The Bears have made it clear they don’t want to be on Hard Knocks next season, but they may not have a choice. The Bears are one of only four teams that qualify to be selected, if no one volunteers.
There are three criteria that have to be met for a team to be selected:
-They must not have a new head coach
-They must not have made the playoffs over the past two seasons
-They must not have appeared on the show over the past 10 years
The Bears tick all those boxes. Matt Eberflus is entering his second season with the team, the Bears haven’t played in the postseason since 2020, and they’ve never appeared on the show. The other teams that meet all the criteria are the Washington Commanders, New York Jets and New Orleans Saints. If one of those teams volunteers to participate, then the Bears are off the hook. If not, it’s easy to see why they would be selected. And if they’re selected, they can’t say no.
There are plenty of reasons why the Bears would be a draw for the show. Justin Fields is one of the most exciting young players in the league. The Bears just traded away the No. 1 pick in the draft, in part to bring in DJ Moore to help Fields ascend. Plus, the Bears are slated to add another top-10 pick in this year’s draft. A potential new ownership group could be interesting to follow in Washington, Michael Thomas and Derek Carr trying to re-establish themselves is interesting in New Orleans, and Aaron Rodgers would be a huge draw in New York if he’s ever traded away, but other than that there aren’t too many storylines more compelling than what the Bears can provide.
We don’t know when HBO and NFL Films will announce which team will be featured this season, and history tells us it can come at any time. The 2022 announcement was made in late March, in 2021 the news came in July, while in 2020 it came in June.