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Cleveland Browns will not volunteer for 'Hard Knocks'

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The NFL could still target the Cleveland Browns to appear on Hard Knocks this summer, but any engagement on the HBO documentary series would be against the team's wishes.

That according to Browns coach Mike Pettine, who cited the increased scrutiny on Johnny Manziel as a reason why the team has decided not to volunteer.

"You just weigh everything in," Pettine said at the NFL Annual Meeting, via ESPN.com. "Because being a part of Hard Knocks, having been there, knowing they're going to look to cover the team's biggest current storylines, it's obvious that he would be a point of attention."

Manziel has been in a treatment facility since Jan. 28 and is expected to participate in team workouts on April 20. That plan could change depending on the progress of his treatment.

It's an obviously touchy situation for a team that invested a first-round pick in the former Texas A&M star last May.

"When we decided not to volunteer for Hard Knocks, we discussed everything that was involved with it," said Pettine, who appeared on the show in 2010 during his time with the Jets. "(Manziel) is certainly something we needed to consider."

The Buffalo News reported Monday that the Browns were considered a front-runner to appear in the ninth season of the acclaimed HBO series. Browns general manager Ray Farmer told reporters on Monday that the team had made no internal decision but had met with Hard Knocks producers in each of the past two years.

It's hard to imagine NFL Films ignoring the Browns' misgivings if their reasoning is connected to Manziel's well-being. While it feels like a Browns Hard Knocks season is inevitable, consider it a surprise if it happens this August.

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