The NFL is investigating the New England Patriots when a videographer was caught filming the Cincinnati Bengals sidelines the week before the Patriots played them.
This is against NFL rules and the Patriots were already severely punished for a similar infraction in the past. In 2007, the Patriots videotaped rival teams signals and were fined $250,000. Head coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000 and the Patriots lost a first-round draft pick.
In this case, the team the Patriots employee was caught filming was one of the worst in the NFL and the Pats had a reasonable excuse. They claimed they were shooting a web series about employees and in this case, it was a pro scout.
However, the video included shots of the Bengals’ sidelines. The scout was in the booth. David Mondillo, the supervising producer for Kraft Sports and Entertainment, said that the situation was “misconstrued.”
The videographer offered to delete all the footage, which made some people believe they knew what they did was wrong.
Bill Belichick said that the Patriots had no idea the video was being made.
Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman told the Boston Herald that the entire situation was a joke.
“Yeah, that’s pretty much a joke,” Edelman said. “We haven’t even thought about it, honestly. We’ve been thinking about other things. It’s funny, but it is what it is. I don’t know, it’s ridiculous. My focus is on the Buffalo Bills.”
— Julian Edelman (@Edelman11) December 21, 2019
This follows Tom Brady’s statements that the entire situation has nothing to do with the New England Patriots as a team.
“I don’t think any player gave it one second of thought. Not something that even registered. You just move on, man,” Brady said. “There’s a lot of distractions out there and if you lose focus on your job, that is really a waste of your time.”
Of course, Brady could move on without a care if he leaves the Patriots following the 2020 NFL season. However, the Patriots could be in major trouble.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that the NFL is being “thorough” in their investigation, and there is a good chance the league won’t deliver a decision until the season ends.
“Obviously it’s under review. We’re going to be thorough. We’re going to take our time and make sure we look over everything that’s pertinent there, and then we’ll make a decision,” Goodell said. “And obviously there won’t be much time before we make a decision and when you hear about it.”
CBS Sports‘ Jason La Canfora reports that the penalties could include the loss of draft picks and possible suspensions for upper management and ownership.