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AB returns, says he’s found newer old helmet

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Wide receiver Antonio Brown, who returned to training camp with the Oakland Raiders on Tuesday, has found a version of his old helmet that has been manufactured in the past 10 years, he said Tuesday.

Earlier Tuesday, Brown put out a post on social media — with incentive, of course — asking fans for their help in finding a newer version of his old helmet — the Schutt Air Advantage.

Brown’s agent Drew Rosenhaus said they had located one that has been manufactured since 2010 and that it was just a matter of getting it reconditioned and re-certified.

“Hopefully we’re going to get this behind us soon,” Rosenhaus said.

However, if Brown can get it certified by the National Athletic Equipment Reconditioners Association (NAERA), it is not clear whether the NFL would sign off on it, because the technology is outdated.

Brown, who hadn’t been in camp with the Raiders since being limited in a practice and leaving early on July 30, returned to the team’s facility in Napa, California, on Tuesday.

When asked Tuesday if he expects Brown to play in Week 1 of the regular season, Raiders coach Jon Gruden said: “Oh yeah.”

On Friday, Brown had a two-hour conference call with an independent arbitrator to argue why he should be allowed to wear his older helmet — a 10-year-old Schutt Air Advantage model — which he is thought to have been using his entire career. Brown’s specific helmet is over 10 years old and the model is no longer made by the company, so it is not currently certified by the NOCSAE.

Schutt discontinued the Air Advantage in 2009, according to Glenn Beckmann, Schutt’s director of marketing communications. But the company continued to manufacture the model for a short period afterward to ensure a supply of parts for reconditioning and warranty claims.

Beckmann said he “can’t imagine” any Air Advantage models were manufactured after 2011, and the company does not have any in stock. Helmets are registered with an eight-character number stamped inside the product, similar to a VIN number for automobiles, that confirm its manufacture date.

“There was nothing wrong with the Air Advantage,” Beckmann said. “It had just outlived its life.”

Brown has tried out the new certified helmet and believes it protrudes and interferes with his vision as he tries to catch the football. He also argued that his helmet made him feel safe.

He had reportedly threatened to retire if he was not allowed to wear his helmet. He was acquired from the Pittsburgh Steelers in March and promptly given a three-year, $50.125 million contract.

Brown on Tuesday declined to discuss his frostbitten feet, which he suffered in a cryotherapy mishap in France last month.

ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez and Kevin Seifert contributed to this report.



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Sources — Rams’ offer for Browns’ Joel Bitonio sparked flurry of trades last week

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No team had a busier week than the Los Angeles Rams, who completed three trades involving four players.

But one of their first trade proposals sparked the rest of the deals, and it turned out to be a deal that the Rams didn’t even get done.

The Rams offered cornerback Marcus Peters to the Cleveland Browns on Monday for offensive lineman Joel Bitonio, league sources told ESPN.

The Rams thought Browns general manager John Dorsey would be interested in reuniting with Peters, whom he had helped draft in Kansas City. It was that proposal that started the chain of three trades being completed, all on Tuesday.

Dorsey turned down that deal for Bitonio but proposed sending offensive lineman Austin Corbett to the Rams instead, an offer that intrigued Los Angeles enough to accept. And when the Browns passed on Peters, the Rams offered him to the Baltimore Ravens, who had been having conversations with the Jacksonville Jaguars about Jalen Ramsey.

But here’s how the Ravens expedited their talks with the Rams, and the Ramsey discussions, all at once. The Ravens told the Rams they wanted to complete the deal as soon as possible, within the next 24 hours, so that Peters could play Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. And a short time after, the sides struck a deal that sent Peters to the Ravens, which gave the Rams the extra pick they needed to send to Jacksonville for Ramsey.

Up until then, the Rams had offered the Jaguars two first-round picks, and Jacksonville had insisted on an extra third-rounder as well.

But when the Rams got the 2020 fifth-round pick — what most teams consider as the equivalent of a fourth-round pick in 2021 — from Baltimore, they turned around and flipped that pick to Jacksonville to seal the deal on Ramsey.

