Patriots Spygate: Was There a Cover-Up?

John LewisSenior Writer IMarch 10, 2008

Matt Walsh, the former New England Patriot employee and videographer, is close to an arrangement to release more information to the NFL.

Walsh, a golf pro in Hawaii, wants protection from lawsuits and other legal action, and has been negotiating for almost a month after reports surfaced just before the Super Bowl that Walsh videotaped a walkthrough practice of the St. Louis Rams before the 2002 title game.

The Pats won the game 20-17 over the Rams, who were favored by more than two touchdowns.

Senator Arlen Specter is now issuing a challenge to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to release all correspondence between the Patriots and league officials. Six confiscated tapes and other documents pertaining to the Patriots' taping were apparently destroyed by the league. Goodell has defended the destruction of the tapes.

Is Sen. Specter saying there was a cover up by the NFL and the league officials?

In addition to Walsh's probable testimony, Willie Gary, who played in the Super Bowl game for the Rams, filed suit in New Orleans last month accusing New England of fraud, unfair trade practices, and engaging in a "pattern of racketeering." Three fans joined in the suit.

What should happen to the Pats if more evidence is discovered? 

Keep in mind that head coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000 and the team was fined $250,000 and forfeited its 2008 first-round draft choice. That pick would have been 31st overall, but New England still has the seventh overall pick, obtained in a trade with San Francisco last year.