98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
The NFL is not expected to let the New England Patriots off the hook for their filming of the Cincinnati sideline in last week's Bengals-Browns game in Cleveland, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.
From La Canfora's story:
The New England Patriots are facing steep penalties for their admitted illegal taping of the Bengals sideline last week, league sources said, which is likely to include the loss of at least one draft pick and heavy fines. There is the possibility of a suspension for a member of upper management and/or ownership as well, sources said, pending the results of the NFL's full investigation into the matter.
As noted by La Canfora, the Patriots have admitted to inappropriately filming the Bengal sideline, but noted that it was done by an independent contractor with no connection to the football operation. Patriots coach Bill Belichick, meanwhile, has repeatedly stated that the team has nothing to do with that side of the organization, and that he had 'nothing to add' beyond the original statement absolving the football operation of any relation to the video production side of things.
According to the report, the NFL will want to know why the Patriots only asked the Browns for access to the stadium and did not alert the Bengals or league as a whole. (The Patriots, for what it's worth, have admitted that not informing the NFL and Bengals was an 'oversight' on their part.) The NFL will also want to know who else in the Patriots organization was aware of the video shoot, which was focused on the day-to-day duties of an advance scout, and why they didn't inform the crew of the game-day rules that would have made them aware that filming a sideline is not permitted under any circumstance.
If La Canfora's report is correct, the Patriots could be set to lose yet another draft pick, as the team previously lost first-round picks for the first "SpyGate" controversy, and for the 'illegal doctoring of footballs' that became known as "Deflategate." The team could also run the risk of losing Belichick, who, again, has denied involvement from the start, to a suspension.