The Patriots have admitted that a video crew they sent to Sunday’s Bengals-Browns game violated league policy by filming the field from the press box. But the team says it was a mistake, not an attempt to cheat.
In a statement issued Monday night, the Patriots indicated the filming was done for content on the team’s website, independently of the team’s football operations, and that there was no intention of gaining a competitive advantage over the Bengals, the Patriots’ next opponent.
“On Sunday, Dec. 8, the content team sent a three-person video crew to the Bengals-Browns game at FirstEnergy Stadium in order to capture one part of a longer feature on the Patriots scouting department, in this case a Patriots pro personnel scout while he was working in the press box,” the statement from the team said. “While we sought and were granted credentialed access from the Cleveland Browns for the video crew, our failure to inform the Bengals and the League was an unintended oversight. In addition to filming the scout, the production crew — without specific knowledge of League rules — inappropriately filmed the field from the press box. The sole purpose of the filming twas to provide an illustration of an advance scout at work on the road. There was no intention of using the footage for any other purpose. We understand and acknowledge that our video crew, which included independent contractors who shot the video, unknowingly violated a league policy by filming the field and sideline from the press box.”
Because of their history, the Patriots may not get the benefit of the doubt. In 2007, the Patriots were docked a first-round draft pick after they were caught taping the Jets’ coaches’ signals. This violation could result in more league discipline.