• Loading stock data...
Saturday, May 18, 2024

NFL’s Expanded Helmet Options Come With a Perk: More Merch

  • Teams can now add a third helmet design to their overall look.
  • The league’s decision will expand teams’ merchandising options for fans.
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL’s array of helmet designs is expanding once again, and it is happening as the league and union say they are making further strides in helmet safety. 

The league told all 32 teams last week that it is once again expanding its uniform policy, and it will allow teams to add a third helmet design to their overall looks. The four teams already going through a uniform redesign for the 2024 season—the Broncos, Jets, Lions, and Texans—will be able to take advantage of the expanded measure immediately. The rest must wait until ’25, but they must inform the league of their intent to utilize an alternate color helmet by May 1 of this year. 

The expansion follows the NFL’s shift in 2022 away from its “one shell” rule after nearly a decade, a policy that previously limited teams to a single helmet. The underlying premise of the prior rule was a belief that a single helmet was better for player safety than multiple ones. But several teams steadily lobbied for a change, and once it took effect, it opened a wave of popular throwbacks back on the field, such as the Buccaneers’ creamsicle design (above) and the Eagles’ Kelly green look. Expanding that range of alternate and throwback designs even further will almost certainly enlarge the range of merchandising options the NFL and individual teams will be able to offer fans. 

The four latest new uniform unveilings for the 2024 season are scheduled to happen over the next eight days. Soon after the league announcement last week, the Broncos and Texans publicly noted the shift on social media, signaling that a third helmet design is likely part of those forthcoming events.

There are still various stipulations to the expanded league measure, including that the second and third helmets can be worn only with optional uniforms such as alternates, throwbacks, and Color Rush models. Those restrictions differ from the more liberal mixing and matching of helmets and uniforms frequently seen in college football. 

Safety Measures

A day before the league’s announcement of the helmet policy shift, the NFL and NFL Players Association said they are introducing 12 new helmet models for the 2024 season, a record total that includes five that “tested better than any helmet ever worn in the league.” Among the new helmets approved for play this year are eight position-specific ones designed for the particular impacts of where they are used.

Six helmets that were previously approved, and had previously been among top-performing models when first introduced, are now prohibited.

“We’re proud to see so many new helmets continue the rapid rate of improvement we’ve seen over the past decade,” said Jeff Miller, NFL executive vice president. 

Those shifts arrive as the league has faced a long-running issue around player concussions, which numbered 219 last year, up slightly from the 213 in 2022, blunting prior progress. 

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read


DSG’s Path to Revival Faces Major Pushback from MLB, NBA, and NHL

Three major pro leagues raise further concerns about the bankrupt Bally Sports parent.

NFL’s Christmas Shake-Up: Netflix and Amazon Will Take It Over in ’25

This is the new-age NFL, where anything goes, if the price is right.

NFL’s Schedule Points to Network Strategies: Chiefs Lead, Texans Rise

The two-time defending champions are a fixture across many of the league’s tentpole events.

PGA Championship Setting Revenue Records, but LIV Drama Still Looms

The PGA Championship tees off Thursday morning at Valhalla Golf Club.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

MLB, NBA, NHL Broadcasting Future Goes to Court


Featured Today

February 5, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; The grounds of the Capitol Building empty out following the conclusion of President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech on February 5, 2019.

‘A Breathtaking Lobbying Campaign’: The NCAA’s Sophisticated Effort to Save Amateurism

Inside the carefully coordinated, multimillion-dollar operation to end the athletes’ rights era.
May 14, 2024

The WNBA Was Forged in Houston. Why Won’t It Go Back There?

Houston’s a perfect fit for expansion. The league isn’t considering it yet.
May 9, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) stands with the team during the national anthem on Thursday, May 9, 2024, during the preseason game against the Atlanta Dream at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
May 12, 2024

‘Perfect Storm’: The Rise of Local WNBA Broadcast Pacts

With national attention reaching new heights, regional coverage could dictate the future.
Mar 29, 2023; New York, New York, USA; American actors and comedians Chris Rock (left) and Ben Stiller sit court side during the third quarter between the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden.
May 11, 2024

The Haves and Have-Nots: How the Knicks’ Celebrity Row Works

Unwritten rules, an expectation of quid pro quo, and nothing is free.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers

The WNBA Rookies Are Creating a New Celebrity Row

Major celebs like Kim Kardashian and Latto are showing up for the newbies.
May 15, 2024

Caitlin Clark Debuts With WNBA’s Most-Watched Game in Decades

The game averaged 2.12 million viewers, the WNBA’s highest since 2001.
May 16, 2024

Preakness in Spotlight: Chance of a Triple Crown Winner Bolsters Status

The presence of Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan gives a big boost to the Triple Crown’s middle leg.

Major League Rugby’s Vision for American Rugby

How Major League Rugby is leading the Rugby renaissance in the U.S.
May 15, 2024

NFL Signs Three-Year Christmas Day Deal With Netflix

The streamer will show two holiday games in 2024 and one apiece in ’25 and ’26.
Kendall Coyne Schofield
May 14, 2024

PWHL Playoffs Experience Surge in Attendance. Is Expansion Coming?

The first five games of the postseason drew nearly 40,000.
May 14, 2024

Architect of LIV Golf Deal Departs the PGA Tour. What Happens Next?

PGA Tour policy board member Jimmy Dunne has resigned.
May 14, 2024

Caitlin Clark’s WNBA Debut Marks the Start of a New Era for Women’s Basketball

A Clark-fueled business boom comes at the perfect time for the WNBA.