The New England Patriots have one of the most beautiful catalogs of throwback gear in the NFL, especially after they willingly sacrificed their classic dynasty look for a strange “upgrade” after Tom Brady took his talents to sunny Florida.
While everyone wastes their time clamoring for the Creamsicle Buccaneers jerseys to make a comeback (hideous, overrated, no redeeming qualities), here in New England, folks are going to focus instead on the throwback red jerseys with the Pat Patriot helmet, which haven’t been worn since the NFL’s 75th anniversary season back in 2012.
The very next season, the league mandated a “One Shell” rule restricting each NFL team to just one helmet for … reasons. Any time you can limit merchandising opportunities, you’ve got to do it!
According to sources in the know, though, 2022 will bring about Pat Patriot’s glorious, standing return, and Patriots DB Jalen Mills all but confirmed the reports with a beautiful Instagram story on Thursday afternoon.
Pat Patriot might return to Patriots helmets in 2022, per Jalen Mills’ Instagram story.
Now put it on for OTAs so I know it’s real.
If Patriots fans wanted to get really greedy (and you know they always do…), they could demand the return of the beautiful bright blue mid-90s Ben Coates jerseys. For now, though, the deployment of this AFL gear — and, presumably, a chance to buy some fresh Mac Jones gear at Patriot Place — should be enough.
Patriots insiders picked up on Mills’ IG story and circulated it, too, and NESN’s Zack Cox had the same takeaway. While some NFL teams have kicked their throwback decisions down the line to 2023, the Patriots seem to be plowing forward this year, as previously promised.
For a team so steeped in tradition, it’s still difficult to believe the Pats really made the pivot from their Tom Brady Navy jerseys to an all-new official look for 2020 and beyond.
This hat tip to the past — both the AFL days and the early 2010s — could go a long way towards paving over that gap between eras.