Latest On Patriots’ Video Investigation

6:24pm: Roger Goodell confirmed the Patriots’ history with illegal videotaping will be factored into this process, adding that the league will take its time during the investigation into this matter (Twitter links via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com).

10:01am: For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, the Patriots are involved in another scandal involving prohibited filming of another team. Jeff Howe of The Athletic offers a useful summary of the details, which are fairly straightforward.

Essentially, the Patriots’ media production team was filming an episode of “Do Your Job” during the Bengals-Browns game on Sunday. “Do Your Job” is a series of features highlighting less visible members of the organization, and this episode focused on a day in the life of a New England pro scout.

The film crew obtained the necessary credentials to follow that scout to the Cleveland press box for the game (scouts routinely do advance scouting of an upcoming opponent from the press box, and the Patriots play the Bengals this week). Unfortunately for the crew, part of the B-roll that they shot included footage of the Cincinnati sideline, and NFL teams are prohibited from shooting video of coaches on the sideline.

The Patriots acknowledge that they should have done a better job advising the crew of league protocol, and they also concede that they should have informed the Bengals and the league of their intentions prior to the game. In a statement, they accepted full responsibility for the crew’s actions, and Howe suggests that some members of the team’s production wing could lose their jobs.

Howe also says that a Bengals staffer recognized what was happening and shot an eight-minute video of the Patriots crew’s monitor before reporting it to NFL security. The league is now in possession of that video, along with all footage the Patriots shot for this episode of “Do Your Job,” which New England promptly turned over.

All of that makes it sound like an innocent oversight. However, sources tell Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic that the eight-minute video focuses exclusively on the Bengals sideline and includes “a direct view of the sideline as players run on and off the field and coaches make signals for plays.” Those sources suggest that the footage does not include inadvertent glimpses of the sideline during an interview with the scout, but rather an extended shooting of the sideline.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick immediately distanced himself from the incident and was reportedly furious when he learned about it. Per Howe, Belichick said, “I have no involvement in this and no knowledge of it, and so I really don’t have any idea what exactly is going on. I can tell you that we’ve never, as a coaching staff and me personally, have never viewed any video footage at all of anything that those production people have done, other than what’s shown on public television or something like that. But we don’t have anything to do with what they do, so I really don’t have much knowledge of the situation at all.”

The league has not announced a timeline for its investigation, though as Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets, it may be difficult for the Patriots to avoid some sort of sanction given their dubious past. For what it’s worth, Belichick was fined $500K and the Patriots were stripped of a 2008 first-round draft pick when they videotaped the Jets’ sideline from an unauthorized location during a 2007 game.

Luckily for Pats fans, though, the league apparently does not believe that this incident rises to the level of the original Spygate, as Mark Maske of the Washington Post tweets.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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82 comments on “Latest On Patriots’ Video Investigation

  1. JJB0811

    When you have 15 division titles and 6 SB rings (or something like that) over a 19 year period, you really shouldn’t have to worry about a 1-12 team. Guess I’m wrong.

    • joeshmoe11

      Hey even the crappy teams like my Bengals have 53 of the best football players in the world. They have only a 1 game lead for both home-field and the division and they’ve lost 2 in a row. This is a must win for them

      • jeb39999

        Yeah except don’t need to steal signals to beat the worst 53 man roster in the NFL so the whole thing is just stupid.

        • joparx

          The patriots offense is terrible, Brady looks like manning in his last year about 42 years old, i don’t know what to make of this but the dynasty is over now, Brady is done, if they are cheating to beat the bengals oooooofffff, that’s brutal

        • Polish Hammer

          And Barry Bonds or ARod didn’t need juice to hit homers but they did anyway and just like the Patriots all credibility went away because of it.

    • of9376

      I would argue they have more to worry about. Can’t lose to a team that bad so take extra precautions.

  2. letmeclearmythroat74

    Unless of course these habits have contributed to 15 division titles and 6 Inflated Super Bowl titles.

      • gozurman1

        @dynasty in boston….Actually student of the game would look further than the 15 division titles and 6 Superbowl titles and look deeper into such matters. A non student of the game would ignore everything except the apparent results.

        • dynasty in boston

          You want to be the commissioner, dude. Only you lack the brains. Student of the game teaches the execution of the plays. The peripheral crap is what you’re focused on. So jealous you people are. I’m sure your Dolphins will make the playoffs again. Someday.

