PHOENIX – Thursday marked a day long coming for the Cardinals and their fans, as team owner Michael Bidwill and new coach Jonathan Gannon hosted an event to unveil the franchise’s first full uniform redesign since 2005. Over the course of the past few years, Cardinals fans have been asking about new uniforms and finally, they have their new threads.
The result? A nod to tradition with a sleek clean look in all black, all red and all white.
The reaction? As new uniforms often attract, mixed.
A new look can help market a team and as of Friday afternoon, the Kyler Murray Nike White Vapor F.U.S.E. jersey was the top seller on NFLshop.com.
Excitement filled the air at The Van Buren in downtown Phoenix, as Cardinals fans in attendance awaited the unveiling of the team’s new looks. The Cardinals invited season-ticket holders and team sponsors to the event and featured many prominent figures of the organization, including Bidwill, greeting and interacting with the fans.
To start, Gannon took the center stage to discuss how he is fitting in as the team’s new head man, as well as answer fan questions from the crowd.
Gannon said that he saw the uniforms for the first time just 20 minutes earlier and was immediately a huge fan. He joked that looking sharp on the field will help the team to perform better.
“Look good. Feel good. Play good,” he said.
Following Gannon’s meeting with the fans, the team commenced their uniform ceremony with a tribute video that paid homage to their uniforms of old, dating back to their playing days in St. Louis. The team made it clear that their ultimate goal was to create a modernized, updated version of their existing uniforms that were reminiscent of their historical looks.
“They’re OK,” says guy who has Kirkland label on 80 percent of his clothes. https://t.co/oRi6SfteUC
— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) April 21, 2023
Kicking off the debut of the team’s redesign was left tackle D.J. Humphries, who sported the team’s new white away jerseys. Showcasing the new alternate all-black threads for the first time was linebacker Zaven Collins, who was wearing what will likely be the team’s go-to look for primetime games at State Farm Stadium.
Debuting the team’s new all-red jersey was Rondale Moore, who showed off what is set to be the team’s primary uniform for home games. Displayed across the chest of the jersey is “Arizona” in bold letters, which caught the attention of Pro-Bowl running back James Conner.
“The all red ones say ‘Arizona’ (and) it’s really big and bold,” he said. “It makes you feel like you’re playing for something bigger than yourself and you’re representing the whole state.”
The last player introduced was quarterback Kyler Murray, who received a large round of applause from the fans in attendance. Murray is recovering from a torn ACL suffered in December and his status for this upcoming season is uncertain, but he clearly had the support of those in attendance Thursday.
Notably not in attendance for the team’s uniform ceremony were stars Budda Baker and DeAndre Hopkins, who have been the subjects of trade conversations in the last few weeks. Baker officially requested a trade from the team in February as he sought a contract extension that would make him among the league’s highest-paid safeties.
Hopkins, on the other hand, has been discussed in trade conversations given his age and lack of availability for the team in the past two seasons. It remains to be seen what happens with two of the team’s best players, but them not included in the event was telling, but not surprising.
Multiple Cardinals players were asked about Baker, as his trade request came just over a week ago, and it was clear that the team wants him to be a part of their group moving forward.
“Everybody knows how we feel about Budda,” Conner said. “We hope he’s here … but it’ll all work out.”
The Cardinals’ previous uniforms had been their primary design since 2005. At the last uniform unveiling event 18 years ago, second-year veteran Larry Fitzgerald and recently
signed quarterback Kurt Warner were two of the star players to show off the new uniforms. Given that the old look was around for so long, it was a bit of a sentimental goodbye for offensive lineman D.J. Humphries that was quickly replaced with excitement for the updated design.
These are simple and clean. Top ranked NFL uniforms each season are all pretty basic.
Toning down the Cards uniforms was an upgrade. I would have liked to see the red/home uniforms share continuity with the white and black unis because they are legit. pic.twitter.com/guPFqbRBwB
— Bo Brack (@BoBrack) April 21, 2023
“I always thought it was going to be hard to get over the uniforms that we had,” Humphries said. “But as soon as I saw them, I knew it was going to be perfect for us.”
Humphries was the poster figure for the jersey hype videos on social media, playing Agent 0074 (his on-field number is 74). The team had the new uniforms in a silver briefcase that Humphries was filmed carrying throughout the Valley in the week leading up to Thursday night. Perhaps an acting career is in the works post-football for the Cardinals Pro Bowl left tackle.
“I’m just trying to keep (acting) in the portfolio and keep putting it together,” Humphries said with a smile.
For a team that is coming off a 4-13 season and in need of some change, Thursday was a step toward trying to re-energize the fan base.