If buying NFL jerseys before April, buyer beware

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We write this item not to create problems for our friends at the NFL.  But our loyalty lies primarily to the millions (and, amazingly, there really are millions) who rely on us for information about the sport they love.

If you love the NFL enough to plunk down some jack for a jersey, replica or official, you probably should wait three months.

In April 2012, Nike takes over the apparel contract from Reebok.  And on the day that the switch was announced in October 2010, Nike executive Charlie Denson told Darren Rovell of CNBC that significant adjustments are coming.

“We plan on changing the NFL jersey dramatically just like we’ve done with the college programs, using new thinking and the greatest technology available,” Denson said. “The NFL program hasn’t had the same type of advancement in recent years.

The looming change possibly explains why players like Vikings running back Adrian Peterson are contemplating a number change.  Recently on his Twitter page, Peterson mused about shifting to No. 21 or No. 23.  (Maybe Peterson knows something that cornerback Asher Allen, who currently wears No. 21, doesn’t.)

In past years, a player-initiated number change would have been met with a requirement that the player refund Reebok for the existing inventory of jerseys with the number he wants to abandon.  With the new Nike jerseys coming soon, there’s a chance that it will be open season for the shifting of numbers.

Regardless of whether we’ll see players changing numbers, the jerseys apparently will be changing.  And it would make sense to refrain from breaking out your change purse until the new designs are unveiled.

100 responses to “If buying NFL jerseys before April, buyer beware

  1. Stock is getting super low in most stores too. I got an authentic jersey from my wife for Christmas and it was a bit too small. I tried to exchange at Packers Pro Shop and they didn’t have any other sizes. Selection was super low. So now I’m stuck waiting until April to get it! AAGGGHHHHH!!!!

  2. What they did to the NCAA jerseys is a GOOD thing? They’ve put some embarrassing stuff on those kids over the last few years. NFL beware!

  3. I dread how much the change is going to be. Old School uniforms are still the best. The modern designs are abominations. And if Nike is going to totally revamp them even more, I’m gonna hide under my bed.

    Hopefully, the classic jerseys out there (Raiders, Browns, for instance) still look the same even if there are new little tweaks to the actual appearance of the construct pieces of fabric on the jerseys.

  4. I don’t understand the advice to wait. For what? For Nike to uglify my favorite team like they’ve done in the NCAA? I’ll take the old uniform at clearance prices, thanks.

  5. I don’t think they can actually change a teams uniform without the teams permission. So those who are freaking out about their team no longer having that classic look can calm down. I’m sure if they want they can make and show them certain alternate choices, but unless it’s in the contract that teams have to wearing them for at least one game a year or something, which I don’t see as a huge deal personally, I don’t see things changing that much unless the changes are wanted. Maybe in the fit and the way they’re put together, but most likely not in overcall design and color scheme.

  6. How much say are the teams going to have in the designs I mean could the ravens stand up and tell Nike to go f themselves if they try to put a big raven on the front or add some stupid color like green or orange?

  7. moonman9j9 says: Jan 24, 2012 8:22 AM

    Glad you old people are going to be dead soon. I welcome the changes.

    I do not really care if the change the look of a uniform, after all it is just a shirt and I don’t spend the afternoons shopping like a bch but dude come on. Your the same folks blasting someone for fumbling.

  8. Yeah, right. I just got my first jersey ever yesterday for half off. I couldn’t be more excited for it. I like the way they look now, why should I wait to pay 200+ for a new one because it has a swoosh on it?

  9. This is why I like my Browns. Throwback jersey, no problem. New jersey, no problem. They’re almost exactly the same. They’re also ugly enough that no one but Browns fans buy Browns jerseys, unlike those yellow, teal, tiger striped or purple teams that people buy for fashion.

  10. If your team’s logo changes, or if colors of the jerseys change that is on your team. Nike can’t make ANY adjustments like that without the teams approval. Most likely you will see number changes and fabric changes. The authentics will be better and the replicas will be WAY better.

  11. I will say that the Bengals stripes on the helmet is the #1 all-time design idea anywhere in the world. If you consider that a ‘modernization’, that’s about the only one that gets a standing ovation.