  3. bencole

    Take away their next 5 first round picks. You wouldn’t see any more videotaping things they shouldn’t I’ll bet

    • dynasty in boston

      It’s funny how the Pat’s can so easily twist your fragile psyche

      • joeshmoe11

        uh oh, butt hurt Patriot fan alert. 6 titles, the coach and QB universally lauded as GOATs, and STILL have a persecution complex. My god I can’t understand it…

      • All he’s saying is that (if true) a recidivist team should get the hammer dropped on them. I’m sure his ‘psyche’ is just fine.

  4. Cyclone37

    Funny how that morality clause only works for the NFL and the owners but yet if a player has suspicious activity he is cut or put on the exempt list. Love to see Kraft get nailed for this. This is the 3rd occasion that they have caught them “video taping” where then shouldn’t. 3 strikes and ur out. No more “Oh I didn’t know” BS get your organization in check.

    • Vin Scully

      Kraft was caught on videotape getting a hj from an Asian hooker. “Allegedly”. So I doubt he is an advocate of video spying.

  5. madmanTX

    Spygate 2.0. Time to lose another 1st round pick, Patsies. You knew the rules and you’d been warned. No excuses accepted.

    • peterdipersio06

      Who cares take a late first round draft pick ! Anywhere from pick 26 to pick 32! What kind of talent will be there anyway!

  6. bleeddgrblu

    Kraft owns the League. He’s untouchable. You’ll see. Nothing at all comes of this. Just like the video at the Massage Parlor…… This isn’t news.

  7. tammelinb

    Let due process run. But, if found guilty, Patriots should lose 3 first round picks, with a restriction they cannot make any trades to obtain first round picks for 3 years. Suspend Kraft and Belichick, and any other management/coach involved for 1 season. Without pay. Fine Kraft $1 million.
    And, any games they are found to have recorded are automatically forfeited in the record books.

    Send a message.

    • kevin

      I like this ^ I actually think that might send a message tho it will never happen

    • peterdipersio06

      That’s ok! Suspend kraft and Belichick! Brady is going to retire after this year and when Brady retires, Belichick will retire! So why the suspension? McDaniels will be head coach and they will make a trade and get Garoppolo back from the 49ers

  8. K3vin

    Giving them a fine or taking away draft picks means nothing. The best punishment is to ban them from the playoffs and ban coach for a season.

  9. raiderfurlife

    Their offense sucks so bad they need to steal something from the Bengals cheaters cheaters

  10. JoeBrady

    If the NFL doesn’t finally punish them, they will continue to do this. If this was a relatively clean team, then give them a smaller punishment. But NE cheats every chance they get.

  11. kevin

    this isn’t a honest mistake that’s for sure . it’s worse then the org spygate in my opinion as they tried not to get caught and used the cover of the scout video to spy . so to me they knew and they tried to get away with it. and I don’t buy that pats wouldn’t be clear with their film crew after the last spy gate . I call bs as it was no mistake it was intentionally done under the cover of that scout filming

  12. billybosox

    Full disclosure I’m obviously a Pats fan. Now let’s try to have a reasonable conversation. I’m not the type of fan to blindly defend their actions just because of the logo on the helmet. If they did something wrong they should be punished. They problem is the inaccuracy of the statements made by all you haters. They have not been caught three times now. They have been caught once, doing something that the league punished four other teams for doing that same year (2007). How can anyone say “If the NFL doesn’t finally punish”? They were one of four teams in 2007 caught violating a ridiculous rule and the only ones to receive a punishment worth talking about. $500,000 fine to Belichick, $1,000,000 to the organization and a 1st round pick. In other words the biggest punishment in NFL history. This is why Pats fans call you morons

      • Shocker, two guys with the names ‘beantownmassacre’ and ‘bobbybosox’ think the Patriots have been unfairly persecuted. This is why non-Patriots fans call you crybaby idiots

        • beantownmassacre

          I don’t think they have been unfairly punished. I’m agreeing with billybosox for letting it play out. Yes the admitted to there wrong doing. Your probably the type of person who just goes off emotion.

        • peterdipersio06

          Rct, is that why you are crying now ? Because every season the patriots hand your team the worst beating in nfl history?

  13. Jack0207

    Why videotape the game of a upcoming opponent? There were 14 other games they could’ve sent their video crew yet they do the game where the team they’re facing the next game happens to be playing in. That’s what seems suspicious to me. Also for the Pats fan…. they also got into trouble for filming Rams super bowl walk through

    • greg7274

      I think the excuse is that the “documentary” they were there filming was a Day in the Life of a New England Advance Scout.
      So yeah that’s where the andvance scout would be, at the game of the next team they face.
      The problem is…
      This is one of the lame excuses they told the camera crew to use if they got caught back in Spygate version 1.0… almost word-for-word.

  14. crosseyedlemon

    Ever notice that people only cry about the so called “dirty tricks” successful teams engage in? If it were the Bengals trying to gain an edge against the Patriots and they ended up getting blown out by 35 points nobody would give it a second thought.

      • crosseyedlemon

        George Halas was accused of spying and using dirty tricks to give the Bears an edge back in the 1920s. Paul Brown, Vince Lombardi, George Allen, Al Davis are just a few others who were accused of playing fast and loose with the rules. It’s actually ludicrous for the NFL to condemn the so called “dirty tricks” because both the AFL and NFL engaged in those tactics constantly during their player signing war of the late 60s.

        • Just like in baseball, you’re allowed to try to steal signs through conventional means. When you try using technological avenues (Astros – a centerfield camera with instant video; Patriots – videotaping), that’s where the issue lays.

          And since I highly doubt George Halas was kicking it in the stands with a gigantic camcorder and a stack of VHS tapes, your comparison is asinine. Every team can and still does the little tricks those coaches did. No other team is recording and dissecting video like Belichick.

    • qbass187

      That’s called “Jets syndrome”. The Jets did the same thing the Patriots were accused of in 2007 but no one cared because they’re the JETS.

  15. cubsfanbudman1908

    “Take its time to investigation”.

    Translation: the NFL will wait until the offseason and try to bury this in the subscript of a random press release.

  16. snotrocket

    If someone gets caught robbing banks multiple times they are referred to as a bank robber for the rest of their lives. The media and all NFL fans should never let the cheater lable die with the Pats. I’m sure Bill Belichick’s favorite golfer is Patrick Reed.

  17. TJECK109

    I’m going to say nothing will be done until after the season. Can’t have a potential super bowl team being punished in season. That would be the only thing talked about.

  18. crosseyedlemon

    First the player suspension for betting on games and now this. Goodell seems to be on a real crusade to protect the “integrity of the league”. This can only mean that the game officiating for the rest of the season and playoffs will be more inept and biased than usual.

  19. goldenmisfit

    Yeah the patriots are going to risk getting into trouble by filming a team that is one and 12. Had this been the ravens, 49ers, Saints or even Packers or Chiefs I would think there might be some merit to this but this is just absurd.g then you got arguably the worst commissioner in the history of professional sports Roger Goodell saying “their past in fractions will be taken into account“, seriously? Basically what that means is “we are just looking for a reason to come down on them“. Spy gate was obviously the patriots trying to get an upper hand but this really appears to be just a misunderstanding and miscommunication. The patriots are not going to risk being penalized for filming a team who is the worst in the league.

    • TJECK109

      Spoken like a true homer. Looking for a reason? The Pats broke the rules regardless of their intention. If people were not penalized for things they do that they may have never intended to do then half our jails would be empty

      • Would that be a bad thing? I understand private prisons make a lot of money for the people who own them but they cost the rest of us a fortune. We’re the ones paying for incarceration.

  20. john9977

    Once a cheater always a cheater Chiefs fan here, it will get buried under the rug just like everything else with Patriots, I will be pulling for the Bengals this weekend!

    • EvilDeadpool

      Your talking about cheating? Your lack of NFL knowledge proves that you don’t have a clue that every team has done it. The Patriots are in the middle. Your pea brain must think the chiefs earned that win over the Patriots. Stfu & read a book.

  21. MBarry

    The Patriots should be forced to at least forfeit this game. This would definitely make the draft order a bit more interesting!

    • crosseyedlemon

      In the NFL they don’t defend stupidity…they just make it the commissioner.

  22. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    What’s the problem?

    Just hide the evidence and let the dumb people who want to believe that nothing happened (and who don’t care if it did) repeat nonsensical and angry explanations to drown out the obvious.

    It’s a proven strategy.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Goodell’s proven strategy is to use “integrity of the league” as a smoke screen to hide the widespread hypocrisy that the NFL engages in. At the same time he is condemning spying on the competition he probably has a dozen cameras and mikes secretly hidden in the XFL headquarters looking for something he can use to discredit Vince McMahon and that league.

      • forwhomjoshbelltolls

        The Patriots have to worry about the Bengals more than Goodell and the NFL have to worry about Vince McMahon’s white whale AAF redux.

        The part where Landry Jones is their best player is self discrediting.

        • crosseyedlemon

          Is the level of worry a competitor creates even relevant? How about we substitute the NFLPA for the XFL then. We know that with the CBA on the horizon both sides would be delighted to have inside information on what the other sides negotiating plans entail. Is gaining an edge their condemned?

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