Roger Goodell Says NFL Will Look At Patriots Crew’s Illegal Video As Part Of Probe Into Team
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said on Wednesday that the league will consider the New England Patriots’ crew’s recent illegal video of the Cincinnati Bengals’ sidelines as part of its investigation into the six-time Super Bowl-winning franchise.
“Obviously, it’s under review,” Goodell said in a news conference during the NFL’s winter meetings in Texas. “We’re gonna be thorough and we’re gonna get all the facts and we’ll go from there.”
Dubbed “Spygate 2.0” by many, the latest scandal involving the Patriots centers on a camera crew (hired as a third-party contractor) that traveled to Cleveland on Sunday to film the Bengals’ sideline during the team’s 27-19 loss to the Browns as part of a documentary series on a scout. The Patriots reportedly earned permission by the Browns to attend the game and shoot moments from it — and were allegedly expected to report back to Bill Belichick with the footage — but did not receive approval by the Bengals. During Sunday’s game at FirstEnergy Stadium, a Bengals staffer quickly became suspicious after noticing an unknown cameraman — who was wearing a Boston Bruins jersey and who identified himself as a Robert Kraft employee — filming Cincinnati’s coaching staff on the sideline and proceeded to alert media relations and security.
the Bengals employee flagged media relations. Bengals security then interviewed the Kraft videographer. This was also taped. The cameraman asked if they could just delete the footage and it all be forgotten per sources
— Dianna (@diannaESPN) December 9, 2019
The Patriots have been the subject of several controversies and accusations of cheating in recent years, from “Deflate-gate” — which involved the alleged deflation of balls by a locker room attendant during the AFC Championship Game between New England and Indianapolis after the 2014 season — and the first “Spygate” scandal. This videotaping controversy occurred during the 2007 season and revolved around the Pats’ illicit filming of New York Jets defensive coaches’ signals from an unauthorized location. The Patriots were fined $250,000 for that incident, while Belichick was fined $500,000 and the team was stripped of a first-round draft pick the following year.
“Of course, that’s a factor. I think the key things are the new information that we have. That information we obviously already have,” Goodell added on Wednesday about how the first “Spygate” scandal factors into the NFL’s probe into the Patriots. “But I think the issue is what information do we have from this incident.”
Will the dynasty that is the Kraft-Belichick–Tom Brady-led Patriots pay the consequences for their actions this time around or get away with cheating? Will the NFL’s investigation into the Patriots affect Goodell and Kraft’s longtime friendship? No matter what the final outcome is, there will undoubtedly be a lot of angry football fans.
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