As the 2022 NFL season is officially over, Bears fans can head into the offseason hopeful for the future. We have a king’s ransom in salary cap money, lucrative picks in the draft, and a quarterback fans can finally rally behind. I suppose that’s a nice consolation prize for being one of the most broken teams in the league this year. While the offseason is exciting in its own way, the consequence of that excitement is having to endure the drought leading up to the start of next season. At a time where excitement is at its highest and news is the most scarce, one thing NFL fans have to scratch their football itch during that time is HBO’s Hard Knocks Series: a reality TV show that documents the offseason of one of the bottomfeeders of the previous NFL season. Generally speaking, NFL teams do not like having a foreign production crew present throughout their training camp, so teams for the show are chosen involuntarily (with a few exceptions), per HBO’s contract with the NFL. A team can, however, be exempt from selection given they meet any the following criteria:
- A team has a first-year head coach
- A team has made the playoffs in one of the previous two seasons
- A team has appeared on Hard Knocks in the previous decade
If the NFL season were to end today, there would be only three teams in the league without this exempt status: the Washington Commanders, New Orleans Saints, and Chicago Bears (Jacksonville is also included if they don’t make the playoffs). With these contenders for the show in mind, here’s why the Bears are the obvious choice for HBO.
Most Offseason Capital
As mentioned before, the Bears are expected to break the bank in free agency this offseason. With over 100 million in cap space, there will surely be a new superstar or two in Halas hall for fans to see. Seeing these new additions along with a top 2 pick in the draft will be an alluring watch for NFL fans.
Large Market City
Chicago currently sits at the third largest NFL market in the country, dwarfing both Washington and New Orleans. This is the obvious reason to pick Chicago, even though HBO hasn’t seemed to favor big market cities over others in the past.
Exciting Young Quarterback
Unlike New Orleans and Washington, Chicago is convinced that they’ve found their franchise guy for the future. If there was one bright spot of the 2022 season, it would be the development of Justin Fields, who will finish with the second-most rushing yards by a quarterback in a season. He’s an exciting player to watch, and NFL fans have noticed.