New England Patriots

By Matt McCarthy,

A Patriots video team captured roughly eight minutes of footage of the Cincinnati Bengals sideline on Sunday in Cleveland, according to a new report.

Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic reports the video in question was confiscated by NFL personnel and includes footage of the Bengals sideline as coaches signal plays and players take and leave the field. Filming that content is in violation of league rules.

“According to sources who have viewed the tape, it shows about eight minutes of footage focusing on recording the Bengals’ sideline,” Dehner Jr. wrote. “It’s a direct view of the sideline as players run on and off the field and coaches make signals for plays.”

According to Dehner, the videographer associated with the Patriots sat down in front of a Bengals employee in the press box during the first quarter of the Browns-Bengals game and began recording the footage.

The video crew member in question was wearing Boston Bruins gear, according to Dehner.

The Patriots have denied taking part in any nefarious activity, saying the production crew, made up in part by independent contractors, inappropriately filmed the sideline but has no affiliation with football operations. The video team, according to the Patriots, was in Cleveland to record a feature on a member of the Patriots scouting department as he did advance work on the Bengals ahead of the New England-Cincinnati game in Week 15.

In a statement Monday night, the team accepted “full responsibility” for taping the Bengals sideline, saying the crew was not aware of league rules.

On his Tuesday conference call, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reiterated that he has no knowledge of or involvement with the video team’s work.

“We don’t have anything to do with what they do,” Belichick said of the production crew. “I really don’t have much knowledge of the situation at all.”

You can hear Matt McCarthy on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.