NFL still hasn’t announced this year’s Hard Knocks team
This year, four teams are eligible to be drafted to serve as the focal point of Hard Knocks. To date, the NFL has yet to publicly declare the winner.
Or, depending on perspective, the loser.
As noted by Rich Cimini of ESPN.com, the league hasn’t announced this year’s Hard Knocks team. Last year, the league announced that it would be the Lions in late March.
The teams that can be compelled to do it under the formula the NFL previously developed are the Bears, Saints, Jets, and Commanders. Those are the franchises that remained after exempting any team with a new head coach, any team that has been to the playoffs in the last two years, and any team that has done it within the past 10 years.
The Bears have said they don’t want it. The Jets are the most compelling selection; chances are they’re not interested, either. (If they were, it likely would have been already announced by now.)
That leaves the Saints and Commanders. Of the two, the Commanders are more compelling given the looming ownership change. But coach Ron Rivera, who ealizes that he needs to make a solid impression on new owner Josh Harris, likely would prefer not to have an extra variable in a situation already chock full of them.
That said, it could be an ideal time for 345 Park Avenue to gently jerk a few arms among current management, since current management might need a big favor or two from Big Shield once new ownership takes over.
Our guess? They really want the Jets to want to do it. So they’re waiting and hoping and maybe persuading, knowing that the Commanders could be the fallback option.
Which obviously means it will be the Saints.
Regardless of who it is, we’ll find out soon enough, since it debuts on HBO in early August.