Patriots

Videographer in Patriots-Bengals incident releases official statement

Videographer in Patriots-Bengals incident releases official statement

On Sunday, video footage was released of the Kraft Sports and Entertainment production crew filming the Cincinnati Bengals sideline.

Later on in the day, the videographer at the center of the controversy released his side of the story.

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David Mondillo, a longtime producer for Kraft Sports and Entertainment, came out with an official statement in which he denied any involvement with football operations.

Here's the full statement:

On December 8th I was doing what I have done for more than 18 years - working to produce high quality content that tells the unique, behind-the-scenes stories of people, players and the organization. It never occurred to me that my actions and the actions of my crew would be misconstrued.

Our department was charged with completing four Do Your Job segments before the end of the year. One of the segments was to follow a pro scout throughout his week to show the audience what his job entails.

Before the shoot began, I obtained permission and received credentials and a parking pass for Sunday’s game.

With permission in hand, we started taping on December 6th – following the scout’s travel through the weekend to Cleveland and obtained footage of him working in his hotel room and interviewed him about his job. The final element needed to complete the story was to shoot from the press box at Progressive Field to show the audience what his responsibilities are on game day.

We went directly to the press box and set up our camera to get the footage we needed. We interviewed and shot the Patriots scout sitting in a chair watching the action and panned back and forth from him to what he was seeing on the sidelines. We also took footage of the field as the intent was to show what he was looking at when he looked through his binoculars watching the game.

At that point, I went to the restroom and when I came back, my cameraman was told to stop shooting by someone from the NFL and he was joined by two others from the Bengals organization and an additional NFL security person. We stopped shooting immediately when asked to do so and cooperated fully. We had a detailed exchange about who we were and why we were there and what they wanted us to do. I gave the Sony SXS card to NFL security and we complied with their request, packed up and went home. I had no intention to provide footage to football operations, I did not provide any footage, and I was never asked to do so.

Mondillo reportedly has been suspended by the Patriots as a result of last week's actions.

The allegations of filming the Bengals sideline remain under investigation by the NFL. Commissioner Roger Goodell says the Patriots' prior history of illegal videotaping could play a factor in the league's decision.

The Patriots defeated the Bengals on Sunday, 34-13.

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Here are the ex-Patriots, Boston College players who made XFL rosters

Here are the ex-Patriots, Boston College players who made XFL rosters

Professional football won't end after Super Bowl Sunday this year.

The rebooted XFL kicks off its 2020 season on the weekend of Saturday, Feb. 8, as eight teams will compete over a 10-week regular season.

Each team is limited to a 52-man roster, meaning clubs had to make significant cuts after carrying 71 players out of the first inaugural XFL Draft in October.

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Several of those roster casualties were former Patriots players, as Marquis Flowers, Sterling Moore and Sealver Siliga were among those released over the past few months.

The XFL teams announced their final 52-man rosters Monday, though, and there still are four ex-Patriots players to watch. Here's the list:

Nick Brossette, running back, D.C. Defenders
Brossette was a preseason standout for the Patriots in 2019, rushing for 200 yards on 65 carries with three touchdowns over four preseason games. He failed to make New England's 53-man roster and signed on with the Detroit Lions' practice squad in September 2019.

Scooby Wright, linebacker, D.C. Defenders
Wright was Brossette's teammate in New England during the 2019 preseason, recording two sacks in one preseason. He was released following final roster cuts and briefly was on the Patriots' practice squad before they cut ties with him on Oct. 1.

Steve Beauharnais, linebacker, St. Louis BattleHawks
The Patriots selected Beauharnais 235th overall in the 2013 NFL Draft, and the Rutgers product appeared in two games for New England that season. He signed with the Washington Redskins the following season.

Kony Ealy, defensive end, Houston Roughnecks
The most notable name on this list, Ealy was traded to the Patriots in March 2017 after three productive seasons with the Carolina Panthers. The Patriots released him August, after which the New York Jets scooped him up off waivers.

If you're seeking another local connection, three Boston College alums landed on XFL rosters: New York Guardians center Ian Silberman, Roughnecks linebacker Ty Schwab and Roughnecks running back Andre Williams, who won the Doak Walker Award in 2013 as college football's top running back and went on to play for the New York Giants.

Williams, Schwab and Ealy will be in action at 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 8 in Houston's game against the Los Angeles Wildcats.

Ex-Patriots star Rob Gronkowski pays tribute to Kobe Bryant in heartfelt tweet

Ex-Patriots star Rob Gronkowski pays tribute to Kobe Bryant in heartfelt tweet

The sports world is in mourning after the tragic passing of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others who died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., on Sunday.

Many athletes from all different sports over the last 24 hours have been sending their thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims, and also sharing their favorite memories of Bryant.

Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski paid tribute to Bryant with the following tweet posted Sunday evening:

Gronkowski is one of many people associated with the Patriots who reacted to Sunday's tragedy. 

Bryant was a five-time NBA champion, an 18-time All-Star, a league MVP and one of the fiercest competitors the NBA has ever seen. His memory will live on through the many, many people whose lives he positively impacted.

Forsberg: Tragedy reminds us how fragile it all is