The Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers released their new uniforms, taking opposite approaches and largely getting opposite reactions. The Cleveland Browns, according to Tom Withers of the Associated Press, are scheduled to release their new uniforms on April 15th. Obviously, the uniforms done and the team isn't going to change them based on the reactions to the Falcons and Bucs, but there is a pattern that likely hints at what's going to happen with the Browns.
The Browns current uniforms were released in 2015 and they were pretty bad. Fans really, really tried to like them, but they just didn't work. The home jerseys in particular were difficult to read and most everyone immediately wished they hadn't changed them at all. In response, owner Dee Haslam came out and proclaimed that the team was going to get the new uniforms right. while both fans and media were counting down the days until they could rid of the current abominations.
The Bucs took the approach of basically going back to a really popular set of uniforms, updating them and adding a different color version. Much to the chagrin of many, they did not go back to the orangesicles with the pirate on the helmet that apparently knew something no one else did. Instead, they went back to the pewter uniforms that they had in the 90's and wore winning in the Super Bowl.
They look great. The all pewter look is a nice addition. And they've largely been universally praised. The fact Tom Brady is going to be playing in them helps and his jersey is likely to be extremely popular.
The Atlanta Falcons went the opposite route. They were far more ambitious in their changes with nods to the past. The biggest changes were adding a gradient look and simply putting 'ATL' on the chest. They have variations that embrace their uniforms from the 90's and the most recent versions.
There are people who like what the Falcons did, but the reviews have been far more mixed than the Bucs. The most basic versions and the 90's rendition are fine. Gradient is a difficult look to pull off in the best of circumstances and it's debatable if these uniforms qualify.
The Bucs went ambitious the last time and ended up with an oversized logo on the helmets and digital clock numbers on the jerseys. Likewise, the Browns took a big swing with their uniforms the last time and came up short.
It seems likely the Browns are going to take a similar approach as the Bucs did, going back to their classic uniforms, updating them so they look current and then coming up with an orange version of those. The Browns have obviously had orange jerseys before where the Bucs didn't have a pewter one, but that is where the ambition figures into the conversation.
As with the Bucs, the Browns have the added advantage that even if the Browns pulled out uniforms from the 70s, they would applauded simply because they are better than what they've been using the last few seasons. Some nice updates that don't involve weird piping on their flanks or anything along those lines. Opting for more of a clean look, not messing with the helmet and obviously having years to make sure this is right after the last ones were so poorly received.