Which NFL teams compelled to participate in HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks‘ 2023 season? exploring the league’s franchise-enforcement conditions

After being debuted in 2001, HBO’s docuseries “Hard Knocks” has already become a popular tradition in the national football community by providing an immersive behind-the-scenes look into the lives of NFL players, coaches, and staff during the training camp.

However, the participation of the NFL teams in the upcoming season will be compelled like earlier seasons as all the franchises don’t show interest in the docuseries as HBO cameras remain all over the particular team facility, creating a distraction for the players and staff.

Which NFL teams are compelled to participate in HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks‘ 2023 season?

1)New York Jets

New York Jets

Since featuring on “Hard Knocks” in 2010, the legendary quarterback Aaron Rodgers‘ new team is going to be the first team to be forced to be featured for the upcoming season of HBO’s show, per Mike Florio. Big Apple is at the center of attraction following the acquisition of A-Rod to the blockbuster trade with the Green Bay Packers.

New York has been very vocal about their aversion to getting featured on the show as we can see from the earlier take of the Jets coach Robert Saleh when he directly said his team is not among the ones to enjoy cameras all over the facility.

“I know there are several teams that would love ‘Hard Knocks’ to be in their building. We’re just not one of them”, he said via SI.com.

Even the franchise’s defensive back Justin Hardee took social media to oppose to the idea of his team doing the show saying,”Man y’all can give hard knocks to another team man we tryna focus and win that’s a distraction.”

Nevertheless, Gang Green’s owner Woody Johnson seemed to be in favor of this treatment when he was asked about the possibility of doing “Hard Knocks” at the annual league meeting back in March as he said, “Whether we do it this year, I think we’d have to take a hard look.”

2) Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears

The signing of Tremaine Edmunds, Nate Davis, and T.J. Edwards in the second-year journey of the Bears general manager Ryan Poles has already earned huge praise for him, and having an inside look at this rebuilt team would be appealing to the viewers.

However, Chicago chairman George McCaskey discussed his team’s potential “Hard Knocks” appearance during an annual meeting held earlier this year when he made it clear to keep his franchise out of HBO’s focus, per The Athletic.

“We feel there are a number of teams that have compelling stories to tell on ‘Hard Knocks,’” McCaskey said. “Thirty-one others.”

3) New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints

The signing of Derek Carr could be a major focus of a Hard Knocks season featuring the Saints. Fans might love to see how Carr settles into his new home, with a receiving corps including Michael Thomas, Chris Olave, and Juwan Johnson.

However, the Saints coach Dennis Allen too made it clear to oppose his squad’s appearance on the show when he was asked how he would feel New Orleans would get picked.

“I wouldn’t like it because I just want to focus on our football team and getting better, and any distractions are exactly that, distractions that keep you, ultimately, from reaching your goal.”

4) Washington Commanders


The Commanders could provide an intriguing view this year following the plenty of storylines surrounding the franchise that might entertain viewers with one of the most talked about topics being the potential $6.05 million sale of the team to Josh Harris and his group.

Of course, the journey of Brian Robinson, Jeremy Reaves, and other players could be a treat for the viewers.

NFL’s requirements for forcing a franchise

The NFL holds the right to force teams to be on “Hard Knocks” based on three rules and the four teams matching the criteria would have to do the show despite their disinterest.

1)They do not have a new head coach.

2)They missed the playoffs in each of the past two seasons.

3)They must not have appeared on the show over the past ten years.

The NFL made the announcement of HBO’s featured team in March last year, however, the league hasn’t made an announcement about which franchise will be getting the “Hard Knocks” treatment this year and they reportedly reached the Denver Broncos to comeback in this year’s docuseries, albeit, the franchise refused the offer.

However, these teams can be out of the board if a team volunteers to be on the show like the Rams and Chargers appeared in the series together in 2020 even though they were not picked by the league.

It remains to be seen which teams will be ultimately chosen to share their journey, albeit viewers can expect to witness a diverse range of teams be featured, ensuring an unforgettable behind-the-scenes experience.




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Maliha works as a content writer in Sportszion specializing in NFL and NBA. She has completed her graduation and post-graduation, majoring in MIS (Management Information Systems). She loves analyzing sports and keeping fans updated with the latest sport buzzes.


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