The New England Patriots, one would think, would not need to stoop to underhanded tricks to gain an advantage over their opponents. Tell that to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Chris Mortensen of ESPN is reporting that the league has found the Patriots guilty of violating league rules when they were discovered videotaping defensive signals by the New York Jets’ defensive coaches, according to league sources.
The violation occurred during the New England-New York Jets game last Sunday. NFL security had confiscated a videocamera when it was suspected that an authorized Patriots’ employee, video assistant Matt Estrella, was recording Jets’ defensive signals. The league is also looking into a possible violation into the number of radio frequencies that the Patriots were using during Sunday’s game, as well.
League sources have stated that the Patriots will be allowed to present their case no later than Friday, probably by way of a telephone conference call. Goodell will more than likely render a decision no later than Friday although that is not a certainty. Several penalty options are available to Goodell, one of which would be the loss of multiple draft picks.
As I said earlier, you would think that the Patriots, with all of their on-field success, would be the last team that would need to delve into dirty tricks to gain an advantage against their opponents during the season. But apparently, that isn’t the case. The penalty or penalties that are levied will not affect the Patriots this season, but 2008 should be a totally different story as it should affect their draft strategy and possibly their salary cap.