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If no volunteers, eight teams are eligible for Hard Knocks

The NFL passed a proposal that will force a team to appear on Hard Knocks if no one volunteers for the compelling HBO Training Camp documentary.

Due to the struggles that NFL Films has had obtaining a team for their annual Hard Knocks documentary, the league passed a proposal last October that would "compel" teams if no one volunteered for the show. There were three exclusions: Teams with new head coaches, teams that have qualified for the postseason once in the past two years, and teams that have appeared on Hard Knocks in the past ten years.

That leaves eight possible teams eligible for the NFL's requirement... IF no one volunteers.

Arizona Cardinals
Buffalo Bills
Chicago Bears
Jacksonville Jaguars
New York Giants
Oakland Raiders
Pittsburgh Steelers
St. Louis Rams

The Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals agreed in the 11th hour over the past two years to accept, allowing the show to continue -- which most people are grateful for because of the in-depth look at a professional football team that people would otherwise never see.

We're sure that teams will display the utmost professionalism if they're forced into opening their lockerroom to intrusive cameras that they didn't want around in the first place. But it might be a little more difficult to find compelling storylines from a team that's resistant in the first place. Either way, the worst episode of Hard Knocks is way better than what network television can provide.

This doesn't mean Cincinnati is forbidden from doing it for a third season -- if the Bengals volunteered, then they'd be in. Considering the rising ticket prices, a continued struggling season ticket base and rebellion against some of the team's coaches and players, it might be a good idea for the Bengals to go back into PR mode to win fans back (I don't know how a team that's made the postseason in four of the past five years has to be forced into PR mode, but that's Cincinnati).