Whether and to what extent the Patriots will face punishment for Spygate 2 depends in large part on what the video shot by a crew ostensibly filming an in-house documentary feature contains.
Paul Dehner Jr. of TheAthletic.com reports, citing unnamed sources who have seen the video, that “it shows about eight minutes of footage focusing on recording the Bengals’ sideline,” and that it includes “a direct view of the sideline as players run on and off the field and coaches make signals for plays.”
Dehner also reports that the Patriots representative who had the camera captured the images in plain sight, sitting directly in front of a Bengals representative.
The Patriots have admitted that their production crew “inappropriately filmed the field from the press box,” but the team insists that the violation was unintentional and that there was no intention to use the footage for any purpose other than the “Do Your Job” item on the duties of an advance scout.
If the video shows what Dehner says it shows, the NFL can’t properly close the book on this one until it explores fully and completely any and all electronic or other communications between the members of the video crew and others in the organization. Like the text message that became so relevant to #DeflateGate, texts, emails, and/or phone records will show that the video crew had no connection whatsoever to the football operations, or otherwise.