League sources told ESPN and the NFL Network that Brown talked with an independent arbitrator for two hours on a conference call Friday. The wideout, who is believed to have been using the same helmet throughout his whole career, argued why he should be allowed to wear his longtime helmet, according to ESPN.
NFL officials, player representatives and NFLPA representatives in Philadelphia joined Brown and the independent arbitrator on the call, according to ESPN. A decision on the matter could come as early as next week.
League sources told NFL Media that Brown prefers to wear his 10-year-old helmet over the newer-model helmets that league rules mandate. The Raiders receiver told team officials the new helmet interferes with his vision while attempting to catch the football.
Brown’s old helmet, believed to be the Schutt Air Advantage, has been discontinued by the company and is no longer certified by the National Operating Committee for Standards and Athletic Equipment.
According to ESPN, Brown’s absence from the Raiders’ training camp has more to do with his helmet than his injured feet. The pass-catcher suffered frostbite on his feet after failing to wear proper footwear inside a cryogenic therapy chamber last month.
Brown has been absent from camp since last week, missing all but two days of his first training camp with the Raiders. Oakland acquired the receiver in a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers this off-season.