Jay Glazer of FOX Sports got his hands on a video that was shot by the Bengals security team, and he released that footage on Sunday during the Network’s NFL pregame show. In the 90-second clip provided to FOX Sports, you can hear the Bengals security team grilling the Patriots’ videographers, who had clearly been filming the Bengals sideline, which is something that’s prohibited by NFL rules.
Although the Patriots,” they said the video team was a crew of independent contractors who shot the specific footage without the team’s consent and “without specific knowledge of League rules.”
The Patriots claim the footage was only shot because they had sent a three-person video crew to FirstEnergy Stadium last week to film a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to be an advance scout in the NFL.
In the FOX Sports footage, here’s how the interview went down between Bengals security and the Patriots videographers. The video starts off with the Bengals security guy having a hard time believing that the Patriots crew was taking any video of an advanced scout.
Bengals security: “And this is a piece your filming on you advanced scout?”
Patriots videographer: “Yeah.”
Bengals security: “Yeah? Come on, guys. I don’t see the advanced scout in this footage.”
Patriots videographer: “No, that’s not. We were trying to get some field perspective. That’s my bad.
Bengals security: That’s not the field.
After being called out by the Bengals security guy, one of the Patriots videographers.
Bengals security: “How did you not know [you can’t shoot our sideline]?”
Patriots videographer: “I didn’t know, I’m sorry…. but I can delete this right here for you.”
Bengals security: [Laughter at offer to delete video] “The damage is done my friend.”
Patriots videographer: “No it isn’t, because we can delete it.”
Patriots videographer 2: “Once it gets deleted by us, it’s gone.”
Patriots videographer: “Once it’s gone, it’s gone. I can’t get that footage back. There’s no way I can get that footage back. I’m being honest with you. And I don’t have a computer to like, to even put it anywhere. Once this cards [deleted] that’s it.”
Bengals security: “Yeah, I don’t see the advanced scout in any of this they’re shooting.”
The Bengals security guy was clearly having a difficult time believing anything the Patriots were telling them.
You can see the footage of the entire incident below.
In total, the Patriots staff shot eight-minutes of B-roll footage of the Bengals sideline, even though the “Do Your Job” episodes on the team’s website have only been running eight to 10 minutes in total.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was actually asked about the league investigation into the Patriots at the NFL owners’ meetings last week and wasn’t ready to offer a timeline on when it might be finished.
“It’s under review,” Goodell said, via NFL.com. “We’re going to be thorough. We’re going to take our time and make sure we look at everything that’s pertinent here and make a decision.”
The NFL commissioner was also asked what he thought of the Patriots explanation that it was all a misunderstanding.
“One of the things I’ve learned is you don’t draw conclusions until you have all the information,” Goodell said. “From our standpoint, I want look at all the information. Once we have all the information then we draw conclusions.”
Although the investigation isn’t yet complete, the Patriots could be facing some significant penalties, CBS Sports NFL Insider. According to La Canfora, the Patriots could be staring at some major fines and could even have a draft pick taken away.
The league office likely won’t give the Patriots the benefit of the doubt and that’s because of the team’s track record. Back in 2007, coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000 — the largest fine ever imposed on a coach in league history — for the part he played in Spygate. As a team, not only were the Patriots hit with a $250,000 fine, but they were also docked their first-round pick in 2008.
One aspect of the Spygate investigation that’s similar to what’s happening now is that the Patriots videographers were encouraged to have an excuse ready if they were ever caught filming another team.
From a 2015 ESPN article on Spygate, “The videographers also were provided with excuses for what to tell NFL security if asked what they were doing: Tell them you’re filming the quarterbacks. Or the kickers. Or footage for a team show.”
At best, it’s just a pure coincidence that the Patriots are using the same excuse now that they encouraged their videographers to use more than a decade ago. At worst, it’s a red flag that the NFL would likely take into account if they decide to punish the Patriots as a team that already has multiple offenses against league policy.