Skip to content

Which NFL Teams Aren’t Switching to Nike’s New Template?

Paul here. With the calendar about to turn to September, I’ll be returning to the site full-time tomorrow, but here’s a little something to help me ease back into things.

So: As you probably know, Nike introduced a new jersey template for the NFL this year. (As you may recall, I wrote about it back in April.) You can see the differences in seams and collar styles in the Dolphins pics shown above. Most teams are using this new template — but not all of them. So which teams haven’t made the switch? Here’s a rundown, based on what we saw during the preseason:


Cincy is still using the previous template, at least for their primary black and white jerseys.


Denver wore white jerseys for all three of their preseason games and also showed us how their Color Rush jersey will look with their new white alternate helmet. In both cases, they used the old template.


The Bucs’ new creamsicle throwbacks have been executed in the new template, but the team’s primary red and white jerseys are still using the previous template.


Weird situation for the Commies: They’re using the new template for their white jersey but still have the old template for their burgundy jersey — or at least that’s what they wore during the preseason.


The Jets are in the same boat as the Commies: New template for the white jersey, old template for the colored jersey. (The team’s new throwbacks, however, have been done in the new template.)


While most teams are on their second or, in most cases, third Nike template, the Packers are stubbornly sticking with the old Reebok fabric and tailoring. This will be the 12th year that they’ve worn this style in the Nike era. Just to put things in perspective, that’s one year more than they wore it in the Reebok era! The team has never responded to my questions about why they refuse to upgrade, but I’ve heard through the grapevine that longtime equipment manager Red Batty prefers this style and insists on sticking with it.


So those are the teams that haven’t yet upgraded (or at least didn’t do so in their preseason games).

There are a few more wrinkles to all of this, including a few teams that are wearing modified versions of the new template. I’ll have all of that info, plus a lot more, in the annual Uni Watch NFL Season Preview, which will be published next Tuesday morning. You can get it in your in-box by becoming a paid subscriber to my Substack. Only $5 for one month, or $35 for a full year. (And if you know someone who might like the NFL Preview, you can also purchase a gift subscription.)

That’s it for now, but I’ll be back tomorrow with a big report on my August vacation, and some other things. See you then!

Comments (29)

    The new Dolphins helmet never looks worse than in a straight-on shot. That striping is not big league.

    Yup! I was born and raised in Northern CA, but have been a Dolphin fan my entire life because I liked their colors and Dan Marino when I was a kid. While the uniform set is better than the initial Nike offering, it lacks the appropriate amount of orange. If they were to inverse the helmet and pants striping to be orange in the middle and slightly thicker aqua on the sides, it would be SO MUCH better, imo.

    Maybe the Packers are sticking with the old template because Nike can’t produce the correct shade of green.

    That would make sense to me. The green in the last Jersey uniform was really a mess for awhile under Nike. It just seemed really muddy and faded.

    I just like that template because it isn’t shoving everything on the front of the jersey downward like almost all manufacturers seem to be doing these days. Look at the new-template Dolphins jersey at the top of the story, with the giant gaps between the NFL shield, the pointless wordmark and then finally the number, and compare it to the Packers jersey where the shield is put right inside the collar so that the number can stay in place. Doesn’t that style look much better?

    I feel like a lot of teams are just using up their stock of the old template before switching over to the new stuff in regular season. I have no data to back this up but all these teams (minus the Pack) are selling jerseys of all styles with the new cut. Just my guess.

    I was going to ask for insight as to why teams (other than GB) hold out on new templates. My guess would’ve been how their uniform design meshed with it; I didn’t even think about the business side of still having stock to be used.

    I think that’s definitely the case in some instances, especially these examples of one template for home, a different for away. Also may come down to player preference too. I remember during the last switch, you still had individual players choosing to wear the wire collar template for a few seasons, even if the team by and large had switched.

    This is a great point, especially when you consider that the white jerseys are the ones we’re seeing in the new template in these instances. I would think a white jersey wouldn’t last as long as a colored one because they show the wear and tear more, hence them switching the whites over before the darks.

    I much preferred the pre-2009 Rebook template. Wish my Niners still wore it, I like mesh on jerseys.

    Are the stripes on the Bengals helmets painted or decals? I know the University of Memphis uses decals because they change their helmets up a lot during the year. But, the Bengals appear to be painted. Especially if you look how the stripes bleed into the gaps on the helmet.

    I’ll look for the video later (more than welcome to beat me to it if you want), but it’s of the Bengals equipment manager putting the stripe decals on the helmets.

    If they are decals, I can’t imagine how difficult it must me to have to re-apply them every week.

