Report: Browns are 'front-runners' for HBO's Hard Knocks

The Cleveland Browns are reportedly the "front-runners" to be featured on HBO's Hard Knocks series this summer.
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The Cleveland Browns are the "front-runners" to be featured on HBO's Hard Knocks​ series this summer, reports Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News and SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Hard Knocks features one NFL team each summer in a documentary-style show profiling training camp. The Atlanta Falcons were featured in 2014, the show's eighth season.

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The Browns are coming off an eventful 2014 season that started on a promising note but ended with Cleveland finishing 7-9 and missing the playoffs for the 12th consecutive year. At one point, the Browns were 6-3 and with a share of the AFC North lead after a 24-3 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in early November. But Cleveland lost six of its last seven games, including its last five.

Quarterback Johnny Manziel, a rookie in 2014, entered treatment for undisclosed reasons in late January and the Browns have said they are unsure if he will participate in voluntary off-season workouts next month.

In free agency, Cleveland signed 35-year-old quarterback Josh McCown to a three-year deal before losing Brian Hoyer when he signed with the Houston Texans.

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The Browns also face an uncertain future with wide receiver Josh Gordon, who was suspended last month by the NFL for the entire 2015 season after he tested positive for alcohol consumption.

At offensive coordinator, the Browns hired John DeFilippo in January to replace Kyle Shanahan. Shanahan resigned earlier in January, reportedly amid friction between Cleveland's front office and coaches.

Mike Fiammetta