The NFL has ensured that Hard Knocks will be around for at least a few more seasons, and a short list of candidates for the 2014 edition of the show has been confirmed.
The NFL agreed to a contract extension with HBO for the popular training camp series ahead of last season, and the league also passed a rule saying the NFL can pick a team for the show if none volunteer.
There are some restrictions: Teams with first-year coaches, teams that have made the playoffs in at least one of the last two seasons and teams that have appeared on the show in any of the last 10 seasons can’t be chosen. Those teams can still volunteer, though.
Eight teams are eligible for the show under the current guidelines:
New York Giants
St. Louis Rams
The Bears, Giants and Steelers would likely be the most intriguing teams, as each has been in playoff contention over the last few years and will likely be back in the postseason race again next season.
The Baltimore Ravens (2001), Dallas Cowboys (2002, 2008), Kansas City Chiefs (2007), Cincinnati Bengals (2009, 2013), New York Jets (2010) and Miami Dolphins (2012) have appeared on the show in the past. There was no Hard Knocks season in 2011 because of the NFL lockout and the late start to the season.