Over the course of his 18 NFL seasons, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has seen plenty of changes: from his teammates, to assistant coaches, to the rule book, even to the stadium in which his team plays its home games in. One constant, though, was his usage of equipment. The reigning league MVP has been wearing the same type of helmet for most of his professional career.
However, the model that protected Brady’s head for the better parts of the last 18 years – a Riddell VSR-4 helmet – has recently been outlawed by the NFL. The league and the NFL Players Association announced the results of their annual laboratory study to assess the performance of helmets in April and based on those results will prohibit 10 helmet models from being worn by NFL players in the future. Brady’s helmet is one of them.
While the league’s best quarterback can still use his VSR-4 this season, he will need to wear a new one by 2019. As a result of the upcoming change, Brady is already experimenting with new equipment this training camp and was seen wearing a different helmet during Sunday’s training camp practice (as first noticed by WBZ-TV’s Joe Giza):
According to Helmet Stalker, Brady is trying out a Riddell Precision Fit SpeedFlex helmet with and SF-2BD-SW facemask and a Riddell softcup chinstrap – a helmet that ranked near the top in the NFL’s performance test as opposed to his original one. Maybe the new headwear will see its first in-game action later this week, when the Patriots play their second preseason game.