At long last, the NFL has penalized the New England Patriots for filming the Cincinnati Bengals’ sideline during their game against the Cleveland Browns.
According to ESPN’s Patriots beat writer Mike Reiss, the club will be fined over $1 million and will lose their third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. In addition, the team’s production crew will be prohibited from filming any games during this season.
Developing news story: The NFL has handed down the following penalties to the Patriots for their television crew filming the field and Cincinnati sideline during a December game between the Bengals and Browns, per sources: pic.twitter.com/Co8kvuofR6— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) June 29, 2020
The production crew was caught filming the Bengals’ side of the field for eight minutes straight; catching player substitutions and hand signals by the opponents they were set to face the following week.
The team was originally given permission by the Browns to film for the Patriots’ web series “Do Your Job,” which was a weekly show about the life of an advanced scout in the NFL.
When asked about the situation, Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick denied the team’s association with the captured footage.
“Yeah, I heard about this and evidently this is our production people on the TV show that were there and I have absolutely nothing to do, we have absolutely nothing to do with anything that they produce or direct or shoot,” he said. “I have never even seen any of their tapes or anything else. This is something that we 100 percent have zero involvement with. This is something you’d have to talk to the production people about and what they were doing, or whatever it was. We have never seen anything that they’ve shot, other than what has come down on TV.”
As a reference, the Patriots were fined $750k for their “Spygate” incident over 10 years ago and lost their first-round pick in the following draft.
Patriots' "Spygate" penalties from 2007: A total of $750K in fines and the loss of a first-round pick.— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) June 29, 2020
Patriots' taping scandal from 2019: $1.1 million in fines and the loss of a third-round pick
What do you think of the NFL’s punishment? Should the Patriots have been penalized more or less? Let us know in the comments section.