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Nine teams open to mandatory 'Hard Knocks' inclusion

We take a brief detour from our collective postseason adventure to pick up the Hard Knocks beat.

As fans of the documentary series are no doubt aware, NFL owners passed a resolution in 2013 stating that teams can avoid mandatory inclusion in Hard Knocks if they fall under any of three exemptions: 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.

With the playoff field set and coach firings (likely) done, we can safely deduce the nine teams who can be tabbed this summer. They are the Browns, Buccaneers, Giants, Jaguars, Rams, Redskins, Texans, Titans and Vikings.

The rule was presumably put into place to ensure NFL Films and Home Box Office weren't left empty-handed for subjects when the summer rolled around. That said, the 2014 season focused on the Falcons, a team that volunteered.

As we get closer to the Hard Knocks announcement (this usually happens in June), we'll make our prediction for that team that will star. We failed miserably in this exercise last year, but we will never quit.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews the Divisional Round and ranks the eight remaining quarterbacks in the playoffs. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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