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#pounditMonday, January 17, 2022

Report: NFL ‘inclined to believe’ Patriots’ explanation for videotaping Bengals

If the New England Patriots face disciplinary action from the NFL over the latest videotaping allegations against them, it sounds like that will have more to do with their history than the actual violation.

The Patriots have released a statement and explained why they had a video crew filming the field during Sunday’s game between the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, and Ian Rapoport of NFL Media said he has gotten the sense that the NFL is “inclined to believe” this was not an instance of spying on an opponent to gain an advantage.

While the Patriots say the film crew was recording a segment for their “Do Your Job” documentary series, they acknowledged that the crew — which supposedly included independent contractors — “inappropriately filmed the field from the press box.” They also expressed regret over only getting permission from the Browns to film but not alerting the Bengals ahead of time.

Bill Belichick immediately distanced himself from the allegations on Monday, noting that whatever production was being filmed had absolutely nothing to do with the Patriots’ football operations department. If Belichick had a hand in the filming, it seems unlikely that he would deny it that quickly. That could potentially just make the coach look a lot worse down the line, especially given his and the team’s history.

Some of the reports about what was filmed do not sound good for the Patriots, but they are trying to prevent the situation from getting out of control by addressing it immediately. Even if the NFL believes them, they have already admitted some level of responsibility. Fans will expect some sort of punishment.

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