Poll: Were Patriots Penalized Justly For Videotaping Scandal?

Devon Clements

Just minutes after the news broke on Sunday that the New England Patriots signed free-agent quarterback Cam Newton, another wave of news came in that the NFL had handed the Patriots their penalty for the videotaping scandal. 

The Patriots were fined $1.1 million, will lose a 2021 third-round pick, and New England's television crew will not be allowed to shoot any games during the 2020 season, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss. On top of those penalties, senior club officials will have required training on league operation and game policies, and Dave Mondillo, who was suspended by the team at the time of the NFL investigation, is banned from NFL facilities until further notice.

The league opened an investigation on New England in mid December following the Bengals' formal complaint about the Patriots allegedly videotaping their sideline during an early-December game against the Browns. New England was reportedly filming an advance scout who was at the game, in the press box. He was being filmed for a feature the team produces called "Do Your Job." According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the video crew was credentialed by the Browns to shoot video in the press box and their PR person was aware.

On Jan. 1 the Washington Post reported that the NFL had found no evidence linking Bill Belichick or football operations to the video being recorded by the Patriots' film crew during that Week 14 game. Yet here were are, eight months after the incident occurred, and the six-time Super Bowl champions have to suffer a heavy fine and a loss of a 2021 third-round pick because of the videotaping incident. 

What do you think? Were the Patriots justly punished for the videotaping scandal? Share your thoughts in the comments section. 

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