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Can the Dolphins Change Uniforms in 2018?

When? Is it possible? Coach likes the throwbacks.

NFL: New York Giants at Miami Dolphins
Landry and Beckham swap throw back jerseys.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

As one of my fellow The Phinsider contributors reported recently, Miami Dolphins h coach Adam Gase likes the team’s “throw-back” look. He likes it a lot. He is seen in the old logo quite often. The Dolphins are going to use the throw back jerseys more, and Miami is going all white for color rush this season. We’ve heard about the idea of changing the uniforms and logo again. But when could it happen? And so soon after the last logo change? Aren’t there any RULES for these types of things?

Well, yes, of course there are rules. And there is a quiet part of my brain that stores little tid bits of information only to fired back at me at odd hours of the night. I was dreaming of the Dolphins dominating in the lose old 70’s uniforms and sprang from my bed with the idea... WHEN? How soon could we see the move away from the Curise Ship Logo that Queezy Joe Philbin liked so much? I had heard the rules before, but I needed to know.

Well, it turns out there are three main rules to a team changing any design aspect of their uniforms. Here they are an how they apply to Miami in this situation.

2002 Resolution G-3

Third, be it Further Resolved, that a Club may not change its regular home and away uniforms more than once every five NFL seasons, and may not change its third uniform design more than once every five NFL seasons, absent specific extenuating circumstances (e.g., Club ownership change or relocation) as determined by the Commissioner.

Basically, this is meat and potatoes of the restrictions put in place a little over 15 years ago. A team has to wait five seasons before making changes in it’s designs or uniforms. I’m not sure want prompted this change, but it seems to be the most restrictive measure.

What it means for Miami:

Well, Miami unveiled their new look in 2013. That means that the completion of the 2017 will be five years in which the Miami Dolphins have had this “New Look” logo and uniforms. They could be looking at a change as early as the 2018 season. Good news for those of us rooting for a change. But what other rules are there?

NFL Constitution and Bylaws Article XIX 19.9

(D) No club shall have the right to make changes in its club colors and/or in the designs of its team helmets or uniforms except in accordance with the following provisions:

(1) Absent ,specific extenuating circumstances as determined by the Commissioner, if a club desires to make any changes in club colors, uniform appearance, designs of team helmets, designs of team uniforms, trademarks, or trade names, it must give written notice and details thereof to the League on or before March 1 of the year prior to the year in which it wishes to change; must comply with the uniform change notification and approval timeline as established by the League office and amended from time to time; and further must obtain approval from the League pursuant to Section 19.9(D)(2) by December 1 of the year prior to the year in which it wishes to change; otherwise it shall have no right to make any change for the succeeding season.

Simply stated, any club has to inform the League Office by March 1st of the year prior to any scheduled changes. This gives the league time to make all the needed approvals and administrative changes for the coming season. Seems simple enough.

What it means for Maimi:

We would hear about the Dolphins applying to make this change...right? Probably. Yet, if Miami wanted to make a change for 2108 they would have had to submit for a change as of this last March. So it is possible that we get a change soon. But, this would be newsworthy if it happened. I do not think the team would hold that information a secret... but it’s an NFL Team, so one can never be certain.

And lastly...

NFL Constitution and Bylaws Article XIX 19.9 (2)

(2) Despite the provisions of the foregoing sub-paragraph (1) of this Section 19.9(D) and despite the fact that notice was given of the proposed change in the colors and/or designs of team helmet and uniforms as above set out, should such change, in the opinion of the Commissioner, result in any conflict with the club colors and/or helmet and uniform designs of any other club, and the clubs involved are unable to agree upon a method of solving such conflict, the Commissioner shall have the right to designate the club colors and/or the designs of the team helmet or uniforms to be used by the affected clubs in such season.

So the NFL carries issue with trying to copy another team’s intellectual property. And as usual their answer is to put all disputes at the autocratic rule of the current NFL Commissioner. Cause, why not? The Commissioner reigns supreme.

What it means for Miami:

Probably nothing. Miami isn’t going to suddenly try and steal NE’s colors and uniforms. But there have been a few debates about this through NFL history so it’s good to note the rules existence. My gut says this was a rule installed because of the Browns/Bengals debacle from the early days of the NFL.

End Game:

What it all boils down to for those of us ready and willing to dump this “New Look” Dolphins... It could be as soon as 2018 when we see some changes, but nothing has been reported yet. We are undoubtedly stuck this season with that cruise ship logo. This is a glimmer of hope on the horizon, a Dolphin on the horizon rising from the misty ocean harder and stronger than before.

I mean, we can only hope... Right?