New York, NY
The NFL will end a 1989 'perpetuity' deal that made Riddell its official helmet following the 2013-14 season.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league recently renegotiated to end the deal and will no longer have an official helmet at the end of this season.
Hundreds of former players are suing Riddell, claiming the helmet manufacturer, among other things, overemphasized how much the helmet could prevent brain injury.
Those ex-players were among the more than 4,000 ex-players who filed concussion-related claims against the league since early 2011 where Riddell was named as a party.
Riddell was given rights to be the official helmet of the NFL in perpetuity after a slew of helmet manufacturers went out of business.
The deal allowed NFL players to wear any helmet they want as long as it complies with prescribed standards, but the nose bumper plate remains blank as Riddell is the only brand that can appear on it.
Riddell currently pays for this privilege as well as the right to produce regular-size and mini helmets with league logos on them that are most frequently sold to autograph collectors.
Roughly one-third of the league's players use other brands, including Schutt, Xenith and Rawlings.
"What's important to us is that close to 70 percent of NFL players wear us, and it's player choice," said Riddell president Dan Arment. "They're choosing us because we're putting the best helmet in the marketplace."
It remains to be seeen whether Adidas, Nike or Under Armour will make a stronger move into the helmets market.