Ranking the 2019 NFL sideline hats: Who has the snazziest headgear this season?

Christian McCaffrey
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey wears the team’s 2019 sideline cap.
(Alex Pitocchelli / New Era)

The NFL season is still a little more than a month away, but fans don’t have to wait that long to see what headgear the players and coaches on their favorite teams will be wearing on the sideline.

New Era introduced its 2019 sideline collection Monday, with cap designs based on which era of the league’s 100-year history each franchise was established. There are some really snazzy caps here, with maybe a clunker or two.

To help you sort through it all (and because we like ranking things), we have decided to rank them from best to worst within each era. After that, we’ll determine the best of the best and worst of the worst.

Here we go:



These are the teams still remaining from the early days of the NFL — when people apparently really liked the color gray.

Arizona Cardinals
1. Arizona Cardinals
(Reid Martin / New Era)
New York Giants
2. New York Giants
(Reid Martin / New Era)
Chicago Bears
3. Chicago Bears
(Reid Martin / New Era)


Green Bay Packers
4. Green Bay Packers
(Reid Martin / New Era)


These are the teams that got their start when people apparently still liked gray, just darker.

Washington Redskins
1. Washington Redskins
(Reid Martin / New Era)
San Francisco 49ers
2. San Francisco 49ers
(Reid Martin / New Era)
Cleveland Browns
3. Cleveland Browns
(Reid Martin / New Era)
Indianapolis Colts
4. Indanapolis Colts
(Reid Martin / New Era)
Philadelphia Eagles
5. Philadelphia Eagles
(Reid Martin / New Era)
Detroit Lions
6. Detroit Lions
(Reid Martin / New Era)

Pittsburgh Steelers
7. Pittsburgh Steelers
(Reid Martin / New Era)
Los Angeles Rams
8. Los Angeles Rams
(Reid Martin / New Era)

Early 1960s

These are the teams that formed as part of the upstart American Football League — when people apparently were really into white ropes.

Kansas City Chiefs
1. Kansas City Chiefs
(Reid Martin / New Era)
Oakland Raiders
2. Oakland Raiders
(Reid Martin / New Era)
Denver Broncos
3. Denver Broncos
(Reid Martin / New Era)
Dallas Cowboys
4. Dallas Cowboys
(Reid Martin / New Era)
Los Angeles Chargers
5. Los Angeles Chargers
(Reid Martin / New Era)

Tennessee Titans
6. Tennessee Titans
(Reid Martin / New Era)
7. New England Patriots
New England Patriots
(Reid Martin / New Era)
Buffalo Bills
8. Buffalo Bills
(Reid Martin / New Era)
Minnesota Vikikngs
9. Minnesota Vikings
(Reid Martin / New Era)
New York Jets
10. New York Jets
(Reid Martin / New Era)

Late 1960s-1970s

These are the teams that first played when people apparently really liked trucker hats.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(Reid Martin / New Era)
New Orleans Saints
2. New Orleans Saints
(Reid Martin / New Era)
Cincinnati Bengals
3. Cincinnati Bengals
(Reid Martin / New Era)
Atlanta Falcons
4. Atlanta Falcons
(Reid Martin / New Era)
Miami Dolphins
5. Miami Dolphins
(Reid Martin / New Era)
Seattle Seahawks
6. Seattle Seahawks
(Reid Martin / New Era)


These are the teams that came together in the more recent past, when people apparently were really keen on alternating colors.

Baltimore Ravens
1. Baltimore Ravens
(Reid Martin / New EraReid Martin / New Era)
Jacksonville Jaguars
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
(Reid Martin / New Era)
Carolina Panthers
3. Carolina Panthers
(Reid Martin / New Era)
4. Houston Texans
Houston Texans
(Reid Martin / New Era)

Which NFL team has the best 2019 sideline hat?

Definitely not the Ravens. Just not a fan of the design from that era, although Baltimore pulled it off better than the others. The Chiefs hat is pretty sweet, but the rope that’s on all the caps from that era is distracting and unnecessary. The Buccaneers cap is a nice-looking trucker’s hat — the red mesh is a great touch.

The caps from the first two eras are generally sharp and tasteful, but something about the Cardinals’ and Redskins’ offerings stand out (and the 49ers — it’s very possible we have a red bias). And since logos are better than words on hats, the Cardinals top this list as the best of the best. Those folks just seem to make nice hats — they also topped our ranking of the 2019 NFL draft caps.

And the loser is ...

Nothing wrong with the Jets’ hat (other than that silly rope). It was just the least exciting offering in a pretty strong group. Really, the same goes for the Packers (the only one in their group to use words instead of a logo) and Rams (navy on dark gray just doesn’t work). The Texans were the victims of the odd design from that era — not much they could do with that. So that leaves the Seahawks. Trucker’s hats are fine if done right (see the Bucs above), but that is not the case with this one. The neon green mesh is enough to knock Seattle to the bottom of this list as worst of the worst.

Tyler Lockett
Seattle Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett wears the team’s 2019 sideline cap.
(Alex Pitocchelli / New Era)

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