    I can see Nike putting bengal stripes all over the full jersey, which could look radically ‘cool’, but otherwise basic/simple/clean is a design paradigm, and that includes jerseys.

  12. TheDPR says:
    Jan 24, 2012 8:24 AM

    I don’t understand the advice to wait. For what? For Nike to uglify my favorite team like they’ve done in the NCAA? I’ll take the old uniform at clearance prices, thanks.

    Then you’ll still need to wait to get those clearance prices…

  13. Actually, the Rams and Vikings horns on helmets are the only other ones that make sense and are cool too. Eagles wings don’t because eagles don’t have wings on their heads.

  14. The old uniform might be fully available at clearance price. Reebok has already shipped out the rest of the remaining stock. From talking to a store manager of a fanzz shop in the mall, there’s no more shipments. It’s what little you see is what you get.

  15. Those college jerseys are hideous. Don’t tell me the NFL are changing to that rubbish. More wasted jerseys in the closet. I’ll take the old ones anytime.
    Another idiot “moonman9j9 you probably don’t even know what change means. Look it up in the dictionary.

  16. Do not worry, the Chinese web sites will have plenty of “authentic” NFL stuff for everyone within a matter of weeks of them being displayed on the NFL website, and they will be a lot cheaper!!

  17. Anyone over the age of ten who wears a jersey anywhere except at a game just looks stupid. Nike should perhaps market some jean shorts and shower shoes with the new jerseys to add that extra level of dorkiness.

  18. I am not for a huge change, but Nike is a much nicer fan product then the junk Reebok gives us. I think New Era is making the hats too which will be way better then the designs Reebok has. Reebok is making great equpitment for the athletes from hockey to football, but in my opinion there fan products are crap.

  19. I welcome the Nike move. The Reebok stuff is so dated. Face it guys, the NFL is a business And new jerseys with more options means a lot more $. Hell my team is the Dolphins and Lord knows we could use a uniform overhaul.

  20. “…the greatest technology available.”

    I can see it now – $300 tear-aways that fall apart in normal wear. Nike will tell you “they’re supposed to do that” and gladly sell you more at $300 a copy. Peterson will go through 12 a game and rush for 3,000 yards this year.

  21. I could care less about the new designs. I’d rather have the “out of date” Reebok Jerseys at a steep discount once they start liquidating.

  22. I’ll gladly just buy a few of the “old” Reebok jerseys when they go on clearance instead of dropping like $90 on a new giants jersey that Nike makes, i mean how much can it really change?

  23. You are all confusing design and construction.

    Nikes revamp is going to entail new construction, material and reinforcement.

    Teams themselves are solely responsible for logos, colors and design. Always have been, always will be.

  24. The Bengals helmets are awesome? Really? They’re third worst behind the new Bills logo and San Diego’s mustache lightning. Maybe in LA they’ll just make the switch and call themselves the Mustache Lightning.

  25. NFL owners have final say on all uniforms, so Nike will NOT be able to change the uniforms freely like they can in college. NFL rules also do not allow more than the standard Home, Away, and alternate jerseys. There will not be crazy combinations or significant changes to traditional teams. Teams like the Steelers, Cowboys, Browns, etc. will not break tradition for Nike. Probably just a few teams such as the Seahawks will make changes. They have already hinted at this.

  26. I think someone above hit the nail on the head. I doubt the changes are to the uniform colors or overall designs.

    They’ll likely just change the construction of the jersey and/or materials used in the jerseys.

    That said, the colors might change ever so slightly, just because it’s not as easy as you might think to perfectly match colors on textiles across the board.

  27. Nike’s track record with those butt ugly NCAA jerseys isn’t exactly stellar. Maryland “special” uniform anyone?

  28. That’s all we need, for some of those incredibly stupid-looking NCAA jerseys to make their way to the NFL. Leave things the way they are, Nike. Only hoods and pimply-faced teenage boys wear those hideous college jerseys anyways.

  29. I don’t care how much money Phil Knight has, I have a feeling he’s going to have a hard time convincing the likes of John Mara, Art Rooney, and the Lambeau faithful to allow dramatic changes to their traditional threads.

  30. randygnyc says: Jan 24, 2012 9:14 AM

    You are all confusing design and construction.

