By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
In a day headlined by a misunderstanding that nearly launched Spygate 2.0, the New England Patriots have released a statement addressing their alleged filming of the Bengals’ sideline during Sunday’s Browns-Bengals showdown in Cleveland.
In the statement, the Patriots accept “full responsibility” for inappropriately filming the Cincinnati sideline, but are sure to note a couple of key details intended to provide full context of their original intentions and avoid another scandal.
The biggest — and surely the biggest in determining any potential wrongdoing — comes with the Patriots stressing that the production crew (made up of independent contractors) has nothing to do with the football operation. They also note that the footage was not going to be used for anything except the team’s “Do Your Job” profile on one of their scouts. They’re basically saying (and in more ways than one) that this footage was never going to come close to sniffing Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s office or be used for any potential on-field “advantages.”
The Patriots also acknowledged that they were granted access from the Browns, who credentialed the crew for the contest, but that their failure to inform the Bengals and the NFL was an “oversight” on their part. The statement also points out that camera crew turned the footage over to the NFL, and “fully cooperated.”
It will be interesting to see how the league moves forward after their look at the video, and if the Patriots will face any discipline in spite of their explanation and ownership of their production team’s (seemingly accidental) violation of league rules.