The Best and Worst of NFL Uniform Changes in 2020 Offseason

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistMay 17, 2020

The Best and Worst of NFL Uniform Changes in 2020 Offseason

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Nearly a quarter of the NFL underwent uniform changes ahead of the 2020 season. 

    It's no shock that two of these teams happened to center around the seismic shift of one Tom Brady and two more featured teams in Los Angeles. 

    Most recently, the Los Angeles Rams unveiled their new uniforms to a polarizing response. Others before them made bold design choices, opted for or against classic throwback inspirations and worked in divisive features like gradient colors and patches. 

    While seven teams have technically made alterations to uniforms this offseason, we'll toss out the small (and good-looking) modifications for the Indianapolis Colts and run through the best and worst of the massive overhauls.

Best: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    It's only fitting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers locked down great-looking new uniforms just in time for the arrival of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski

    While it's disappointing the unveil didn't include a creamsicle look, anything is better than the awful alarm-clock numbers from past editions. 

    The Brady era features a superb black facemask on pewter helmets and otherwise back-to-basics classics from the early 2000s. This is something of an admission the last punch of the reset button on the branding didn't work—but this one absolutely does. 

    Tampa Bay also smartly went with a pewter Color Rush, which Brady and Co. will be able to don three times a year. While the legendary quarterback is a big reason these jerseys will remain on bestseller lists for a long time, the sheer splendid design plays a role, too. 

Worst: New England Patriots

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    Bill Sikes/Associated Press

    Meanwhile, Brady's old stomping grounds didn't have a knockout of an offering to kick off a new era. 

    The New England Patriots were due for a makeover for the first time in two decades. Instead of taking a risk or two, the organization opted to make the blue Color Rush its primary home set. 

    And that blue doesn't look bad—it's just a little bland. That "B" word seems to be the theme here. Everything generally looks the same between the three offerings instead of capitalizing on an interesting color scheme that includes red and silver. The helmets didn't change, either, and the massive stripes on the shoulders won't appeal to everyone. 

    Maybe this is one of those kits that ingratiates itself over time and expectations are skewing the initial reaction. But the end of the Brady era seemed to call for a more dramatic look than one that feels like it was rushed out the door. 

Best: Cleveland Browns

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    Phil Long/Associated Press

    Elsewhere in the AFC, the Cleveland Browns got it right

    Granted, the Browns were like the Buccaneers in that up was the only way they could possibly go.

    Only the helmet remains the same for Cleveland's new uniforms, which is a plus. The jerseys get back to basics, which is a great way to go after the last set of uniforms felt like it drew inspiration from an arena league. 

    This is just how a team with a limited color palette should do it. The brown and white jerseys look good, and the brown-on-brown alternate with orange numbers pops in a way only the, well, Browns can. 

    Iconic? Probably not. But at a time when other teams clearly aren't learning from Cleveland's recent mistakes, the Browns kept it old-school and now have one of the NFL's better-looking kits. 

Worst: Atlanta Falcons

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Well, the Atlanta Falcons are nothing if not willing to take risks

    Instead of dipping into a rich franchise history of jerseys, the Falcons opted to gamble. The new reveal boasts four different color combos right out of the gate, the only option missing being a red-pants variant. 

    The color coordinating isn't the problem (it's almost impossible to get a red and black scheme wrong). A weird red-to-black gradient just doesn't work, and the massive numbers with a little "ATL" atop them make it look like a designer using Photoshop for the first time. 

    This has probably been said before, but these look like something Madden would draw up for a generic team in create-a-player mode. It's too bad they didn't look toward the past for inspiration, because the risks they took have made the Falcons the new Buccaneers—at least in terms of appearance. 

Best: Los Angeles Chargers

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    This. Is. How. It's. Done. 

    The Los Angeles Chargers were sitting pretty as a franchise already boasting one of the NFL's better kits. All the organization did was emphasize what works, offering up six combinations while smartly weaving in the powder blues, a throwback blue and even a Color Rush blue. 

    Which isn't to say the Chargers didn't take risks. The number decals on the helmet work surprisingly well, too. So do the matching bolts on the shoulders and pant piping.

    Wildest of all? Mustard-yellow bottoms sound terrible on paper, but they're practically eye candy.

    This is the sort of redesign that helps a franchise win the "cool" factor against rivals. And it just so happens this might be incredibly critical in a crowded Los Angeles scene.

Worst: Los Angeles Rams

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    This was doomed from the start, right? 

    The Los Angeles Rams unveiled a new logo that was pretty much universally panned and slowed the franchise's momentum going into its uniform unveiling

    And the uniforms sure don't help matters—to the point franchise legend Eric Dickerson ripped them

    "Yikes" might be the best word to describe it. While the helmet looks great, problems abound from the shoulders down. Like the Falcons, the Rams tried an odd gradient that looks iffy. The number font and design are a little too out there. The white uniforms are actually "bone-on-bone" with a highlighter stripe down the side, and there's an unorthodox breast patch on the front of the jerseys. 

    This rebrand for the Rams started out rough with the logo, and the jerseys haven't done much to point them in the right direction. Performance on the field can still win over onlookers, but so far, it's a hard design to fully get behind.