Source: Darren Rovell | ESPN.com
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league agreed in 1989 to give Riddell rights to be the official helmet of the NFL in perpetuity after a slew of helmet manufacturers went out of business. But, McCarthy said, the league recently renegotiated the deal to have it end at the conclusion of the 2013 season.
“We are proud of our relationship with the NFL,” Riddell said in a statement to ESPN.com on Thursday night, acknowledging for the first time publicly that the deal would end. “We are also very proud of the fact that year after year a majority of NFL players choose to wear Riddell helmets — a true testament to our relentless efforts to protect athletes. While it is accurate that our current NFL agreement will expire next year, we look forward to a continued positive and productive relationship with the NFL in the future. We are confident that we will continue to be the helmet of choice of our nation’s elite football players.”