As fans eagerly await the announcement of this year's Hard Knocks team, the team's eligible to appear on the show aren't nearly as enthusiastic. With the parameters that the NFL placed upon which team(s) are available to get chosen to appear on the hit HBO series, it leaves four teams that are available, going by these rules, according to CBSSports:

  1. They have a first-year head coach in place.
  2. They have a playoff berth in the past two seasons.
  3. They have appeared on Hard Knocks in the past 10 years.

Going by those rules, that would only leave:

  • New York Jets
  • Chicago Bears
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Washington Commanders

Let's be honest, most NFL team's are going to be entertaining in this role. There hasn't been too many bad seasons of Hard Knocks. Like the timeless pizza cliché — even when it is bad, it's still okay.

The least appealing pick of those four are the Commanders, even though Ron Rivera would be good for some soundbites, along with hearing more about his approach to starting Sam Howell at quarterback this season. Not to mention the Chase Young potential trade.

For the Saints, you have the obvious Derek Carr aspect of it, possibly hearing about his transition from the Las Vegas Raiders to New Orleans.

The Bears also have intrigue about where and how they are going to improve this upcoming season, so seeing that play out week-to-week in the early stages could make good television.

The most appealing of all those teams is the J-E-T-S — Jets, Jets, Jets.

The Jets are placed right in the middle of the biggest media-driven capital of the world in New York City (yeah, they're technically in New Jersey). And before their regular season has even come close to starting, they made headlines trading for Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers, alone, is enough reason for the NFL and HBO to be begging the Jets to say yes to appearing on the show this season. But he's also one of the biggest reasons why they should say no.

Happy Aaron Rodgers, happy life, happy team

Hard Knocks has a well-earned reputation for drawing attention away from the primary goal of a team—winning football games. For a franchise like the Jets, who haven't had a winning season since 2015, the focus should remain firmly on on-the-field performance and team cohesion, especially with Rodgers just joining the team.

The addition of Rodgers to the Jets' roster has elevated the team's profile and expectations heading into the 2023 NFL season. With that being said, the organization must make one of their top priorities creating a supportive atmosphere that allows Rodgers and the rest of the team to focus on building chemistry with one another, mastering the playbook, and delivering on the field. Rodgers is bound to attract enough cameras as it is where the Jets don't need the 39-year-old quarterback wandering off into another darkness retreat, a la Batman to his Batcave.

The Jets' players and key personnel not long ago expressed reservations about participating in Hard Knocks. Justin Hardee, the team's special teams captain, has already voiced his concerns about the show's potential to disrupt the team. His apprehension underscores the sentiment shared by many players who recognize the inherent risks involved. Furthermore, the noncommittal responses from Jets owner Woody Johnson and head coach Robert Saleh indicate a lack of enthusiasm for the project.

Learn from history, don't repeat it

The Jets' previous appearance on Hard Knocks in 2010 should serve as a cautionary tale if they were contemplating a return this season. While the show offered a glimpse into the colorful personality of then-head coach Rex Ryan, it also exposed the team to unnecessary scrutiny and negative press. Perhaps we wouldn't see Saleh verbally berating his team to eat a snack, previous to Ryan, but there's always the inherent risk of unwanted exposure. Of course, that's the kind of content the HBO cameras will be seething for. Signing on for such a project as Hard Knocks is a given invitation to allow the inner workings of a football team to be exposed.

However, the Jets did end up placing second in the AFC East that year and made it all the way to the conference championship. It was the last time they made the playoffs. In fact, only seven of the 17 teams (.411) that have appeared on the show have made the playoffs during that season.

New York, New York

In the high-pressure environment of New York City, where media attention is already intense, what is the need for another camera? The influx of media scrutiny is already at an all-time high in the Big Apple, therefore adding yet another distraction could only further disrupt the team's progress. Even more compelling, the animosity of New York fans, who readily display their disapproval, are likely to disapprove if the team were chosen for Hard Knocks.

The Jets' ultimate goal should be to make a deep playoff run and reestablish a winning culture that's been gone for far too long. Achieving this requires a united team, free from any unnecessary diversions. While HBO and the NFL probably want nothing more than to see what would be a bonafide ratings booster and media spectacle, for the Jets, there would be nothing but lights, camera… distractions.