NFL Expands Hard Knocks Eligibility: Will More Teams Say No?

The NFL may expand regulations for mandatory participation in preseason “Hard Knocks”

The NFL is currently considering expanding the pool of teams that can be selected for the preseason series Hard Knocks, according to Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal. Currently, there are certain exemptions in place such as first-year head coaches, teams that have made the playoffs in the last two seasons, and teams that have done Hard Knocks in the past 10 years. However, the league office will seek a vote of owners to change these rules to include teams with first-year head coaches, teams that have done Hard Knocks in the past eight years, and teams that will participate in the in-season version of Hard Knocks in the current season or the next season. The exemption based on playoffs will be eliminated.

If this proposal passes, it could become a common occurrence for teams not wanting to be featured on Hard Knocks. Last year, only four teams were potential candidates for Hard Knocks: Jets, Commanders, Bears, and Saints. The Jets were ultimately selected even though they did not want to participate. This was the first time that a team selected for Hard Knocks did not want to be featured on the show.

Sophia Reynolds

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