By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The NFL is still investigating the Patriots' illegal recording of the Bengals' sideline, but new reports shed light on the team's potential penalties for the admitted violation.
According to both Mark Maske of the Washington Post and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Patriots face heavy fines and the loss or reduction of at least one draft pick over the videotaping controversy. The incident in question involved an independently contracted video crew that recorded shots of the Bengals' sideline from the press box last Sunday as part of the filming of a team documentary on one of their advance scouts.
Maske's report adds layers of context to the Patriots' case by mentioning past infractions from other teams. People familiar with the discussions cite "game-day violations" as the standard for what the video crew did, which in prior cases resulted in fines for the teams who broke the rules.
Here are the cases that sources cited to Maske for his report:
-- 2018: Baltimore Ravens fined $200,000 for using multiple players with helmet communication systems simultaneously during a preseason game
-- 2016: New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo fined $150,000 for illegal use of a walkie talkie on the sideline
-- 2015: Atlanta Falcons fined $350,000 for pumping artificial crowd noise into their stadium
-- 2015: Cleveland Browns fined $250,000, GM Ray Farmer suspended four games for sending text messages to personnel from the press box during games
Based on these precedents, the Patriots can be expected to get hit with a fine in the hundreds of thousands of dollars at a minimum. The question, at this point, is whether they'll also be docked a draft pick. That would punish the football staff, which the team and head coach Bill Belichick have said had no involvement in the incident. But Maske's report also indicated that there's no singular figure being investigated for this, which means there likely won't be suspensions.
FOX Sports' Jay Glazer obtained video of the incident, in which two members of the video crew apologize to Bengals security for the violation and offer to delete the footage.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].