    Based only on Madden NFL 24, it seems like the Giants are keeping the old template for their white color rush jersey, and their “classic,” blue 80s/90s throwback. Again this is Madden, not real life so who knows but worth noting those jerseys are only for sale in the old temple on NFL shop as well. But they have the new template for their primary home blue and primary away white.

    Forgive me if this has been asked before, but is Nike manufacturing GB’s uni, or is Reebok still making them, and Nike puts their logo on them?

    All the stuff is subcontracted, usually to the same factories. In this case, it’s Nike subcontracting it.

    To further explain: When the NHL contract changes next year from Adidas to Fanatics, the same Canadian factory will bemaking the jerseys. But they’ll be making them to the Fanatics specs instead of the Adidas specs.

    Similarly, MLB uniforms are currently made by the same Pennsylvania factory that used to be owned by Majestic. And they’re still making them to the Majestic specs (same fabric, tailoring, etc), but the production order now comes from Nike. Next year they’ll change to Nike’s new template, new fabric, etc. — same factory.

    I’m reasonably sure that Nike is contracting the Packers uniforms with Ripon in Wisconsin; and Ripon was Reebok’s contractor. On some game-used Packers jerseys and pants there is a little “Made in Berlin Wisconsin” tag that isn’t there on jerseys and pants in Nike’s current template. I believe Ripon is also making the shiny fabric pants for the Raiders and the Cowboys.

    Paul, are these new MLB jerseys going to be similar to what we saw in the College World Series? I know most of the jerseys looked as though they had be shot with buckshot on the back of them. They didn’t look bad in my opinion (didn’t show up much during play), and I could see where the players probably would like them in the warmer climates.

    For the Jets- they hardly ever wear the green jerseys and hopefully they’ll undergo an entire overhaul for next season, so maybe it’s a case of it not being worth the effort to update those. If I’m correct, it likely means the black jerseys will be in the new format.

    they hardly ever wear the green jerseys…

    Well, that was the case last year (wore green only once). But the year before that, they wore green five times. So saying “they hardly ever” wear green is based on just a one-season sample size. They don’t release a uni schedule (grrrr…), so it’s not clear what they’re doing this year.

    They’re wearing their Gang Green throwbacks twice, so that means — unless the alternate jersey use rules have changed — they can only wear the BFBS uni once. So that will probably get the black helmet.

    Now, that doesn’t mean they won’t go white at home (which they did several times last year) and remember — they had that crazy streak where they wore green/white/black (pants & socks) for I think (doing this without checking the GUD) five times (maybe six even?).

    Not that Rodgers has any say in what the team will wear (aside from the pre-ordained Gang Green throwbacks and BFBS costume), but I believe he has decent fashion sense, and as such, probably would oppose wearing the black pants with the green hats and white jerseys.

    But with the BFBS only being worn at most once, I’d bet we’ll see more green (jerseys and pants, preferably not at the same time) this season.

    Just a hunch.

    OK. Just checked the GUD link

    They wore green hats/white shirts/black pants (and socks) SEVEN times last year.

    Looks like the Jets white jerseys are using a different version of the new template without the second V shape below the collar. Probably due to their shoulder striping. It makes their chest wordmark look way better than other teams using the new template.

    I’ve been waiting for a post talking about this subject.
    Interesting taking on a retail from as well.. the old NFL Nike Vapor Limited retail jerseys had stitched screen printed numbers while the new NFL Nike Vapor F.U.S.E. Limited jerseys have the screen print numbers heat pressed on.. both retail for $175.00. It looks like Nike is cutting costs on a mid range priced item, which is ridiculous in my humble opinion. Even back in the old Reebok days when they had the replica, premier (similar to the Nike Limited), and the authentic line, they would stitch the mid level premier jerseys.

    Interesting info on Green Bay’s jerseys. Me, being a die hard Chicago Bears fan has always wondered why they stick to the old Reebok style uniforms. I heard something similar to what you said with Green Bay just wanting to stick to that style since it looks more original. If it is because of their head equipment manager, that is CRAZY since he’s not the one suiting up. Yes, I understand the majority of the reasoning behind changing styles is just a cash grab for the company under contract with each respected league, BUT they do put a lot of research behind it for performance and also use feedback from players for each upgrade. You’d think the clubbies would put that to mind over their grumpy boss that probably just finds it easier to fix and stitch up after each use.

    Great article! Thanks Paul.

    Printing numbers, NOB’s and wordmarks instead of stitching them is the same cheapening practice that we have been witnessing for years with printed club badges (more and more in tedious monochrome) in the world of soccer. It looks like a knock off version. It is not players complaining about the extra weight or itchiness of stitched numbers, letters and logos, it is the supplier having to use less material and less labor while charging the same or even more.

Comments are closed.