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Report: Bill Belichick, Patriots Staff Not Implicated in Probe of Bengals Sideline Video


The NFL has found no evidence connecting Bill Belichick or the Patriots staff to the video taken by production staffers of the Bengals' sideline in December, according to The Washington Post.

The league's investigation of the incident is "winding down" and could come to a close as soon as this week, sources told the Post. Sources also said that it remains likely that the NFL will impose penalties on the Patriots similar to those given out for other game-day infractions.

New England could face a fine worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The team could also potentially lose or have the value of a draft pick reduced.

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The Post reports that it remains unclear when the NFL will announce a decision following its investigation. Commissioner Roger Goodell is among those who will review the findings and decide whether to hold additional interviews, as well as determine the penalties and when to announce them.

Patriots production staffers took video footage of the Bengals' sideline, which the team said was for a show following an advanced scout called Do Your Job. The footage showed a Bengals' substitution from their game against the Browns on Dec. 8. The video crew received press box credentials from the Browns and shot footage of Cincinnati's sideline during the game. The Patriots beat the Bengals the following week in Cincinnati.

The production staffers offered to delete the video when confronted by Bengals officials. Fox later released footage of the video, which included dialogue between a Bengals security staffer and a Patriots videographer.

New England released a statement saying "there was no intention of using the footage for any other purpose," and Belichick has said he and the football staff was not involved with the video.

The NFL reportedly received the footage "immediately" to start its investigation of the situation.