With Reebok's 10-year contract with the NFL now over, Nike has become the next supplier for the league's on-field apparel and fan merchandise. With the retail giant now in charge, changes have been made to the jerseys.
According to Nikeinc.com, the newly designed jerseys contain lighter, more flexible material which will improve breathability and remove sweat. It also adds that Flywire technology will be used on the collar in order to reduce weight while providing the jersey with a better fit over the shoulder pads to help increase the player's range of motion. It remains to be seen how effective the changes will have on on-field performance, but if the uniforms fulfill its purpose, players around the league should enjoy the noticeable difference.
As for the design and logos, many teams have remained the same, but some have undergone a slight transformation. For instance, the Kansas City Chiefs have made a slight tweak by moving their numbers onto the shoulder instead of the sleeve. On the other hand, the Denver Broncos have gone a step further by making their orange uniform the primary home color instead of navy blue. With that change in place, the Broncos will be looking back to the "Orange Crush" days when their defense was led by Tom Jackson, Randy Gradishar and Lyle Alzado. The navy blue jerseys are still present, only now it will become their alternate uniform.
Of the 32 teams, the Seattle Seahawks have undergone the most drastic change. The numbers on both the home and road uniforms are outlined in neon green, while the name "Seahawks" is located on the front left shoulder. According to the team's website, 12 feathers designed in Northwest Native American art are placed around the neck and side panels of the pant legs to honor the 12th Man. The space within the front and back numbers also contain the same pattern.
The neon green outline adds a nice touch to the jersey. The combination of the color and feathers make this jersey stand out in a good way, unlike their 2009 neon green uniform.
Overall, Nike has done a complimentary job with the uniforms. With the exception of a few teams, Nike and the NFL has kept the appearance of the jerseys the same. It is important that historical franchises like the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys stay true to their classic designs and maintain that sense of tradition moving forward. The 2012 season has yet to start, but Nike has taken a positive first-step with the NFL by advancing the technology and equipment of the sport.
Travis Chan is a longtime football, basketball and baseball fan. He is also a contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. You can follow him on Twitter @Travischan1.