We’re more than three weeks removed from Super Bowl LIV — and thus the end of the 2019 season — and nearly three months removed from the infraction in question, yet the NFL still is investigating the New England Patriots for illegally videotaping the Cincinnati Bengals’ sideline from the Cleveland Browns’ press box Dec. 8.
What’s taking so long? Good question.
Fortunately, it appears we’re finally nearing a resolution. The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin reported Wednesday, citing league sources at the NFL Scouting Combine, that the NFL is getting closer to wrapping up its investigation.
Here’s more from Volin:
Last week, NFL Security completed what was believed to be the final interview with a Patriots employee. Now the security officials must write up their report, then hand it up the chain of command, where it will eventually land on the desk of commissioner Roger Goodell, who will approve of a final course of action.
There is still no precise timetable for a release of the findings, but it is drawing close. The NFL declined to comment on the investigation.
The Patriots accepted responsibility for the incident back in mid-December, saying a video producer working for Kraft Sports Productions taped the Bengals’ sideline to capture footage for an online feature on a New England advanced scout. According to the team, the producer was unaware that capturing such footage violated NFL rules and the Patriots’ football operations department, including Bill Belichick, had no involvement.
That said, New England still might be disciplined for what took place, especially given the organization’s past involvement in Spygate. Volin speculated Wednesday the Patriots could face a fine of up to $500,000 and a loss of a mid- or late-round draft pick.