Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that NFL owners have passed a new rule that will allow the league to select a team to be featured on HBO/NFL Films Hard Knocks if no one offers to participate.
- Albert Breer adds that teams with new coaches, has made the playoffs two years in a row, or if they’ve appeared on the show in the past 10 years they will be allowed to decline.
- Breer mentions that under these exemptions, teams such as: Patriots, Texans, Ravens, Broncos, Bengals, Falcons, 49ers, Packers, Bills, Browns, Cardinals, Chargers, Chiefs, Jaguars, Bears and Eagles could all have passed on doing the show in 2013.
- Rapoport adds that the NFL wants to include teams without a national following like the Titans, Browns, and Bills.
Multiple NFL teams have shown a reluctance to participate in the show due to a fear of exposing their inner workings, but the league is apparently convinced that Hard Knocks is important marketing tool. It sounds as if the league will likely shy away from selecting some of the more notable teams in the event that they’re forced to select someone.