Earlier today, Tom Reed of the Plain Dealer got the confirmation from head coach Mike Pettine: the Cleveland Browns will not be the team featured on HBO's Hard Knocks in 2014. Pettine has experience with the program from his days with the New York Jets, but says that the team was approached about the opportunity prior to the draft, but declined to avoid the first-year distractions.
"[We declined Hard Knocks] for the same reason we didn't feel super comfortable having a camera in the draft room," Pettine said. "Let's get through the first time, let's get through the first year."
Because HBO has had difficulty getting teams to sign up for Hard Knocks in recent years, the NFL came up with a new policy that allows the network to choose a specific team if they do not fall under certain criteria. If a team has a first-year head coach, has appeared in the playoffs over the past two years, or has appeared on Hard Knocks within the past decade, they cannot be forced into doing Hard Knocks.
If Cleveland doesn't make the postseason in 2014 and nobody volunteers in 2015, there's a good chance that HBO could choose the Browns to appear, thanks to the Johnny Manziel hype.