There are three guidelines that help dictate which team will appear on the next season of Hard Knocks.

By Khadrice Rollins
January 02, 2018

The postseason is about to get started for the NFL, but for 20 of 32 teams, the offseason has already begun.

One of the most intriguing aspects of each offseason is finding out what team will be the subject of HBO's Hard Knocks, a documentary series following around one team during training camp.

Although there has been no call made yet about which team will be on Hard Knocks for its upcoming 13th season, we already know which teams can be forced to make a mandatory appearance on the show.

In 2013 the owners passed a resolution that created three stipulations to help teams avoid making a mandatory appearance on the show. So for each team with a new coach (Raiders, Giants, Lions, Colts, Cardinals and Bears), each team that made the playoffs in the last two seasons (Eagles, Vikings, Rams, Saints, Panthers, Falcons, Seahawks, Packers, Cowboys, Giants, Lions, Patriots, Steelers, Chiefs, Texans, Raiders, Dolphins, Bills, Titans and Jaguars) and each team that has been on Hard Knocks in the past 10 years (Cowboys, Bengals, Jets, Dolphins, Falcons, Texans, Rams and Buccaneers), there is no reason to worry about being on Hard Knocks in 2018.

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However, for the six teams that do not meet any of those three requirements (49ers, Broncos, Browns, Chargers, Ravens and Redskins), it is likely that one will be forced to appear on the HBO series.

The 49ers are arguably the most intriguing of the bunch because they went 5-0 after putting Jimmy Garoppolo in at quarterback to finish out the season. Garoppolo's first offseason with his new team along with coach Kyle Shanahan gearing up for year two as a head coach could make some quality television.

The Browns trying to recover from their 0-16 season could also be quite compelling, and so could a look at the Ravens who will be looking to bounce back after missing out on the playoffs due to a Week 17 home loss to the Bengals.

While the league can make the 49ers, Broncos, Browns, Chargers, Ravens or Redskins participate in Hard Knocks, another team could volunteer to be the subject even if it is not eligible for mandatory inclusion.

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