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Sources — Jalen Ramsey promises Rams he won’t hold out if sides can’t reach deal

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Before the Los Angeles Rams completed last week’s blockbuster trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars for Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey, they received a promise that made them comfortable with the deal.

Ramsey promised the Rams that even if the sides do not agree to a long-term deal this offseason, he will not hold out next season in the last year of his contract, league sources told ESPN.

Ramsey told the Rams, however, that if the sides are unable to reach an agreement on a long-term deal and Los Angeles then uses its franchise tag on him in the winter of 2021, all bets are off and he could hold out, according to sources.

But the Rams got a promise that Ramsey would honor his contract this and next season without interruption, and it made them comfortable to go ahead and trade two first-round draft picks and a fourth-round pick to Jacksonville.

“That is a gift,” one league source aware of Ramsey’s promise told ESPN. “Most guys when they get traded — Khalil Mack, Antonio Brown — they get traded and sign a new deal. He’s gifting the Rams two wholesale years and not requiring a rip-up.”

Not only is Ramsey gifting the Rams this and next season, but he also isn’t in any rush to do a new deal with them. He would like a new deal, and so would the Rams, and both know the contract would set records for an NFL cornerback and could set records for an NFL defensive player.

Another twist to this past week’s trade is that although the Rams want to re-sign Ramsey and intend to do so, they could turn around and trade him to recoup their investment — if the sides can’t reach a long-term deal.

Among the Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Chargers and even a Jacksonville team that begrudgingly traded Ramsey, the Rams believe there would be a strong market to get back a healthy portion of the compensation they gave up.

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Sunday’s fantasy football inactives watch — Who’s in and who’s out?

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To help you set your lineups and avoid starting a player who won’t take the field, we will post fantasy-relevant updates and analysis here as NFL teams release their inactives lists, typically about 90 minutes before kickoff. Any rankings cited in this column come from our ESPN Fantasy staff ranks.

Refresh often for the latest information.


1 p.m. ET games

Offense

David Johnson, RB, ARI: Ankle — Questionable
Impact: Game-time call. Chase Edmonds would start if he can’t go.

Christian Kirk, WR, ARI: Ankle — Questionable
Impact: Also a game-time call. Damiere Byrd is the safer play.

A.J. Green, WR, CIN: Ankle — OUT
Impact: Seemingly still not close to return. Tyler Boyd and Auden Tate remain fantasy-viable.

Geronimo Allison, WR, GB: Concussion — Questionable
Impact: Upgraded on Saturday, but still risky.

Davante Adams, WR, GB: Toe — OUT
Impact: Jake Kumerow/Allen Lazard become flex longshots.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, GB: Ankle — Questionable
Impact: At best, a game-time call, which behooves you to have a Plan B.

Marqise Lee, WR, JAX: Ankle — OUT
Impact: Chris Conley should handle No. 3 WR duties.

Dede Westbrook, WR, JAX: Shoulder — Questionable
Impact: Game-time call. If he sits, Keelan Cole might get a few looks.

Geoff Swaim, TE, JAX: Concussion — OUT
Impact: Josh Oliver primed to make his NFL debut.

Malcolm Brown, RB, LAR: Ankle — Doubtful
Impact: Todd Gurley II will be back in the huddle in the nick of time.

Jakeem Grant, WR, MIA: Hamstring — Questionable
Impact: Albert Wilson, who is also dinged up, is the best of the sad Miami WR bunch.

Sterling Shepard, WR, NYG: Concussion — OUT
Impact: Limited practices, but won’t clear protocol. Go with Golden Tate/Darius Slayton instead.

Tyrell Williams, WR, OAK: Foot — OUT
Impact: Trevor Davis, Hunter Renfrow are among potential replacements …

Dwayne Harris, WR, OAK: Ankle — Questionable
Impact: … as would be Zay Jones and Keelan Doss.

