The Cleveland Browns could be headed for the spotlight this summer. They are currently the frontrunner to be featured on the HBO series Hard Knocks, according to Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. The Browns are one of nine teams the NFL could pick for the series if no other franchise volunteers.
Cleveland would be an interesting choice, especially with the status of quarterback Johnny Manziel. Manziel always draws considerable media attention and could find himself in the middle of a quarterback competition next training camp. That storyline could be even more interesting should the Browns draft another quarterback in the first round.
The Browns would be an intriguing Hard Knocks choice even beyond Manziel. Cleveland improved last season and will enter this year with playoff expectations. The quarterback competition should be entertaining and a few players could make for great television. Donte Whitner is one of the most outspoken players in the NFL and would be must-see TV mic'd up throughout training camp. Josh Gordon's suspension and situation could be a subject of the show while Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has been known to make headlines from time to time.
While some years a team will volunteer to be on the show, the NFL recently adopted a rule to mandate some franchises into appearing. Teams with a first-year head coach, those who made the playoffs in either of the last two seasons and any organization that appeared on the show in the last 10 years are exempt. This season, there are nine teams who don't meet one of those exclusions. In addition to the Browns, the Rams, Buccaneers, Vikings, Jaguars, Giants, Texans, Washington and the Titans could all be selected to be on the show.