The Bengals tweeted on Thursday they will unveil new uniforms later this year. The new uniforms are expected to be revealed shortly before the NFL Draft in April. A video with the history of the Cincinnati uniforms accompanied the tweet on the Bengals official account. The iconic striped helmets will remain.
This will be the Bengals first uniform change since 2004. The process of creating new uniforms take a few years. NFL teams are allowed only one helmet and the prestige of the stripped helmets will keep them a part of the Cincinnati football franchise. The change in uniforms is the fourth in Cincinnati history. The first came in 1981.
The only alterations to the Cincinnati uniforms since 2004 were the color rush ensembles introduced in 2016 inspired by the white tiger. Sportslogos.net reported that the Cincinnati custom number font, the home black and orange jerseys and orange and white road uniforms have been a source of contention.
Fans reportedly want the stripping pattern on the shoulders to return with a more traditional font. The original Cincinnati helmets were a far more bland and indistinguishable Bengals written on both sides. The Stripped helmets have helped Cincinnati become a more famous and noticeable brand.
Cincinnati is the first NFL team to announce a uniform change for the 2021 season. Eight teams changed uniforms for the 2020 season including the Bengals AFC North rival Cleveland Browns. The other Cincinnati 2020 opponents who debuted new jerseys last season were the Chargers, Colts and Washington Football team.
The new uniforms begin a new era for Cincinnati ahead of the second year in the Joe Burrow tenure. Burrow is expected to return for the opening week of the 2021 season after suffering a torn ACL in the Week 11 Cincinnati loss to Washington. The Bengals hold the fifth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.