Late For Work 3/27: Nike To Reveal Ravens Uniforms Next Week

Bisciotti on potential Rice hold out. T. Smith No. 1 WR next season? Lewis at Martin rally.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 at 9:15 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Nike To Reveal Ravens Uniforms Next Week

The big reveal is almost here.

Nike is expected to unveil next season’s new team uniforms on April 3, one week from today. The highly anticipated event in New York City will mark the start of Nike’s five-year partnership with the league (and the end of Rebook’s deal) as the official provider of on-field apparel.

And don’t worry, has secured an invitation to the event and will get all images and video of the Ravens’ new look to satisfy your curiosity.
The burning question for now is what will the new look be.

We have a few clues.

First off, you’ll want to disregard the “leaked sketches” that revealed a fake NFL version of “Nike’s Pro Combat Uniform” designs. The mock-ups are still circulating the web, but confirmed more than a year ago that they are in no-way affiliated with Nike or the NFL.

You may also want to forget about Nike Brand President Charlie Denson’s original statement in 2010 about wanting to change uniforms “dramatically.” That doesn’t appear possible because Nike can’t change certain looks without permission from teams.

Logos are controlled by teams and the NFL,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy told  “That will not change.  Teams have to apply to the league to make changes to logos and colors.

“We anticipate new uniform technology (i.e., performance-driven, lighter materials).  That’s what Nike’s [Charlie] Denson was referring to in his interview in 2010 regarding changes.”

Mike Florio noted that if a team wanted to make alterations, they could use this as an opportunity to do so, but would just have to follow the ordinary process for changes.

The Seahawks are one team expected to make significant changes, but it’s unknown whether the Ravens have any major modifications in store.

Nike CEO and President Mark Parker said they “will have some fun” with the designs, but will also “respect the tradition of teams.”

Portland Business Journal’s Erik Simers made a few predictions of where Nike has the flexibility to “have some fun.” After all, they will want to distinguish themselves after Reebok’s 10 seasons with the NFL.

“Nike, as a brand, in recent years has become as much about innovation as it has style, so expect some of the functional frills found in its footwear and college uniforms to be showcased prominently in the NFL gear,” wrote Simers. “I expect to see Nike’s ‘Flywire’ stabilization technology, for example, to be featured in the jersey collars, immediately changing the look of every team. Also don’t be surprised to see things like the ‘Chain Maille Mesh’ breathable fabric Nike debuted with its Oregon Ducks Rose Bowl uniforms.”

Additionally, Simers says you could see a difference in the finishes of the helmets, giving teams options from a matte finish to garishly glossy to the pattern heavy.

Finally, Nike is known for its accessories. So you could see changes outside of the jersey and pants. That includes stylized gloves, baselayer apparel, footwear, and socks – “each contributing something different to the set’s look and function.”

Nike already unveiled the design for the Ravens new Vapor Jet Receivers Gloves, shown to the right. The gloves feature the birdie head logo when the two hands come together at the palms.

Beyond the accessories and helmet finishes, the only clue we have of what the jerseys could look like come from Dolphins cornerback Sean Smith, who posted on his Twitter page a sneak peak of Miami’s orange alternate jersey. 

A response from Nike to about the tweeted picture implies that this is indeed an actual image of the new jersey to be unveiled next Tuesday.

Bisciotti’s Take On Potential Rice Hold Out
The Ravens feel a sense of urgency to re-sign offensive stars Joe Flacco and Ray Rice, as it could open up some salary-cap space.

But negotiations could take some time, and if Ravens brass and Rice, who has received the franchise tag and therefore doesn’t have any insurance beyond the 2012 season, can’t get a deal done by the time training camp rolls around, there’s a chance he could hold out.

What’s the possibility of him actually doing so?

Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti weighs in.

“It’s realistic in the sense that other players do it. It’s not too realistic in the sense that, the kind of young man that Ray is,” Bisciotti told The Baltimore Sun. “This is all up to his agent’s strategy, but Ray is not the kind of guy that, I think, needs to pursue that angle.

“If his agent convinces him that he has to, Ray is not the kind of guy that we fear will come in out of shape. If he does it, he does it. But I don’t think we’re going to see a drop-off in his performance this year.” 

Torrey Smith No. 1 WR Next Season?

In response to’s article about wide receiver Torrey Smith’s goal to break 1,000 receiving yards next season, ESPN’s Jamison Hensley offered his take on whether that could actually happen.

Not only does he see the second-year speedster notching the 1,000 yards, Hensley believes that Smith should become the team’s No. 1 receiver next season.

“As a rookie, Smith showed flashes of potential. He took over the games at St. Louis and home against Cincinnati. What he has to develop is more consistency,” wrote Hensley. “But Smith has already established chemistry with Joe Flacco, who hasn’t really connected with Anquan Boldin like many anticipated. And, unlike Boldin, Smith can get separation because of his speed.”

Quick Hits 

  • Linebacker Ray Lewis reportedly attended yesterday’s rally for 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed in Sanford, Fla. last month by a neighborhood watch volunteer and claimed self-defense. He has not been arrested. Lewis has an offseason home “not far” from where Martin was killed. [Yahoo! Sports]
  • jeffzrebiecsun: Bisciotti said that DeCosta’s contract has been re-structured in a way where he’s “off the market” for a few years. [Twitter]


    Bracketology: 2000 Ravens vs. 1984 49ers
  • The 2000 Ravens edged out the 1998 Broncos in the quarter finals of’s “The Greatest Team of All Time” bracket contest. Now Baltimore’s only Super Bowl-winning team takes on the 1984 San Francisco 49ers, who won Super Bowl XIX with legends Joe Montana and Jerry Rice. The 49ers are currently beating the Ravens in voting with a 57- to 43-percent advantage. You have until tomorrow at 5 p.m. to vote. []

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