The repercussions for the New England Patriots’ admitted taping of the Cincinnati Bengals’ sideline appear to be coming into focus.
The league is likely to penalize the Patriots and is considering discipline in line with recent penalties for violations of gameday rules, according to The Washington Post’s Mark Maske. That could reportedly mean a fine of hundreds of thousands of dollars and the potential loss or reduction of a low-level draft pick.
What kind of penalties are we talking about for Patriots?
Among the precedents reported are the New York Giants’ $150,000 fine and downgrading of their fourth-round pick for then-head coach Ben McAdoo’s illegal use of a walkie-talkie in 2016 and the Atlanta Falcon’s $350,000 fine and loss of a fifth-rounder for pumping artificial crowd noise at their stadium in 2015.
The most infamous example is also the most severe and familiar to Patriots fans: the $1 million penalty, stripping of first-and fourth-round picks and four-game suspension of Tom Brady for Deflategate.
The NFL wanted to make an example out of the Patriots with that penalty. We’ll see if tries to do the same for this latest offense. The league’s investigation is reportedly still in progress.
Patriots admitted to ‘inappropriately’ filming sideline
The Patriots’ latest scandal began when a team employee was seen videotaping the Bengals’ sideline in the Cleveland Browns’ press box a week before they were scheduled to visit Cincinnati.
Early reports indicated the whole thing was a massive misunderstanding and part of the filming of a “Do Your Job” behind-the-scenes segment on a Patriots advance scout, but then it was reported that a Patriots videographer really had been filming the Bengals sideline for eight minutes.
The Patriots released a statement acknowledging a “failure to inform the Bengals and the league” and admitting the production crew “inappropriately filmed the field from the press box.” They claimed that the employee in question was actually an independent contractor that didn’t know the rules.
The explanation sounded plausible, but this is the Patriots. The benefit of the doubt ran dry years ago.
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