Rumor: Joe Judge is said to be at the center of the latest Patriots controversy
In case you missed the latest drama of the Patriots' offseason, it was reported late Wednesday night that the team would be stripped of two OTA sessions due to an undisclosed (at the time) violation of the CBA.
Theories began to swarm the internet, debating what the violation could have been. In years past, teams have been fined or stripped of OTAs due to allowing too much physical contact between players during practice or players suiting up in pads, both of which are prohibited by are seemingly the most common of violations.
But come Thursday morning, an update on the situation from ESPN's Mike Reiss states that the reason behind the violation was due to "coaches' scheduling that resulted in players spending more than their allowed time at the team facility, according to league sources."
Along with the docking of team activities, Bill Belichick was also fined $50,000 for the violation.
What makes that more interesting is the coach's seeming lack of involvement in the apparent situation, according to Boston Sports Journal's Greg Bedard, who reported it was Joe Judge who held the meetings longer than permitted in the CBA.
The apparent violations happened on May 1, May 2, and May 4th and were explicitly held for the special teams' roster. Although OTAs are not mandatory and neither are the meetings, the violation was made because "all activity must begin and end within the constraints of the collectively bargained four-hour period."
Hopefully, this was just an unintentional mistake by Judge, who was kept around in New England to work with the special teams as he has in the past, and not a precursor to what's ahead after his questionable season in 2022.
It's an unfortunate sequence of a very chaotic offseason for the Patriots, but it's also not that big of a deal, considering what it could've been.
But the more frustrating part is how the media and other fans around the league are discussing the situation when in reality, this didn't give New England any unfair advantage, nor is it the latest incident of "cheating" they can hold against Belichick for years to come.