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Team Exec: Cleveland Browns Exploring Third Helmet Design for 2025

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The big Cleveland Browns news yesterday was that the team is going back to the white facemasks and glossy shells. But there could be significant bigger news next season, because the Browns might be adding a third helmet option to go with their existing orange and white designs.

That word came directly from Browns Executive Vice President J.W. Johnson, who was making the media rounds after the unveiling of the white mask. Appearing on a local podcast, he said. “We’re definitely gonna explore a third helmet. So to all the viewers and listeners out there, we will go down that route of exploring a third helmet for next season.”

Here he is saying just that:

Later in the day, on a local radio broadcast, when he said, “We have the ability to potentially have a third helmet going into next year and that’s probably something we’re going to explore as well.”

NFL teams doing a redesign this season were given the option of having three helmet designs. That option will become available to all other teams, including Cleveland, in 2025.

It would be pretty funny for the Browns, the team with the plainest, most no-frills helmets, to max out their headwear program. But what would a third Browns helmet look like? Here are some possibilities:

  • They could go with a plain brown helmet.
  • They could take their basic orange helmet and create a metallic/chrome/etc. version of it.
  • The famous “CB” phantom helmet could finally make its long-delayed debut.
  • They could put Brownie the Elf on a helmet.
  • They could put their Dawg Pound logo on a helmet.

Those seem like the most obvious options. What possibilities am I overlooking?

(My thanks to Phil and reader/commenter Rich P. for letting me know about Johnson’s comments.)



ITEM! The Third and Final Installment in the Tom Andrich Interview Trilogy

As you may recall, I’ve recently done two extremely informative interviews with former Nike art director Tom Andrich — one about how he created the NFL’s Color Rush program, and another about how Nike worked with the NFL. In the third and final installment of our interview trilogy, Andrich told me how he oversaw the development of the Jets’ 2019 uniform set, a project that took much longer, and entailed more false starts, than most other Nike/NFL projects. It’s a really fascinating case study!

Just like my two previous interviews with Andrich, this one is packed with behind-the-scenes insider info and lots of graphics that have never been published before. You can read the first part of it here. In order to read the entire thing, you’ll need to become a paid subscriber to my Substack (which will also get you access to my full Substack archives).

My thanks, as always, for your consideration.



Purp Walk and Anniversary Update

We are now less than one month away from the final Uni Watch Purple Amnesty Day (May 17), with lots of activities planned for Baltimore. If you pre-ordered a Purp Walk T-shirt and/or cap last week, you’ll receive your item in time for the big day.

The hat and T-shirt will remain available here up through May 17. Cap orders will be filled and shipped once per week; T-shirt orders will ship out after Purp Walk. As usual, I’ll also be taking purple-inclusive membership card orders on May 17.

I hope to have the schedule of Purp Walk activities finalized by next week — stay tuned.

Meanwhile, don’t forget that the Uni Watch 25th Anniversary Tour T-shirt is available in several color options:

Here’s where you can order the grey, black, and white versions. For each color, there are six different options (basic, comfort, tri-blend, women’s, etc.), so be sure to find the style you prefer. Because this shirt has printing on both the front and the back, the prices are a bit higher, but I hope you’ll agree that it’s worth it for such a cool design.

Full details on the tour itself are available here.

Speaking of the anniversary, don’t forget that we also have 25th-anniversary patches, coasters, T-shirts, and pint glasses.

My thanks, as always, for your support.



Looking Ahead to Tonight

The Lions’ unveiling event is scheduled to begin at 7pm Eastern tonight. We’ll have a short post soon after the uniforms go live (probably written by Phil, as I have a prior commitment this evening), and then I’ll have a more detailed assessment tomorrow morning. — Paul

Comments (27)

    I fear, since City Connect and City Edition jerseys have been cited by the NFL for allowing the 3rd helmet, that those helmets will be “celebrating local culture with bold, vibrant designs to tap into the urban mindset by way of local artists and thought leaders to engage the fanbase.”

    In other words, get ready for “The Land” in some unreadable font in sublimated orange.

