New England Patriots

Jan 4, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Special teams coordinator/wide receivers coach Joe Judge (center) stands with New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick before their playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots’ recent punishment for an offseason meeting violation isn’t just going to cost the Patriots two of a scheduled 10 OTA practices. Bill Belichick also personally received a penalty from the league.

According to multiple reports, Belichick was fined $50,000 by the league in addition to the team losing two practices. However, the league did note the Patriots” “candor and full cooperation” with the investigation was “noteworthy and commendable,” per ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

  • Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard was the first to report that the “15 minute special teams meeting” at the heart of the controversy was organized by Joe Judge. Judge was the team’s quarterbacks coach last year but is referred to as a “special teams coach” in documents from the league.

    Per Bedard, the NFLPA complaint filed to the league reads, “Patriots’ Special Teams Coach Joe Judge directed special teams players to be at the Club’s facility longer than the maximum of four hours permitted during Phase Two of the Club’s program.”

    “It’s noted that Belichick, on April 19, forwarded to all coaches – Judge is named – the reminder about the four-hour window by the management council,” Bedard adds.

    Reiss added that “the complaint was specific to meetings/workshops that weren’t on the official schedule of the four-hour workday sent to players for May 1, May 2 and May 4.”

    “The Patriots told the NFL that the meetings/workshops weren’t mandatory and no attendance was taken,” Reiss writes, “but the league ultimately ruled that all activity must begin and end within the constraints of the collectively bargained four-hour period.”

  • Mike Giardi added on Twitter that “the players were aware they were being asked to stay longer than allowed.” However, he said there’s no answer yet on whether they were involved with informing the NFLPA of the infraction.

    According to both stories, the Patriots declined to comment on the matter. The next public comments from the team are currently scheduled for Wednesday morning, when Belichick will speak with reporters before what is now the team’s next OTA practice.

    The Patriots did get two OTA practices in to start last week, and now have six more remaining after the penalty. For a football-centric preview of spring practices, check out our OTA and Minicamp preview.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at

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