The 49ers are one of five NFL teams that the league could force to appear on "Hard Knocks," the annual HBO series that takes a behind-the-scenes look at a club’s training camp.
But the 49ers will not be featured, multiple league sources have told NBC Sports Bay Area. Previously, coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch expressed their opposition to the team being featured on the show.
Teams are exempt from appearing on "Hard Knocks" if they have a rookie head coach, have advanced to the playoffs in the past two seasons or have been on the show within the past 10 years. The 49ers, along with the Raiders, Detroit Lions, New York Giants and Washington, are eligible to be forced to take part. The league has never had to force a team, against its objections, to be featured on the series.
In Peter King’s "Football Morning in America," King writes that the Raiders are “far and away” the most attractive team for the series because of coach Jon Gruden and newly acquired wide receiver Antonio Brown. King said his guess is the Raiders will be the featured team. Sources have said the Detroit Lions have also been strong candidates for the show.
Prior to the NFL owners meeting in March, there was conjecture that the 49ers will be excluded from consideration for "Hard Knocks" because they could give up a home date to play their 2020 season-opening game in China.
But, according to a source, there has been no league-wide discussion of a potential game in China and the staging of the international event is considered “a longshot, at best."