Hard Knocks Eligibility Expanded: More Teams Could Opt Out of the Series

NFL considering expanding rules for mandatory preseason participation in Hard Knocks

The league office is considering expanding the pool of teams that can be selected for the preseason Hard Knocks series. Currently, teams with first-year head coaches, those that have made the playoffs in the past two seasons, and teams that have done the show in the last 10 years are exempt from being chosen. However, if this proposal is approved, teams with first-year head coaches, those that have done the show in the past eight years, and teams participating in the in-season version of Hard Knocks in the current or next season will no longer be exempt. The exemption based on playoff appearances will also be eliminated.

Last year, only four teams were potential candidates for Hard Knocks: Jets, Commanders, Bears, and Saints. Despite not wanting to participate, the Jets were chosen marking a first time a team did not volunteer for the series. If this proposal is passed, this could become more common in the future as more teams may choose to opt out of participating. The decision will be voted on by team owners on Tuesday.

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