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The New England Patriots will pay a $1.1 million fine and lose a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft for their taping of the Cincinnati Bengals’ sideline last season, the league confirmed.
Additionally, the Patriots production crew has been banned from filming games in the 2020 season. Senior team officials must undergo training about NFL operations and game policies, according to multiple reports.
The videographer who filmed the Bengals’ sideline, David Mondillo, also was banned indefinitely from NFL facilities. The team previously fired Mondillo.
The Patriots had not issued a statement as of Monday morning about the penalties, though a spokesperson confirmed to ESPN that the team would not appeal.
The taping incident occurred Dec. 8 as the Bengals played the Cleveland Browns, a week before the Patriots were scheduled to play Cincinnati. After suspicions were raised that the Patriots had violated an NFL rule, the league launched an investigation. The team issued a statement acknowledging a rules violation and saying a crew was in Cleveland to get film for a video story on an advance scout for the team’s “Do Your Job” video series.
“The sole purpose of the filming was to provide an illustration of an advance scout at work on the road,‘’ the Patriots’ statement said. “There was no intention of using the footage for any other purpose.”
The Patriots defeated the Bengals 34-13 a week later.
The December incident raised comparisons to 2007’s “Spygate,” in which an investigation showed the New England staff illegally taped the signals of opposing coaches. Head coach Bill Belichick and the organization were fined a total of $750,000 and lost a first-round draft pick in 2008.
News of the punishment emerged just minutes on Sunday after the Patriots agreed to a one-year contract with former league MVP Cam Newton. The Carolina Panthers, who selected Newton with the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2011, released the quarterback in March.
–Field Level Media