Shortly after news broke that the New England Patriots have agreed to a deal with free agent quarterback Cam Newton, the team was in headlines once again, but for the wrong reasons.
According to ESPN's Mike Reiss, the Patriots have been fined $1.1 million and will forfeit a 2021 third-round pick as the result of an NFL investigation of New England's independent television crew that filmed the Cincinnati Bengals' sideline ahead of the team's December matchup last season.
Additionally, the Patriots' TV crew will no longer be allowed to film any games during the 2020 season, according to Reiss, and the team's senior officials must go through additionally training on game day policies. David Montillo, a senior producer for Patriots' owner Robert Kraft's entertainment company, has also been banned by the league. The Patriots previously terminated his contract last fall following the incident.
During a Monday press conference ahead of Cincinnati's Week 15 matchup with New England last season, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor took issue with the fact that the Patriots sent a film crew to Cincinnati's matchup versus Cleveland, which was one week ahead of when the Patriots and Bengals faced off.
After Taylor's comments, the Patriots released a statement saying the film crew acted inappropriately. The crew was credentialled in Cleveland to film for the web show "Do Your Job," but New England failed to inform either the Bengals or the NFL at the time.
A Patriots spokesman told Reiss that the team plans to accept the NFL's penalties without contesting them.
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