Roger Goodell Says NFL Will Be 'Thorough' in Latest Investigation of Patriots

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2019

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 19:  New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft talks with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell prior to the game between the New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders at Estadio Azteca on November 19, 2017 in Mexico City, Mexico.  (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
Buda Mendes/Getty Images

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell intends to conduct a "thorough" investigation into the New England Patriots' improper videotaping of the Cincinnati Bengals' sideline in Week 14.

"It's under review," Goodell said Wednesday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. "We're going to be thorough and take our time."

The New England Patriots issued a statement on Tuesday acknowledging that their video crew "inappropriately filmed the field from the press box" in Cleveland on Sunday and the team accepts "full responsibility" for its actions. The team noted it had received permissions from the Cleveland Browns to profile an advanced scout for its Do Your Job series.

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

My understanding of how this played out: A #Bengals scout noticed the videotaping in the #Browns press box. He alerted a #Bengals executive, who alerted NFL Security, which spoke with the #Patriots employees and obtained the video. https://t.co/IrNbSZbR44

Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic reported the Patriots filmed the Bengals sideline for eight minutes.

New England head coach Bill Belichick denied having any involvement in the video crew's improper filming.

"It's not a football issue in any way, shape or form," Belichick said Tuesday, per Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson. "Zero. It's part of a TV show. I had nothing to do with this whatsoever."

Rapoport said on Tuesday that the NFL is "inclined to believe" the Patriots, though punishment is still a possibility:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

From NFL Now: The league feels inclined to believe the #Patriots' intentions on videotaping the #Bengals, but that doesn't necessarily mean there won't be a penalty. https://t.co/vmhWCRjbSx

ESPN's Don Van Natta Jr. pointed out that New England's Spygate scandal of 2007 featured a similar excuse:

Don Van Natta Jr. @DVNJr

“Spygate 2.0” appears to have the same M.O., the same ready-made alibi. The difference, this time, is the Bengals have a copy of the tape. The NFL destroyed all the Patriots’ Spygate tapes in 2007. My 2015 @OTLonESPN⁩ report, with @SethWickersham⁩: https://t.co/uEPHPotHmO https://t.co/lXhPM22urS

In 2007, Belichick was fined $500,000 and the Patriots were docked $250,000, with the team also forfeiting its 2008 first-round draft pick.

Also of note, New England was previously punished for the 2015 Deflategate scandal as well. The Patriots were fined $1 million and stripped of two draft picks, while quarterback Tom Brady received a four-game suspension.

When asked if the franchise's previous indiscretions will come into play, Goodell said: "That's a factor. But most important is this incident."

Dr. David Chao (@ProFootballDoc on Twitter), the former head doctor for the San Diego Chargers, joins Adam Lefkoe and Brian Westbrook on The Lefkoe Show to discuss his fascinating knowledge of football injuries as an entree into a variety of NFL topics. From the ways that doctors and trainers can help inform play calling to the very surprising advantage the Patriots had over the Falcons in the Super Bowl. We hit the magical jar for some random topics, and, of course, we've got the deepest of deep dives off the deepest of deep ends as Lefkoe puts on his conspiracy hat to explain this latest Patriots cheating scandal!