The Cam Newton signing wasn’t the only bit of New England Patriots news to break Sunday night.
According to a report by ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the Patriots have been fined $1.1 million and docked a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft for illegally recording the Cincinnati Bengals’ sideline ahead of the teams’ Week 15 matchup last December.
Additionally, the NFL reportedly prohibited Patriots production crews from shooting any games during the 2020 NFL season, will require “senior club officials” to undergo “training on league operation and game policies” and banned David Mondillo — the Kraft Sports and Entertainment videographer who was caught recording Cincinnati’s sideline as part of a feature on a Patriots advance scout — “from NFL facilities until further notice.”
The Patriots also fired Montillo before the NFL handed down its punishment, per Reiss’ report.
Developing news story: The NFL has handed down the following penalties to the Patriots for their television crew filming the field and Cincinnati sideline during a December game between the Bengals and Browns, per sources: pic.twitter.com/Co8kvuofR6
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) June 29, 2020
In 2016, the investigation into Deflategate resulted in the loss of first- and fourth-round Patriots draft picks, a $1 million fine and a four-game suspension for quarterback Tom Brady. After Spygate, the Patriots were fined $250,000, head coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000 and New England lost its first-round selection in 2008.
This latest incident occurred during a Bengals-Cleveland Browns game on Dec. 8. The subsequent NFL investigation spanned nearly seven months.
In a team statement released Dec. 9, the Patriots said they “accept full responsibility” for the infraction, describing it as an honest mistake by a member of their production crew, which, Belichick quickly stressed, has “zero involvement” with New England’s football operation.
Minutes before news of the Patriots’ punishment hit social media, multiple outlets reported the team had signed Newton, the former Carolina Panthers quarterback, to an incentive-laden one-year contract.
Thumbnail photo via Joe Maiorana/USA TODAY Sports Images