    Nikes revamp is going to entail new construction, material and reinforcement.


    Well that’s good.

    Because if there is one thing I am sick of, it is improperly reinforced jersey always falling apart during NFL games.

    I’ve always said those jersey need to be more durable.

  31. Nike makes way better jersey’s than Reebok. I bought 2 of the Reebok jersey’s when they took over making them and my god they were terrible. They were made to only fit pencil neck geeks. I hope Nike never let’s go of the contract again. Besides, my old Nike Wheatley and Tim Brown jerseys are wore out.

  32. The worst uniforms and helmets I’ve ever seen are the Bengals.

    They look worse than college uniforms.

  33. Touch the Raiders jersey and I’ll hunt Charlie Denson down with a baseball bat. Everything they’ve done to those college Jersey’s was horrible. The Raiders uniforms are perfect the way they are.

  34. Reebok wanted to do a major overhaul when they took over, Dan Rooney of the Steelers shot it down immediately. Uniforms have to be approved by the teams first, then the league. Plus uniforms can only be changed every five years. So teams like Buffalo and Jacksonville will have the exact same uniforms next year.

  35. This topic has always confused me.

    Can someone explain to me how Nike can change a teams uniform?I would think that Nike would make the Jersey that Mr Kraft or Jones or Mara tell them to make.

    Seriously Confused

  36. @akulabug

    I would love to know the answer to that myself.
    Some teams like tradition and never change the uniforms, like the Steelers and Browns and Packers.

  37. There wont be any new styles or looks…. Nike doesnt dictate what teh unifroms will look like as far as colors and/or logos…. its more what type of materials will be used, the swoosh will be on there instead of the Reebok symbol, and the tag will say Nike instead of Reebok…..

    Overall, from a passer by or at a distance, the jerseys wont look all that much different. so actually, I would encourage peopel to buy the clearance jerseys now….

  38. Guarantee the main reason they will do all they can to make drastic “advances” is so all the jerseys people have now or obsolete, and you have to go blow more money on the nike version.

  39. All you old timers commentig on here…
    Its a new day an age, new era, the NFL is a business not a just a game. New Jerseys means more money therefore more profit. Playes want new jerseys, new look and a upto date style. Reebok is old and ugly and Nike is the next best thing making big bucks and doing everything right.
    Look Good, Feel Good, Play Good.

  40. Ugh … if they start making NFL jerseys anywhere near as ugly as Oregon’s jerseys, I might have to start watching soccer.

  41. fargovikesfan says:
    Jan 24, 2012 9:31 AM
    Nike’s track record with those butt ugly NCAA jerseys isn’t exactly stellar. Maryland “special” uniform anyone?


    Maryland’s new uniforms are made by Under Armour.

  42. I have an Oregon jersey ( with the feathers on the shoulders ). I enjoyed the games and the uniform changes. BUT I also didn’t mind the blue field at Boise State. The Oregon jersey was purchased from the Oregon College store, any NFL apparel comes from Asia ( at a substantial savings ). Thats my story and I’m sticking to it.

  43. “fargovikesfan
    Jan 24, 2012, 9:31 AM EST
    Nike’s track record with those butt ugly NCAA jerseys isn’t exactly stellar. Maryland “special” uniform anyone?”

    Under Armor is the ones that did the UofM uniforms. So Nike has has their share of mistakes but those for once weren’t on Nike. I am excited to see what kinda modifications they will do the jerseys and 3rd uniforms for teams.

  44. The technology part is the Jerseys will have an imbedded ID Strip, that can be read by security cameras, so when Eagles Fans beat up Giants fan the can be identified.

  45. We’re less than two weeks away from the biggest game of the year and we’re talking jerseys? Please! Where are the stories on Gronkowski, Cruz, etc?

  46. No changes coming to those two shares of Packers stock on my wall.

    Since 1997.

    PFT should really start some type of prop bet or pool system where we can wager how many comments appear before Packer fans show up and say something packer-fan-ish.


    Back on topic, I don’t even mind the Oregon jerseys as much as whatever the heck Virgina Tech wore earlier in the year.

