Oakland Raiders general manager Mike Mayock told disgruntled receiver Antonio Brown it’s time to decide whether he’s ‘‘all in or all out’’ about playing this season after losing a fight with the NFL and NFLPA over his helmet.
Mayock issued a statement to reporters that the Raiders released in a video on Twitter expressing his frustration that Brown didn’t participate in practice Sunday despite being healed from the frostbitten feet that have sidelined him for most of training camp.
‘‘You all know that A.B. is not here today. So here’s the bottom line. He’s upset about the helmet issue. We have supported that. We appreciate that,’’ Mayock said. ‘‘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. We’ve got 89 guys busting their tails. We are really excited about where this franchise is going and we hope A.B. is going to be a big part of it starting Week 1 against Denver. End of story. No questions.’’
Brown has been upset that the NFL and NFLPA won’t allow him to use the same Schutt Air Advantage that he has used throughout his career. Brown filed a grievance over the issue that he lost on Aug. 12 and then set out to find a newer version of the helmet that was less than 10 years old to get approved.
Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said last week after Brown returned to the Raiders training camp facility that they had found several helmets and were waiting formal approval. Brown took part in pre-game warmups before an exhibition game in Arizona on Thursday night and took part in a walkthrough on Saturday, prompting coach Jon Gruden to express confidence Brown would soon be able to practice.
The helmet was sent to the independent Biokinetics Inc. lab in Ottawa for testing with results shared with biomechanical engineers from both the league and union, a person familiar with the testing said on condition of anonymity because the results weren’t released. The person said the helmet was no different than the 2010 version that had previously been rejected and both the league and union determined it wasn’t safe enough to be used.
Pro Football Talk first reported the failed test after the Raiders walkthrough on Saturday, prompting a profane response from Brown on Twitter. He then didn’t take part in practice Sunday, leading to Mayock’s forceful statement.
Brown had 686 catches and 9,145 yards receiving the past six seasons in Pittsburgh, the best marks ever for a receiver in a six-year span. But he still wore out his welcome with the Steelers after leaving the team before a crucial Week 17 game last season and was able to be acquired by Oakland in March for the small price of third- and fifth-round draft picks.
But the drama that surrounded Brown in Pittsburgh didn’t stop upon his arrival with the Raiders even though he was given a hefty raise with a three-year contract worth $50.125 million.
Brown injured his feet while getting cryotherapy treatment in France, forcing him to start camp on the non-football injury list. Brown was activated on July 28 and participated in parts of two practices before leaving the team to get treatment on his feet and deal with the grievance with the NFL.
Brown returned to the Raiders on Aug. 13 but still hasn’t participated in a full practice all of training camp.
Giants’ WR Tate in protocol
The New York Giants placed wide receiver Golden Tate III in concussion protocol. Tate sustained the concussion Friday night in the Giants’ 32-13 preseason victory over the Chicago Bears. It was not known Sunday how long the 10-year veteran will be kept out of practice.
Earlier in the week, Tate, 30, learned his four-game suspension to start the season had been upheld by the NFL office. Tate insisted the failed drug test was due to him taking the fertility drug clomiphene.
Tate was prescribed the drug by a physician, whom Tate now plans on suing. The doctor apparently told Tate he prescribed clomiphene to four other NFL players who were not suspended.
Tate, who will lose more than $1 million in salary from his four-year, $37 million contract while he is suspended, can practice and play preseason games with the Giants, but cannot participate once the season begins.
Ex-NFL RB Benson dead at 36
Former NFL running back Cedric Benson, one of the most prolific rushers in NCAA and University of Texas history, died Saturday night in a motorcycle accident in Austin, Texas. He was 36. Benson, who played at Texas from 2001-2004, was a key player in the Longhorns’ resurgence under coach Mack Brown and rushed for 5,540 yards to rank second at the school and ninth in NCAA history. Benson went on to play in the NFL for the Bears, Bengals, and Packers. Obituary, D6. . . . Le’Veon Bell will have to wait a little longer for his debut with the New York Jets. Coach Adam Gase announced that the star running back will be held out of the team’s final two preseason games. ‘‘I was about 99% sure heading into the preseason,’’ Gase said. ‘‘It was all based off of how he practiced, conditioning and all those types of things.’’ . . . The Indianapolis Colts put receiver Daurice Fountain on season-ending injured reserve with a dislocated and fractured left ankle, according to coach Frank Reich. The second-year receiver was injured on a running play during Thursday’s joint practice with the Cleveland Browns. He had surgery Friday . . . The Chicago Bears’ kicking competition is over, for now, with Eddy Pineiro the winner after the team released Elliott Fry after an offseason and preseason competition to replace Cody Parkey . . . Taysom Hill had 191 yards of offense and directed three second-half scoring drives to help the New Orleans Saints rally for a 19-17 exhibition victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday in Carson, Calif.