The NFL has hit the New England Patriots with multiple sanctions for filming the Cincinnati Bengals coaching staff near the end of last season.
The Patriots will reportedly pay $1.1 million in fines, forfeit their 2021 third-round draft pick and the ability for their television crew to film any games during the 2020 season, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
Additionally, David Mondillo, the videographer responsible for the illegal video, has been banned from NFL facilities until further notice.
The news broke shortly after reports of the Patriots agreeing to a one-year deal with former MVP quarterback Cam Newton.
Patriots quickly admitted illegally filming Bengals
The NFL’s penalties are stiff compared to past instances of gameday rules violations, but it’s easy to understand why the Patriots would get little benefit of the doubt for what they claimed was an independent videographer making a mistake without the organization’s knowledge.
The video in question was filmed during Week 15 at a game between the Bengals and Cleveland Browns, a week before the Patriots’ Week 16 game against the Bengals.
As the Patriots explained it, a production crew for the team’s “Do Your Job” video series was following an advance scout in the FirstEnergy Stadium press box when it inappropriately filmed the Bengals’ sideline.
That video, and the conversation it sparked, was later revealed by Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer.
Even though the prospect of the Patriots actively cheating this way seemed questionable — the Bengals were 1-12 at the time — the NFL clearly didn’t cut the team much slack given its history of Spygate and Deflategate.
The $1.1 million fine eclipses the financial penalty the Patriots received for Deflategate, but the team will only lose a third-rounder here rather than the first- and fourth-rounders lost then.
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