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NFL will not force team to appear on HBO's Hard Knocks this season

NFL won't force team to appear on HBO's Hard Knocks Multiple teams have volunteered to be on the 2014 season of HBO's Hard Knocks. (Kevin Rivoli/AP)

The popular HBO reality sports documentary series Hard Knocks will be returning this year, and thankfully the NFL won't be forced to select a team to participate in the program.

After the league and HBO struggled to find a team to participate last season, the NFL decided that it would have the final word on the selection of a team to appear on the television show if teams continued to dodge the invites.

That won't be necessary for the upcoming season, as multiple teams have reportedly volunteered themselves, according to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post.

MORE: 2014 NFL Mock Draft | NFL draft needs: AFC | NFL draft needs: NFC

https://twitter.com/HubbuchNYP/status/464064243298349058

The new rules would have allowed the league to select any team that didn't have a new head coach and had not appeared in the playoffs at least once during the past two seasons. In addition, teams that have participated in the past decade would also be exempt from selection.

The San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans and Washington Redskins each declined to take part in the show prior to the 2013 season, so it would be interesting to see if any of those teams volunteered this time around.

After last year's wave of rejections, the Cincinnati Bengals participated in the 2013 season, their second appearance in the series and first since 2009.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has also stated his hope to have the series on some type of "formal rotation" moving forward.

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