Following months of speculation and a teaser video that essentially confirmed the upcoming changes, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers officially announced on Monday morning they’ll be unveiling new uniforms in April.
“We have heard the feedback from our fans loud and clear and have been working with the NFL and our league partners at Nike to usher in a new look as we enter this next decade of Buccaneers football,” owner/co-chairman Ed Glazer said in a statement. “We look forward to revealing more details in the near future about our official unveiling event which will take place later this spring.”
This marks the third major uniform change since the Buccaneers were established with an orange and red color scheme in 1976. That look, which featured a pirate named Bucco Bruce holding a knife in his mouth on the helmet, remained — albeit with minor changes — through the 1996 season.
Tampa Bay then underwent a significant rebrand in 1997, replacing Bucco Bruce with a tattered flag featuring Calico Jack’s version of the Jolly Roger held up by a sword. The team also introduced a new red and pewter color scheme, as well as a new secondary ship logo. Those changes coincided with new ownership, the opening of Raymond James Stadium, the end of the Buccaneers’ 15-year playoff drought and the franchises first and only Super Bowl win (XXXVII).
In 2014, Tampa Bay once again made a significant change to its look. The Buccaneers unveiled new uniforms that featured a modernized logo set, oversized helmet decals, the first chrome facemask in the NFL, a unique number font and the return of orange as a tertiary color.
The change was unpopular with fans, who have been clamoring for an update since the uniforms were introduced. And after six seasons in the current look, Tampa Bay is finally granting their wish.
Looking closely at the video shared by the Buccaneers’ Twitter account, it appears the team has fixed a major issue with their secondary logo. The logo introduced in 2014 had the mast on the stern of the ship in front of the sail, while it is behind the sail in the logo shown just four seconds in.
Other potential clues include the color of the jersey being sewn, the subliminal text shown throughout (Bucs, Super, Return, New Era) and the font used at the end of video, though it’s worth noting that’s been used by Tampa Bay’s social media and marketing teams for a few years.
The Buccaneers are one of four franchises set to unveil new uniforms this offseason, with the Atlanta Falcons also scheduled to do so in April and the Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Rams expected to before the NFL Draft late that month.
Photos via @Buccaneers on Twitter.