NFL PROTOTYPES


ATLANTA FALCONS

Here are three radically different proposed Falcons helmets. The first is a prototype supposedly considered by the team during it's inception in the late 60s. The second was a change proposed around 1974. The final helmet is a design group portfolio item I first saw in 2002. I have heard that former Falcon running back Jamal Anderson helped with the design. It may have been considered by the team, but I have no idea.


BALTIMORE BOMBERS

The Bombers were Baltimore's bid for a new NFL team in the early 1990s. After the Colts left, Baltimore petitioned the league for a new team. The Bombers lost out to eventual new franchises the Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers. Soon after, Art Modell moved the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore. A PR nightmare at the time, the NFL convinced Modell that the team would become a "new" franchise, the Ravens, and Cleveland was promised a return of the Browns a few years later.

I'm honestly not sure if this is an actual helmet design or simply a fan creation. I do know that the logo was presented as part of the expansion team's bid.


CINCINNATI BENGALS

This reversed image helmet, with orange stripes on a black background instead of black on orange, was first seen during an interview with head coach Marvin Lewis on the NFL Network this season. There has been speculation that the Bengals are headed for a change, but the team claims that this helmet is a unique creation made especially for Lewis and given to him by a personal friend.

Below is a photo of team founder Paul Brown surrounded several different prototype Bengals designs. I may try to re-create some of them to add here.


CLEVELAND BROWNS

The 'CB' logo was pushed by the league claiming they needed a more identifiable trademark. The Browns may even have worn this helmet for some preseason games in 1964 or 1965, but the team never adopted the logo.


DETROIT LIONS

This helmet has been circulating around the net for a few years. More than one source has said this design was never considered by the team, and that it's only a portfolio piece for a grpahic designer. Still, I like it and find it far superior to the changed the Lions made recently, so here it is.


GREEN BAY PACKERS

Back when Ron Wolf first took over as GM in the 1990s, he put together a proposal to change the uniforms, changing the current shade of Packer "gold" to something closer to the old gold the team used in the 1950s. The idea was meet with anger from the fans and was dropped. I don't know if a helmet was actually created to promote the change, but if it was it might look like the one above. The proposed helmet may have had no stripes. I'll add a version without stripes soon.

There has also been discussion from time to time that the Packers may abandon the green and revert to a shade of blue used in the 1950s as well. Hence the second two helmets above. Both are my interpretations of what the color changes might look like. I have never seen actual helmets like those above. And, based upon the reactions of the local fans, I may never see them, as the Packers may never change.


HOUSTON TEXANS

This helmet was prominently displayed everywhere when the expansion team was first announced. There was some reckless internet speculation that Houston would use two helmets -- this one and the current version -- as home and away helmets, but the NFL only allows different helmets under special circumstances, not as permanent parts of the uniform.


JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

These helmets were originally displayed shortly after the NFL awarded Jacksonville a franchise in the early '90s. The logo's similarity to the Jaguar automobile trademark forced the team to make a change.


MEMPHIS HOUND DOGS

Before the NFL expanded into Jacksonville and Carolina, Memphis was a finalist for a new franchise. Their proposal was the Hound Dogs.

I'm honestly not sure if this was an actual helmet designed as a promotional item or something a fan put together later. I don't even know for sure if the logo is accurate. I've seen some other designs based around this logo and may add them in the future.


MIAMI DOLPHINS

This unique helmet was first proposed around 1990. The obviously radical change was never adopted.


NEW YORK JETS

This helmet waw rumored to be an upcoming change for the team. The team began using the new logo in 2003, but whether it will make onto a helmet anytime soon is pure speculation.


OAKLAND SENORS

Believe it or not, the original name of the Oakland Raiders was to be the Senors.

I recently received word that this is not a prototype. The logo was created a few years ago as a gumball helmet design and is simply artistic speculation. I have no knowledge of, or evidence of, an actual Oakland Senors logo. As some of the other prototypes on this page may fall into the same category as the Senors, however, I'm going to leave the helmet up.


SAN FRANCISCO FORTY-NINERS

The so-called "one day" logo. This helmet was introduced in 1991 when Carmen Policy became team president. It was so thoroughly rejected by the public that the team abandoned the change 24 hours later.


SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

When the Seahawks changed their uniforms in 2002, they let fans vote on which helmet the team would wear with them. This was the loser. There is a rumor that the team wanted to wear different home & away helmets like the local Washington State Cougars, but the plan was rejected by the NFL, prompting the fan vote.


ST. LOUIS STALLIONS

The Stallions were St. Louis's bid for a return to football in the early 90s. After the Cardinals left for Arizona, a local group petitioned the league for a new franchise. The Stallions lost out to eventual new teams the Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers. Soon thereafter, the Los Angeles Rams were wooed to move to St. Louis, leaving the country's largest TV market without a team.

I'm honestly not sure if this is an actual helmet design or simply a fan creation. I do know that the logo was presented as part of the expansion team's bid.


TENNESSEE COPPERHEADS

When the Houston Oilers first moved to Tennessee, a group of fans started a movement to change the team's name to reflect their new home. They even designed a helmet like the one above to represent the new identity, while keeping a link to the past with the oil derrick logo. The actual logo may have been more faint, almost barely visible.


TENNESSEE TITANS

This prototype was used to promote the team's name change from Oilers to Titans. The blue facemask and stripes were added later.


COMMENTS

This page will include all the "official" prototype and alternate helmets considered by various NFL teams.

I'm sure there are plenty of other helmets out there that never made it onto an NFL field. Any information is greatly appreciated.


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