NFL teams raise eyebrows with new uniforms

It’s one thing to play well, but wouldn’t you want to play well and look good at the same time? These five NFL teams certainly had that idea in mind when they designed their new jerseys for the 2020 season. 

The Atlanta Falcons abandoned the classic style and took a jump into the future. The Falcons have not changed their jerseys in 17 years, so ownership felt that it was time. The team’s new look has abandoned the red home jersey and gone “back to black.” Team Owner Arthur Blank said, “Black has been a part of our history since 1966, and both our fans and players have asked us to bring it back.” 

Photo courtesy Atlanta Falcons

The colors of the jerseys are not the only things that have been changed. The team has taken “Falcons” off of the front of the jersey and changed it to “ATL” in big block letters. “The ‘ATL’ moniker is known around the world, and we now wear it proudly as our badge of unity, diversity, and togetherness. Something our world needs more of, especially in these tough times,” Blank said after the jersey’s initial release. The first reaction of the jerseys have, unfortunately, not been very positive.

Many fans are unhappy with the black home jerseys because they resemble the “Mean Machine” team jerseys worn in the 2005 movie The Longest Yard. The “ATL” on the front has also not been well received by the fans. However, the fans do like the 1990 black throwbacks a lot. Hopefully they will be worn a lot this year. Maybe the lights of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta will make them look better.

Photo courtesy Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Another team that will mix their look up this season is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs wanted to go back to their jerseys from their successful years in the early 2000s. The jerseys are not the only thing that got an upgrade, as they signed future hall of fame quarterback Tom Brady for a two-year contract. Their three new jerseys are red, white, and dark grey. Fans like the look, but some are disappointed that they did not go back to their “creamsicle” jerseys from the early 2000s. The Bucs previous jerseys were a little much, but with the new sharp look, you can expect the jersey sales to skyrocket.

“This new but familiar look is a direct result of the valuable feedback we received from our fans,” Buccaneers owner/co-chairman Ed Glazer said in a statement. “We are excited to return to our classic Super Bowl era uniforms while also introducing a sleek Color Rush uniform that showcases our signature pewter in a new and dramatic way.Perhaps with the new look and new players, the Bucs will be a team to watch out for in 2020.

Photo courtesy Cleveland Browns

The third team that will be sporting a new look this year and hopefully for years to come is the Cleveland Browns. Two of the three jerseys resemble the jerseys worn from the early 2000s, and that was solely the point of the change. Management wanted to go back to the team’s roots and respect tradition. The third jersey is an interesting look, all brown with no accent colors besides an orange number and last name. On the tag of the jerseys is the year “1946,” the year the Browns were founded. 

The Browns originally changed their jerseys in 2015, but immediately realized there was a problem with them. The problem was that they were trying to give them this new generational look, but it didn’t work out. Ownership would have changed the jerseys back after one year, but due to a league rule, they were required to wait at least five years before another change. The Browns waited no longer than five years and greatly upgraded.

“As you look at iconic franchises like the Browns, the Bears, the Packers, the Cowboys, they’re true to who they are. They’re not doing a lot of changes and trying to make a lot of flashy moves with their uniforms,” executive vice president and co-owner JW Johnson said in a statement. “I think when we went through the process, it just felt right that we got back to who we are and who we’ll always be.”

Fans so far love the new jerseys but are upset that there are no orange pants, which is what was worn in the 80s. Another change is that the jerseys will not have “Browns” or “Cleveland” on the front, making the look more retro.

Let’s be honest here;  it is very hard to make a uniform look decently good, let alone very good, using the colors orange and brown. The designers were tasked with a very difficult job, and they succeeded. Being a Browns fan myself, I will certainly be grabbing one in the near future.

Photo courtesy New England Patriots

The fourth team to change their jerseys are the New England Patriots. This change comes after losing their longtime quarterback Tom Brady. This is the first change to their jerseys in twenty years, which is how long Tom Brady was a Patriot. Coincidence? I think not. The home jerseys are the same as their “color rush” jerseys worn in 2016. The white jersey is new, and it is just a complimentary look to the home jerseys. “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” This was the caption of a video the Patriots posted, teasing the new jerseys.

The Patriots would have added the iconic red jerseys to the team’s wardrobe, but due to NFL rules they couldn’t. The NFL requires every team to use only one helmet design throughout the year, but the red jerseys would have had different helmets than the blue and white jerseys. Patriots ownership said that as soon as that rule is changed, there will be red jerseys in Foxborough again.

Photo courtesy Chargers

The fifth and final team to redesign their jerseys is the Los Angeles Chargers. The four new jerseys that they unveiled are white, light blue, royal blue, and very dark blue, and quite honestly, they are beautiful. They pay homage to the team’s jerseys worn in the 1960s with the player’s number on the helmet. The jerseys have a simple look to them, only having the lightning bolt logo on the sleeves.Not only are these jerseys the best of the new jerseys, but they are quite possibly the best in the entire league. 

The Los Angeles Rams have announced that they will release their jerseys after the NFL Draft which began Thursday, April 23.

The 2020-2021 NFL season will look a little bit different with these new looks for these five teams, but the new jerseys really don’t matter unless they are followed by some hard earned wins.