Early indications are the New England Patriots will not be severely punished for the videotaping controversy currently being investigated by the NFL.
As you likely have heard by now, the Cincinnati Bengals reportedly were skeptical the Patriots had somebody taping their sidelines during Sunday’s game against the Browns in Cleveland. The Bengals turned the tape over to the league, which is investigating the issue. The Patriots have accepted responsibility for the rules violation, but insist the “Do Your Job” film crew member was acting out of ignorance, rather than with nefarious intent.
Unsurprisingly, the story has set off a firestorm, with many calling for the Patriots, and especially Bill Belichick, to receiver the proverbial death penalty. Moreover, many have cited the Patriots’ checkered past as reason to not accept the team’s excuse.
But, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport and Judy Battista, the NFL is “inclined” to believe New England’s explanation.
Here’s Battista’s report:
Hi from a news-filled winter meeting. pic.twitter.com/K66psjNwGr
— Judy Battista (@judybattista) December 10, 2019
Rapoport co-signed while adding some extra information.
“I do get the same sense, that the league is inclined to believe the Patriots’ explanation,” Rapoport said Tuesday on NFL Network. “But that doesn’t necessarily mean the Patriots are off the hook. They did admit that they did not alert the Bengals, they did not alert the NFL. Clearly, there was, at the least, a miscommunication here which would lead me to believe, based on the people I’ve spoken with, that if they got penalized it, would be something along the lines of a fine.”
Take a look:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 10, 2019
As of 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday, the NFL had yet to announce a ruling.
We’ll keep you updated on this story as it develops.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images