    There have been some nice revamps in the past 20 or so years (Eagles, Pats, Bucs, Rams, Lions, even the slight changes by the Cardinals) and some absolutely hideous ones (pre-2011 Bills, Seahawks)

    But so many of the jerseys are iconic. Heck, I still miss the block numbers on the Steelers.

    It’d be nice if they reign in some of the throwbacks and alternate jerseys, like the Jets throwbacks and the Bears orange jerseys on white pants.

    We’ll see, I guess. I’m cautiously optimistic.

  47. Some of you people are really dense. Nike isn’t referring to changing uniform designs. They aren’t going to switch up logos, colors, etc. Calm down. Afterall, those are ultimately the decision of the teams themselves. Nike has no power to change the design of the Raiders uniform scheme or design. DUH. Only the Raiders have that power.

    Nike is referring to changes in material, etc.

    Get a grip, people.

    Personally, I’m glad Nike is taking over the NFL gear. I’m sick of the garbage Reebok has put out the last 10 years. Their hats are atrocious.

  48. When Nike is talking about the “drastic” changes of the uniforms, they are most likely discussing the material of which they are made. I bet they are integrating more moisture-wicking technology (Nike Dri-Fit) into the uniforms. If anyone has used their products with this in it, they would know how great it works!

    As for tradition, I am a Titans fan, and our uniforms look like something from the World League! So I have nothing to say to that. Change may be welcomed.

  49. I hope they come with cup holders this time!

    Unless these new uniforms can make Tim Tebow look like a real quarterback…I don’t care.

  50. They are not going to change the design of the uniforms like they did with Oregon. It’s material and tech. Teams like the Raiders, GB, 49ers, KC have had their uniform design for years and I don’t think they’ll be changing it up anytime soon. They may have one Pro Combat uniform like they do with some college teams like Stanford had one but it wasn’t a drastic change from they regular uniforms. I embrace the change cause I hated the fitted hats Reebok had. I’m glad New Era is the new hat provider.

  51. lol are u people new to earth? Nike/Reebok/Under Armor etc design materials. You might see a different sleeve design or collar. But Nike can’t control team colors or logos bro. Please tell me you guys don’t think Nike would change your teams color scheme? lol Oregon agreed to do that, they don’t have tradition. Calm Down Nerds

  52. You lucky duck! Lambert was one of the best to ever play the game and his being a Steeler was the icing on that cake!

  53. Remember those radical “bat,e gear” uniform designs that leaked, and all we heard was they weren’t done by anyone at Nike? I am convinced that was a test leak to see the reactions. Look for those to appear soon enough.

  54. I love how everybody keeps referencing Oregon. Yall do realize that the CEO and Co-founder of Nike went to Oregon, right? They’re obviously going to have a million different uniforms.

    I’m open minded about it, and I wouldn’t complain for a second if the Redskins went with a black and burgandy/gold scheme.

  55. ….and I’ll continue to buy directly from China rather than pay the 1,000% markup that Nike/Reebok and the NFL charge. $300 – $400 for a a nylon mesh shirt with some numbers and letters stitched on is ridiculous beyond belief.

  56. Please don’t do those skin tight spandex like jerseys you see in college football & basketball. A lot of fans aren’t ” fit” & it would hurt sales.

  57. I think that jerseys should be designed to be very difficult to hold and grab, even if the player is wearing gloves. I think that there should be restrictions on what types of gloves players wear to make sure that they are great for gripping a football and protecting the hands, but terrible at gripping a jersey. Most likely this tech is available without taking away from how well a player can grab a football.

    I say this because I feel that holding in the NFL is very annoying. Penalties break the flow of the game and when a player is beat he naturally has to grab jersey and hope the official misses it. But if the jersey just slips through his fingers it would reduce holding in the NFL and make the game more fluid.

  58. As long as they get a special “fan fit” guys in jersey dresses kinda freaks me out and could ya’ll read a few comments before deciding to post what twenty other people have, k thanks.

  59. Seahawks announced last year they will have new uniforms for the 2012 season. Rumor has it they’ll be unveiled early April.

  60. Here in Fort Worth we’ve been pleased with what Nike did with the Horned Frogs apparel, those jersey’s are hot looking with the way they pick up light, it’s like they are battery powered, I love them.

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