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Report: NFL Has Found No Evidence of Patriots Using Bengals Video Improperly

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2020

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick speaks to the media following an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

The New England Patriots football operations department has reportedly been cleared of any wrongdoing in the case where a member of its video crew filmed the Cincinnati Bengals sideline in December. 

Per Mark Maske of the Washington Post, the NFL's investigation has found no evidence that links Bill Belichick or any other member of the Patriots football staff to the video. 

Maske noted the league could complete its investigation as soon as this week, and "it remains likely" the Patriots will receive penalties consistent with similar situations that have occurred in recent years involving game-day infractions. 

Those potential penalties could include a fine in the range of "hundreds of thousands of dollars and possibly the loss or reduction in value of a draft pick."

The Patriots said in a statement released Dec. 9, one day after a member of their video crew was caught filming the Bengals during a game against the Cleveland Browns, that their production crew acted inappropriately: 

New England Patriots @Patriots

Statement from the New England Patriots. https://t.co/rhXdwVvnr8

Fox Sports' Jay Glazer obtained footage of what the Patriots filmed:

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During an appearance on WEEI, Belichick said no one on the football operations side was involved in the situation:

“Yeah, I heard about this and evidently this is our production people on the TV show that were there and I have absolutely nothing to do, we have absolutely nothing to do with anything that they produce or direct or shoot. I have never even seen any of their tapes or anything else. This is something that we 100 percent have zero involvement with."

It's unclear at this point when the NFL will officially announce its findings.

The last team to receive a significant penalty for violating league rules was in 2015 when the Atlanta Falcons were fined $350,000 and forfeited a fifth-round draft pick for piping in fake crowd noise for home games during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. 

The Patriots received the largest team fine in NFL history when they were docked $1 million and had to forfeit first- and fourth-round draft picks as a result of the Deflategate scandal from the 2014 AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts. 

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