Videos by OutKick
The NFL and HBO are teaming up to give everyone aside from the New York Jets precisely what they wanted to see.
According to a Wednesday morning report from ESPN, the Aaron Rodgers-era Jets will appear on this season of Hard Knocks.
This comes after the NFL had a hell of a time finding a team willing to participate. Fortunately, the NFL can make certain teams participate. Any team that doesn’t have a first-year head coach, hasn’t reached the playoffs in the last two seasons, or hasn’t appeared on Hard Knocks in the last ten years is fair game.
That meant the Bears, Saints, Commanders, and, of course, Jets, were the available options.
As OutKick’s own Zach Dean called a few weeks ago, the Jets were always the logical choice.
Still, that didn’t mean those in the Jets organization were excited to hop on camera. Head coach Robert Saleh didn’t leave any room for interpretation as to how he felt about NFL Films/HBO Sports camera crews invading his training camp.
“I know there are several teams that would love for ‘Hard Knocks’ to be in their building. We’re just not one of them,” he said.
That doesn’t sound true at all. Saleh was probably trying to pass the buck to one of the three other teams that the league could make participate.
According to The New York Post, Saints head coach Dennis Allen, and Bears chairman George McCaskey both tried to steer the league away from their teams. At the same time, Commanders head coach Ron Rivera isn’t a Hard Knocks guy either. He got a taste of what production is like when he was coaching the Carolina Panthers.
NFL Gave The People What They Want (For Once) With The Jets On Hard Knocks
Given the media circus surrounding the Jets’ offseason, it would have been certifiably insane for the NFL not to make the Jets take one for the team and do Hard Knocks this season.
The Aaron Rodgers angle is of course going to be the draw. However, there are plenty of other storylines for Liev Schreiber’s silky baritone to narrate.
You’ve got exciting young talent like Sauce Gardner, you’ve got an influx of new players, and you’ve got reported big-time MILF guy Zack Wilson trying to come to grips with playing second-fiddle to a guy who likes sitting in the dark.
So while they may not have wanted in on it, mark this down as one of the rare occasions in recent years where the NFL gave the people what they wanted.
The team will convene for training camp on July 19. You’d better believe HBO cameras are going to be cruising around and capturing all the drama.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle