September 17, 2007
Two sources said Monday the leak could result in a probe of the league's offices.
Fox reporter Jay Glazer obtained a copy of the tape, made during New England's season-opening victory over the Jets and shown on the network's pre-game show Sunday. The tape clearly shows that the Patriots were taping the Jets' defensive signals, time on the clock and down-and-distance situations.
"It should not have happened and we are very disappointed about it," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said of the leaked tape. "But it does not impact what we are doing."The sources said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was exceptionally angry the tape got out and there are concerns among other league officials that the leak could hurt the credibility of a further investigation of the Patriots.
"This is the kind of thing where (Patriots owner Robert) Kraft looks at us and says, 'All you guys do is favor the Jets,'" said the league source, suggesting there is a perceived bias for the New York-area teams.
"This kind of stuff puts us in a bad position."
League security seized the tapes during the opener against the Jets and then brought them back to the league office in New York.
On Sunday, Goodell said during an interview with Bob Costas on NBC that the league ordered the Patriots to give up other tapes and notes. Goodell said if he discovered further evidence of cheating he might impose more fines on the team and/or Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
On Thursday, Goodell issued a $500,000 fine of Belichick, another $250,000 against the team and took away either a first-round pick in 2008 from the Patriots if they make the playoffs or both a second and third if they don't reach the postseason.
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