New England Patriots

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 24: A New England Patriots helmet during the first half of the game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Last week, the Patriots were docked two of their OTA practices and Bill Belichick was personally fined $50,000 for violating the NFL’s guidelines regarding offensive workouts. The punishment was related to special teams meetings scheduled by Joe Judge outside the allotted time for players to be in the facility.

While the punishment may have seemed strict relatively to the infraction, it turns out it could have been worse. The Patriots and Belichick actually avoided the maximum punishment allowed by the league for such an infraction.

  • According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the maximum fine Belichick could have faced was $100,000 dollars. That’s now much Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy was fined for a similar infraction last year. Additionally, the league decided to fine just Belichick and not the Patriots’ organization as a whole – a fine which would have been paid by ownership. Teams have been fined in similar cases in the past.

    How’d the Patriots dodge that maximum punishment? “While that could be related in part to the Patriots’ cooperation with the investigation, it more decisively reflects, in the view of some around the NFL, how the violation was primarily about carelessness/lack of attention to detail on the day an NFL Players Association staff member was visiting as part of standard operating procedure,” Reiss wrote.

    With their punishment now served, the Patriots will return to the practice fields on Wednesday for their third OTA session of the year. It will be the first session of the spring open to the media. For what to expect coming out of Foxborough the next few weeks, 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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