NFL owners OK 'Hard Knocks' rule

WASHINGTON -- The NFL wants to spread "Hard Knocks" around.

At their fall meetings Tuesday, owners approved a measure that allows the league to choose which team will be the focus of the documentary-style show if no club volunteers.

Certain teams would be exempt from being forced to participate:

• Those with new coaches

• Those that reached the playoffs in one of the previous two seasons

• Those that appeared on "Hard Knocks" within the preceding 10 years

So far, only seven of the league's 32 teams have been on the series, which airs on HBO: the Dallas Cowboys (twice), Cincinnati Bengals (twice), New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs.

Based on the exemptions laid out, the following five teams could have been required to participate this season: Carolina Panthers, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans.

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said he would fight the league's decision to feature Arizona, which would be eligible in 2014-15 if it fails to reach the playoffs this year.

"I think it's a total distraction and I think it's an embarrassment to the players," Arians said Tuesday during a SIRIUSXM NFL Radio interview. "I think when players are released that some of the things that are said between coaches and players are too personal and nobody else's business."

In East Rutherford, N.J., New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck found it humorous when he was told of the measure.

"The NFL is trippin'," Tuck said. "Seriously, how you going to pass a rule that forces you to be on Hard Knocks? That's hilarious."

ESPN.com Giants reporter Dan Graziano, ESPN.com Cardinals reporter Josh Weinfuss and information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.