It's been nearly three years since the Broncos last wore half orange-half blue Nike Flywire collars on their jerseys. After a disastrous debut in 2012, the multicolored collars were dumped by most NFL teams in 2013.
Denver ditched the collar in August of 2013 and returned to a solid blue look.
But the NFL continues to market and sell replica Broncos jerseys with outdated collars.
In every commercial produced by the NFL, Broncos players are seen wearing the old collar (Demaryius Thomas appears in several fantasy football commercials wearing it). That's probably because that's the jersey fans can buy on NFL Shop.
The jerseys are sold for $99.95, the standard price of replicas.
Some of the jerseys — and nearly all of the alternate blue jerseys — have solid collars, the color design the team actually wears, and those jerseys are listed at the same price.
There's an Emmanuel Sanders jersey in stock that has the correct collar, and it's listed for $99.95.
That means the NFL is selling Broncos jerseys with outdated collars at the same price of jerseys with the team's updated look. Sanders's jersey is an exception, as the league is still making jerseys with the wrong collar.
So how is the NFL getting away with it?
"Nike makes multiple versions of jerseys at multiple price ranges for all teams," a spokesperson for NFL Shop told MHR earlier this week. "Depending on the type of jersey there may be slight differences from what you seen worn on the field.
"The GameStyle jersey is a lower end jersey and the collar is nothing like the thickness or style of the real jersey collars you see on Elite (the authentic jersey)."
That's a given — of course the replica jersey is not made with the same material of the authentic jersey, which goes for $294.95. But that doesn't answer our question about the collar's color.
The collar is dead wrong. The team never wears it. Can the NFL make a jersey with a random blue stripe down the middle and sell it as a "lower end jersey" at the same price of the jerseys designed correctly?
NFL Shop assured us that "Denver and Nike have both agreed to this style and color for sale," but they would not reveal when the agreement was made or when it will end.
The agreement may have been made in 2012 — before Denver changed their collar — and depending on the agreement's length, NFL Shop may be free to make and sell jerseys with the outdated collar for several more years.
Emails sent to Nike and the team about the agreement were not immediately returned.
As long as fans continue to buy the outdated jerseys, the NFL will continue marketing and selling them. Because they're the NFL, and they can do whatever they want.