Deebo Samuel, WR, SF: Groin — OUT
Impact: Not traveling with team. Dante Pettis/Marquise Goodwin get minor value bumps.

Raheem Mostert, RB, SF: Knee — Questionable
Impact: With Tevin Coleman back from injury, Mostert’s fantasy value is all but zero.

Chris Thompson, RB, WAS: Toe — OUT
Impact: Wendell Smallwood should be quite active in the passing game.

Vernon Davis, TE, WAS: Concussion — OUT
Impact: Jeremy Sprinkle hasn’t done much with his window of opportunity thus far.

Defense

Zach Allen, DE, ARI: Neck — OUT

Desmond Trufant, CB, ATL: Toe — OUT

Matt Milano, LB, BUF: Hamstring — Questionable

Taron Johnson, CB, BUF: Hamstring — Questionable

Carlos Dunlap, DE, CIN: Knee — Doubtful

Darius Slay, CB, DET: Hamstring — Questionable

Quandre Diggs, S, DET: Hamstring — Questionable

Kenny Clark, DT, GB: Calf — Questionable

Darnell Savage, S, GB: Ankle — OUT

Johnathan Joseph, CB, HOU: Hamstring — Questionable

Tashaun Gipson Sr., S, HOU: Hip — Questionable

Bradley Roby, CB, HOU: Hamstring — Questionable

Justin Houston, DE, IND: Calf — Questionable

Malik Hooker, S, IND: Knee — Doubtful

Kenny Moore II, CB, IND: Knee — OUT

Pierre Desir, CB, IND: Abdomen — Questionable

Reshad Jones, S, MIA: Chest — OUT

Xavien Howard, CB, MIA: Knee — Questionable

Ben Gedeon, LB, MIN: Concussion — OUT

Arden Key, DE, OAK: Kneecap — OUT

D.J. Jones, DT, SF: Hamstring — OUT

Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, SF: Foot — OUT

Josh Norman, CB, WAS: Thigh — Questionable

4 p.m. ET games

Offense

Marquise Brown, WR, BAL: Ankle — Questionable
Impact: Missed practice all week. Willie Snead IV/Miles Boykin both benefit if he’s out.

Mitchell Trubisky, QB, CHI: Shoulder — Questionable
Impact: Practiced in full pads all week, so it would be a surprise if he didn’t start this one.

Michael Badgley, K, LAC: Groin — Questionable
Impact: If he is able to suit up, one would have to be fearful of rust.

Drew Brees, QB, NO: Thumb — OUT
Impact: Next week is a real possibility. Teddy Bridgewater is to be avoided, given all the other offensive injuries.

Alvin Kamara, RB, NO: Ankle — OUT
Impact: It will be Latavius Murray, early and often and all of the time.

Tre’Quan Smith, WR, NO: Ankle — OUT
Impact: Deonte Harris/Lil’Jordan Humphrey become deep-league dart throws.

Jared Cook, TE, NO: Ankle — OUT
Impact: Dan Arnold promoted from practice squad.

Will Dissly, TE, SEA: Achilles — OUT
Impact: Out for the year. Luke Willson will try to pick up the slack.

Delanie Walker, TE, TEN: Ankle — Questionable
Impact: Jonnu Smith is as good as dice roll as any, should Walker sit.

Defense

Patrick Onwuasor, LB, BAL: Ankle — Questionable

Bilal Nichols, DE, CHI: Knee — Questionable

Melvin Ingram III, DE, LAC: Hamstring — Doubtful

Brandon Mebane, DT, LAC: Knee — OUT

Justin Jones, DT, LAC: Shoulder — OUT

Ziggy Ansah, DE, SEA: Ankle — Questionable

Bradley McDougald, S, SEA: Back — Questionable

Jayon Brown, LB, TEN: Groin — Doubtful

Cameron Wake, LB, TEN: Hamstring — Questionable

Official Sunday inactives should begin coming in at approximately 11:30 a.m. ET for the early games and at 2:30 p.m. ET for the late games.

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