Report: NFL Nearing End of Investigation into Patriots' Videotaping Incident

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2020

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick speaks to the media following an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Tennessee Titans, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

The NFL is reportedly close to wrapping up its investigation into the New England Patriots for videotaping the Cincinnati Bengals sideline in December. 

Per Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, the NFL security team recently completed what is believed to be its final interview with a Patriots employee and will write up the report that will be passed on to commissioner Roger Goodell

Volin noted there is no timetable for Goodell to announce the findings from the investigation or any potential discipline against the Patriots. 

Members of the Patriots production staff were recording the Bengals coaches relaying signals during their Dec. 8 loss at the Cleveland Browns. New England was scheduled to play Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium the following week. 

Fox Sports' Jay Glazer obtained video of the incident, which included a Patriots staffer telling Bengals security he could delete the footage if that was their wish.    

In a statement released by the Patriots, the footage was being taken as part of a longer feature on their scouting department that would be used in the Do Your Job documentary series they post on the team's official website. 

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Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport (h/t's Andie Hagemann), the Patriots are expected to be disciplined as a result of the incident for committing a game-day violation. 

Mark Maske of the Washington Post noted some recent examples of teams being punished for game-day violations. The Atlanta Falcons were fined $350,000 and forfeited a 2016 fifth-round draft pick for pumping fake crowd noise into their home stadium during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. 

After recording footage of the New York Jets' sideline during a 2007 game to obtain defensive signals, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was docked $500,000 while the organization was fined $250,000 and forfeited a first-round draft pick in 2008.