Among all of the teams that could be forced to appear on HBO's Hard Knocks, the Buffalo Bills appeared to be a favorite. According to a report from Pro Football Talk, it appears that Buffalo may not be HBO's first choice. Mike Florio reported on Saturday that the New Orleans Saints are bracing themselves to be involuntarily chosen to appear on Hard Knocks.
Per a league source, the Saints are bracing for the possibility of the league tapping them on the shoulder and directing them to be the subject of the annual Hard Knocks series.
The NFL will look for a willing volunteer before being forced to select a team, but that doesn't mean that a team will come forward. One thing that could keep the league from selecting the Saints is Sean Payton's unwillingness to release players on camera. Back in January, Payton said the following:
“I said this once at the start of my career, I’ll never be videotaped releasing a player. And I just don’t find it appropriate,” Payton said. “But I understand it, I understand what it does for our league. ... We’ll see when we get there.”
Player releases are just one aspect of the show, but it could be a deal breaker between the Saints and the NFL if the league has to choose a team to appear.
If Payton's refusal to release players is a deal-breaker, then Rex Ryan and the Bills could emerge again as favorites.null