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Buffalo Bills among eight teams qualifying for Hard Knocks

Could the Buffalo Bills be coming to television sets across the country in 2014?

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The NFL hasn't had an easy time finding a team for their Hard Knocks series, which runs every summer on HBO. With teams wanting to maintain secrecy or starting over with new regimes, league owners haven't been knocking down doors, but the league would like to continue their franchise. As a result, new rules were adopted in the past year regarding eligibility for the show, and the Buffalo Bills are on the short list because of them.

If no team volunteers to be featured in the show, which provides a documentary-style look into a team's training camp, the league will require one team to be on the show if they meet certain parameters:

1. The team has a returning head coach.
2. The team hasn't made the playoffs in the last two seasons.
3. The team hasn't been on the show in the last 10 years.

There are currently eight teams in the NFL that meet those requirements: the Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers. Certainly, there are teams on that list with much more national appeal than Buffalo, who nonetheless have certain aspects about them that could be appealing (i.e. a young quarterback and several recent Top 10 picks).

Of course, a team could always volunteer to be on the show - which the Bills reportedly won't do - and keep the Bills out of contention. None of the Bills' brass have publicly commented on the reality series from HBO. If past history is an indication, we'll know which team will be featured sometime in late May or early June.