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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the leading candidate to be the next team featured on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series this summer, according to two sources with knowledge of talks that have taken place.
The hugely popular show has shown NFL teams during training camp over the last six summers. The New York Jets and gregarious coach Rex Ryan were featured last summer.
The sources said the Buccaneers, HBO officials and officials from NFL Films, which produces the series, have had talks about this season’s version. However, no deal has been finalized and players are currently locked out in a labor dispute.
A league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that the New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders and four other teams also are in consideration for the show. An official decision is not expected until later in the spring.
The Bucs are seeking attention after a surprising 10-6 year, and hoping to sell tickets after a season in which they did not sell out for a single game.
Coach Raheem Morris is known for his outgoing personality and could be a natural fit. Appearing on the show could also help the Bucs market young players like quarterback Josh Freeman, receiver Mike Williams and running back LeGarrette Blount.
The Bucs hold training camp at One Buccaneer Place, their team facility that is located a few blocks from Raymond James Stadium.
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