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Tom Brady dealing with helmet change protested by Antonio Brown: ‘I don’t really have much of a choice’

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Tom Brady dealing with helmet change protested by Antonio Brown: ‘I don’t really have much of a choice’

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SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Lorenzo Reyes discusses how the NFL’s new helmet rules are benefitting the players’ safety.
Max Schreiber, USA TODAY

Tom Brady is having an easier time adjusting to the new helmet rules mandated by the NFL than Antonio Brown. That doesn’t mean he likes it, though. 

On Boston radio station WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” on Monday, the New England Patriots quarterback said finding a comfortable lid has been a work in progress. 

“I’ve been experimenting with a couple different ones, and I don’t really love the one that I’m in, but I don’t really have much of a choice,” Brady said. “So I’m just trying to do the best I can to work with it.”

Brady was one of 32 players, along with Brown and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who needed to change their helmet this offseason. In April, the league and the NFL Players’ Association jointly announced they were banning 11 different models in an effort to improve player safety. Brady previously used the Riddell VSR-4 model, per ESPN

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Brown’s grievance over the helmet issue was denied Monday by an arbitrator, and he subsequently said he disagreed with the ruling but is “working on getting back to full health and looking forward to rejoining my teammates on the field.” Earlier Monday, league spokesman Brian McCarthy tweeted the NFL’s position on the matter, writing, “The player can’t practice or play in games with equipment that’s not approved. If he doesn’t play or practice he is in breach of his contract and doesn’t get paid.” 

League policy dictates that the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) must certify all helmets. The committee does not approve equipment that’s more than 10 years old. 

While Brown was irked by the forced change, Brady appears to be dealing with it.

“You get used to the same helmet for a long period of time,” Brady told the show. “My last helmet, I wore it the last four Super Bowls. So it was a pretty great helmet for me. I hated to put it on the shelf.” 

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