard to get it to him.”
The Patriots dominated the Steelers — Browns’s former team — on Sunday, 33-3. Next up are the lowly Miami Dolphins, who are expected to be among the worst teams in the NFL this season
Antonio Brown Posts Wild Video From TB12 Facility
Brown took to social media on Thursday night to deliver a strange message and show that he’s still focused on getting prepared for the season.
“The work don’t stop,” Brown said in an Instagram video. “No matter what they say, no matter what they hate, somebody’s still gotta go to work.”
“Call God,” he added. “In a time of crisis, all I ask is love, dedication and focus. Stay focused. The devil is going to try to bring you down when you get closer to your goals. The key is, don’t let him.”
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