On Tuesday morning, NFL.com released a list of teams eligible to appear on the popular reality sports documentary series, "Hard Knocks," which is produced by NFL Films and HBO.

Teams eligible for the show must fall within the following criteria:

  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

Based on those guidelines, the following six teams are eligible for the next season of "Hard Knocks":

  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Cleveland Browns
  • Denver Broncos
  • Los Angeles Chargers
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Washington Redskins

Obviously, the 49ers would be one of the more appealing teams as far as storylines go. They will be one of the most talked about franchises this offseason thanks to the way the 2017 season ended. San Francisco won six of its last seven games after starting the season 0-9. The 49ers, who finished 6-10, are the first team in NFL history to win more than three games following a nine-game losing streak to start the season.

San Francisco is led by second-year head coach Kyle Shanahan, who is considered to be among the brightest young minds in the NFL. Their general manager is John Lynch, who enjoyed a long and productive career as a hard-hitting NFL safety. He's also very good in front of the camera.

Then there is Jimmy Garoppolo, the new 49ers quarterback that helped the team win its final five games of the season and looks like he was born to be onscreen.

Dan Hanzus of NFL.com had the following to say about the potential of having the 49ers as the focus of the series:

"The preference here is the 49ers, an iconic organization that fell on hard times but is now brimming with optimism after landing Jimmy Garoppolo for 50 cents on the dollar. It probably doesn't hurt that Garoppolo looks like a movie star, too."

One 49ers insider doesn't believe San Francisco will be on "Hard Knocks" this year. Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area shared the following tweet shortly after the list of eligible teams was released by NFL.com.


Why would the 49ers not want to be on "Hard Knocks?" While the NFL can technically force a team to comply, Maiocco offered the following information:


The 49ers offered their own "behind the scenes" documentary before the start of the 2017 season. The "Brick by Brick" online documentary was produced and released by the 49ers' in-house video production team and allowed San Francisco to control what is shown to the public.

While the 49ers have been more transparent under Shanahan and Lynch than in recent years, it is unlikely they would want to give up that level of control.

Update:

Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area asked Lynch why he is not thrilled about being on the series.

"It's not something we would be really excited about," Lynch told Maiocco. "I love the show, but I think some things are best left behind closed doors. I fundamentally have a problem with cutting players and things of that nature (on camera). It's not something we'd be thrilled about."