Reports have surfaced that the league is expected to punish the Patriots as a result of “Spygate 2”.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reported today that the New England Patriots are expected tot be punished as a result of the alleged “Spygate 2” fiasco that’s taken place over the last month. The specifics of the punishment have not been decided on yet, as security reports from the Bengals organization are still being collected by the NFL. This punishment is not proof that the Patriots football operations was in any way connected to the film crew that was in attendance for the Browns/Bengals game that took place on December 8th. In fact, reports came out earlier this week that the NFL determined that there was no evidence connecting the football team to the film crew being at the stadium that day. This means that the punishment that will supposedly come out of this will strictly be a result of the film crew breaking rules in relations to what they were and were not allowed to film, with no real malicious intent.
The fact that the league concluded that there was no evidence connecting Bill Belichick or the rest of the team to the incident means that the severity of the punishment should not be too substantial. It will likely be a fine, anything that would interfere with the team’s ability to perform on the field would not fit the severity of the crime committed. I do not believe draft picks will be taken or players/coaches will be suspended. If it was determined that the team was involved in the film crew filming the sideline of the Bengals for a competitive advantage, the punishment would have likely been very heavy. Roger Goodell has handed down some questionable punishments in the past, even some that included the Patriots, but I believe he will do the right thing in this situation and base his punishment on the evidence found.
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The film crew filmed something that they were not supposed to, and they should be punished for that. It is important that there is no confusion, especially in the league office, about the team’s involvement or lack thereof. The public perception is that the Patriots bend the rules and Roger Goodell has a tendency to let outside opinion twist his arm when making decisions like these. This was the case with deflategate and that was not the first time Goodell was swayed one way or another. He needs to make his own decision and base his decision off of the facts and the evidence presented. Anything else will be yet another blemish on his career as commissioner.