Cleveland Browns uniform reveal
Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated

The Cleveland Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam confirmed at the NFL’s annual meeting that they heard the fans’ distaste for the team’s sickly uniforms since their debut in 2015. Finally, there will be newly designed uniforms starting in the 2020 season.

While the franchise is promising “nothing fancy,” the new Cleveland Browns uniforms will champion the team’s history as the only NFL franchise with orange and brown as its two primary colors. It is fairly evident that any uniform change in Cleveland will be welcomed with open arms.

Dee Haslam thinks that the newly designed uniforms will be a hit with all fans.

“Yeah, I think they’re making great progress on it,” she said. “I think we got it right this time.”

It can not be any worse than the Haslam’s attempt at new uniforms in 2015. That effort failed miserably.

The Browns and Nike try to create a modern look.

The news that the Browns were going to change their uniforms was a culture shock to the fans. Cleveland is the only team in the NFL that still wears a helmet without a logo on either side of it.

The Browns and the NFL-endorsed Nike dramatically redesigned their uniforms in 2015. They designed a uniform that disregarded the franchise’s earliest seasons of success for a so-called modernized look. The new look offered three jerseys and three pair of pants for a total of nine possible uniform combinations. Aside from the helmet, the new uniforms were widely panned. The Browns players were forced to wear a more vibrant orange. The uniforms also included contrast stitching on the jersey and pants, a matte finish on the helmet, and a brown facemask. In addition, the team name was down the side of the pant legs and a jersey that made them the first franchise in NFL history to wear the city’s name on its chest.

Ironically, the Browns were forced to avoid the orange jerseys and pants altogether. Despite extensive testing under a myriad of lighting conditions, identifying the numerals on the orange jerseys is a huge issue. This numerals issue is one of the main problems facing Nike, who unfortunately will be making the new uniforms as well since they just signed an eight-year extension with the NFL this year.

The current look is not popular among fans. Regrettably, the Cleveland faithful had to endure this alleged modern look which lacks character or hint of the rich Browns history. NFL rules mandate that teams must keep their jerseys for five seasons. The Dawg Pound will only have to endure the 2019 season before the new look in 2020.

The Cleveland Browns had a classic look

Before 2015, the Browns exhibited one of the more classic looks in the NFL. They have stuck with a brown and orange scheme since their inception in 1946.

Who can forget Otto Graham throwing the football in his classic white-on-white uniform? Do you remember Ozzie Newsome catching passes from Brian Sipe in their orange pants? How about being at the Cleveland Municipal Stadium watching the home team Browns in their brown jerseys and white pants? Remember watching quarterback Tim Couch getting demolished every game in his brown jersey and orange pants?

The monumental memories of a storied and proud franchise were frayed by the Haslams and the NFL with the help from Nike.  The radical change to the uniforms along with the infamous 0-16 record in 2017 created a historic low for Cleveland fans. It was embarrassing to watch.

What a rush!

Originally released in 2016 as a part of Nike’s ‘Color Rush’ program, the NFL created Color Rush jerseys for Thursday night football games a couple of years ago. However, the Browns were unable to wear their version until 2018 when they hosted the New York Jets.  That prime-time match-up would go down as the most memorable Browns game since they returned to Cleveland in 1999. The Browns No.1 overall pick Baker Mayfield made his debut after starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor was knocked out of the game. With the Browns trailing 14-0, Baker led Cleveland to an electrifying 21-17 come-from-behind victory. That was the Browns’ first win since the 2016 season.

Two weeks later, the Baltimore Ravens visited Cleveland, and the Browns won AGAIN, knocking off the Ravens 12-9 in overtime. Per NFL rules, teams are allowed to wear their alternate uniforms up to three times in a given season. This permitted the Browns could only wear their lucky “Color Rush” jerseys one more time for the rest of the season.

In their First Energy Stadium finale in 2018, the Browns announced that they would be wearing their Color Rush uniforms when they hosted the Cincinnati Bengals in front of a sell-out crowd. Mayfield threw for three touchdowns as the Browns topped the Bengals 26-18. This win kept Cleveland undefeated in its Color Rush set. This set includes the brown base jersey with three small orange stripes on the sleeves with orange numbers and lettering.

All Browns fans are hoping that the new Browns uniforms contain some of the winning magic that the Color Rush uniforms displayed!

What should fans expect in 2020?

The new Cleveland Browns uniforms will be unveiled in the spring of 2020. The Haslams believe they got it right this time. Please forgive the fans if they feel a little anxious about what the Browns will look like in 2020 and beyond.

My best guess is that the new uniforms have to be some variation of the Color Rush uniforms. The players and the fans loved them. The Browns had a 3-0 record with the Color Rush uniforms on. Do the fans need to say more?

Do you agree/disagree with me? What do you think the new Browns uniforms will look like? Let us know @PFN365.