Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

If nobody else volunteers, the NFL can now force certain teams to participate in HBO’s Hard Knocks. This year, nine teams are eligible because they haven’t been to the playoffs in two years, they don’t have first-year head coaches and they haven’t been featured on the program in the last 10 years.

We rank them from most to least enticing:

1. Washington Redskins — Robert Griffin III sells, especially if he’s battling with ballsy head coach Jay Gruden. Include Daniel Snyder and bright personalities like Santana Moss and DeAngelo Hall and you have good television. Hell, they could do entire episodes on interesting characters DeSean Jackson and Alfred Morris.

2. Johnny Manziel… I mean, the Cleveland Browns — Johnny Football would be the star, though, with an oft-dysfunctional front office likely to add some drama. A quarterback competition involving Manziel would add some intrigue.

3. New York Giants — This isn’t the type of organization you’d expect to participate, but that’s why it’d be awesome. Rarely do we see or hear anything related to what’s happening behind the scenes with one of the NFL’s best-run franchises, so a glimpse would make for must-see TV. Tom Coughlin is an interesting character, and the Giants have shown signs they’re trying to revamp their image. This could help prove they’re hip.

4. Minnesota Vikings — This really depends on where Adrian Peterson is come August. If he’s back in purple, his return would be the central subjective for the documentary. Throw in the continued grooming of Teddy Bridgewater and Minnesota’s always-entertaining head coach, Mike Zimmer, and there’s potential here.

5. Houston Texans — We’re likely in store for a quarterback battle, plus you’ll have 2014 No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney trying to bounce back after an injury-plagued disappointment of a rookie season.

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — They have the No. 1 pick, so this probably means Heisman Winner Marcus Mariota and his quest to save a lost franchise.

7. St. Louis Rams — Jeff Fisher is interesting, as is St. Louis’ quest to find a franchise quarterback. They also have a lot of interesting guys on defense and there’s that whole Los Angeles thing.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars — The Jags just aren’t sexy enough, even with a fairly vibrant new front office and a potential quarterback of the future in Blake Bortles.

9. Tennessee Titans — Outside of the greater Nashville area, who the hell would watch this?

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at, a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at, Deadspin,, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Comeback Media, but his day gig has him covering the NFL nationally for Bleacher Report.

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