    Anything done with placing logos on the orange or white helmets doesn’t really constitute a 3rd helmet shell.
    Dallas has 2 shells – silver and white. Just because they change up the logos/facemasks on their white shells for 2 different variations, they’re still the same helmet. If this meant Dallas had 3 helmets, they wouldn’t have been allowed to do it since the rule allowing 3 was only just passed. Eagles having midnight, kelly, and black would be 3 different helmets.
    Cleveland won’t go with a brown helmet. Carve that in stone. They’d be the “$***heads” immediately.
    The only viable answer would be what someone offered above – an orange chrome helmet.
    I doubt the Browns would attempt a silver chrome despite the briefest inclusion of silver in their team color history – their silver pants in 1950 to circumvent the NFL rule at the time preventing white jerseys and pants for night games due to the white footballs.

    If the Browns go with a logo on the side (specifically the CB logo, since that’s already been mocked up in the past) on their regular helmet, wouldn’t that still be just two helmets? Since all the decal swapping in the league prior to 2021 didn’t violate the 1-shell rule. If they go that route with a decal, they could probably do it this season; it would just be a 3rd look, accomplished with 2 shells.

    Or if they’re looking to wait for a 3rd helmet to put a decal on, in my eyes it would HAVE to be either brown or a variation of the original orange look, like chrome that you mentioned.

    Oh no, not the Dawg logo. Anything but that. Except the lame CB logo.

    And not The Land. Nobody ever uses that term except media and marketing dweebs.

    But nothing at all would be preferable.

    For a team that uses their helmet as their logo it seems especially odd to have 3 helmets

    I thought they always could have three helmet designs, it was just limited to two the helmet colors. Fairly certain the Cowboys had four helmet designs last year across two colors.
    I hope they aren’t looking at a brown helmet. Ideally they just do orange helmet with the numbers, which I think should be their standard helmet design to begin with.

    The Browns 3rd helmet option should be the only other version between the white (the stripe is wrong by way-should be inverted to match pants) and the current mod: The 1957 through 1959 single white stripe with numerals on the sides. It was a well-accepted option during the one shell rule era and represents Jim Brown’s formative years in the NFL. Only history should be considered and no relived disaster of the 2015 uni disaster!

    During the run up to the latest redesign, someone here did a mock-up of the Browns in beige/tan pants B/O/B striping with a white jersey. If you put a matching beige helmet on top, it’d be gorgeous.

    Sometimes you’ve just got to know when to stop. Do they need a third helmet? Would it benefit their look? Is there a design they should be using, but they haven’t been able to?

    There’s always going to be fans that want more designs and more alternates. You could have five helmets, and someone would ask for a sixth. When it comes to the point where we have to brainstorm about what their third helmet could even be, I think that’s a pretty clear sign that they don’t need a third.

    Obviously it won’t be brown (I’d be fine with it, but that’s social media suicide). They already have orange and white. I’d be okay with matte grey, but I think everyone else would hate it. That’s all their colors. Chrome orange for the Cleveland Browns seems like a really strange choice that would go against everything else in their visual design, almost like the spirit of the Johhny-Football-Era trying to find a new host.

    So that’s probably what they’ll do.

    Obviously, it’s just become their accepted thing over the last 60-70 years, but I really wish they’d come up with SOME kind of official logo to go on the helmet, rather than using the helmet AS the logo, many years ago.

    The interlocking CB finally appearing would be fun (although they wouldn’t REALLY need a third shell to do that necessarily), but either Brownie or the Dawg would work too….and if you did either of those last two, maybe you could do a brown shell. I wouldn’t do just plain, solid brown though…that seems kinda lazy to me.

    Definitely that. But don’t stop with just one, keep it going. Helmet inside a helmet, inside a helmet, inside a helmet…

    There seems to be a coding error with the Jets item. There’s a stray ‘w’ after the image, and the link to the image extends through the ‘w’ and into the beginning of the following paragraph.

    I can get behind the helmet-on-a-helmet idea; it’s the only idea that’s on-brand. Barring that, a block C would look nice.

    They will stick to the two helmets they have. Looking at it is one thing, but actually adopting a third one when your helmet is your logo. No, I do not think so. If they will go ahead and do it my choice would be matte orange with a CB monogram.

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