The Hard Knocks speculation is in the air: who will be featured on the annual NFL public relations offering, where the pain of dozens of men seeing their life's dreams ended is turned into snack-ready entertainment just for you.
Earlier today, Tony Grossi of ESPN noted that the Cleveland Browns have no interest in being on the show, and that NFL Films has no interest in featuring an unwilling participant. Grossi noted the Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans and Washington as potential participants, but it's not clear whether those are the only or even the most prominent candidates.
And it seems we can scratch two of those teams off the list. Buffalo Rumblings reports, once again, that the Bills are not going to be on the show. And ESPN's John Keim noted that Washington isn't going to be on the show, leaving only the Houston Texans as a named participant. But, again, we don't know whether they're the only candidate.
That won't stop people from speculating -- not until an official announcement. Like Tom Krasniqi over at 620 WDAE, who talked about the possibility of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers joining the circus today, as did JoeBucsFan on Twitter. And the NFL could compel the Bucs to go on the show, as they're one of nine teams who have not been to the playoffs in the past two years, who do not have a first-year head coach, and who have not been on Hard Knocks before.
But NFL Films does not want an unwilling team on their show, and Jason Licht went on the record earlier this month to note that the Bucs have no interest in being on Hard Knocks. Which is still where all of this stands: the Bucs are not going to be on Hard Knocks this year.