After two seasons of scrambling to secure a team, the NFL added a new wrinkle to this year's Hard Knocks selection process: The league can compel teams that meet certain conditions to appear on the HBO/NFL Films documentary series. That opens the possibility of a marquee franchise being forced into opening its training camp to the cameras, but, alas, it seems we'll have to wait another year.
The formula, taking into account coaching hires, recent playoff appearances, and previous Hard Knocks appearances, made eight teams eligible to be forced into going on the show, including three that viewers and the league would love to see: the Steelers, Bears, and Giants. But according to a report from the Post's Bart Hubbuch, it won't be necessary.
NFL source tells me the Giants will NOT be in "Hard Knocks" this year. A handful of clubs volunteered instead, and league is still deciding.
— Bart Hubbuch (@HubbuchNYP) May 7, 2014
(An NFL spokesperson tells us via email only that the league is "still in discussions with a number of teams.")
This doesn't technically rule out Pittsburgh or New York being among the franchises that volunteered, but being realistic, that'll never happen. So...c'mon Browns! We're all counting on you.