Tom Brady isn’t going to quit the NFL because of a helmet

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throws during a joint practice with the Detroit Lions on Aug. 6 in Allen Park, Mich.
(Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)

Tom Brady is no longer allowed to don the helmet he’s worn while winning numerous NFL titles. The New England Patriots quarterback is not happy about the situation but he’s not going to quit the league over it.

“You get used to the same helmet for a long period of time and I did that,” Brady said Monday on WEEI sports radio in Boston. “My last helmet, I wore it the last four Super Bowls, so it was a pretty great helmet for me. And I hated to put it on the shelf, but that was what they said to do.”

The NFL does not permit players to use helmets that are not certified by the National Operating Committee for Standards and Athletic Equipment, and that committee does not certify helmets with designs more than 10 years old. This season, the types of helmets preferred by Brady, Oakland Raiders receiver Antonio Brown and numerous other NFL players aged out and no longer meet the league’s safety standards.


NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy reiterated the league’s rules regarding helmets Monday on Twitter, in an apparent response to an ESPN report that Brown has informed his team he won’t play football again if he can’t wear the helmet he’s used his entire career. Without mentioning Brown by name, McCarthy stated: “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.”

Meanwhile, Brady is plugging away at training camp, just trying to find a certified helmet that suits him.

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