After it was reported at the beginning of the week that the Patriots had violated NFL rules by having a film crew videotape a vignette that caught the Cincinnati Bengals‘ sideline during their Week 14 matchup versus the Cleveland Browns, New England’s team owner has finally responded with a statement of his own.
Via NBC Sports‘ Mike Florio:
“You know everything you should know,” Kraft said, via multiple reporters.
It was a short, but straight-to-the-point assessment from Kraft. In other words, the Patriots violated NFL rules, admitted that they violated such rules and are prepared for any sort of fine or punishment from the league if the NFL decides to go that route.
Patriots Deny Any Cheating in Incident
A couple days prior, the Patriots released a statement admitting it violated rules — but the franchise wouldn’t admit to cheating, as they stressed that it was a honest mistake while filming a segment for the “Do Your Job” series that they run on their website.
“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,” the team said. “In addition to filming the scout, the production crew — without specific knowledge of League rules — inappropriately filmed the field from the press box.”
New England continued to claim that it was an innocent mistake and that it was the fault of the video crew — not anything to do with the franchise itself.
“The sole purpose of the filming was to provide an illustration of an advance scout at work on the road,” the team said. “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.”
Bill Belichick Doubles Down on Issue
As always, the person at the forefront of the scandal has been none other than head coach Bill Belichick. Belichick was the figure who was mainly blamed for the Patriots’ Spygate scandal, being fined $500,000 for his role in Spygate — the largest fine in NFL history for a head coach.
The Patriots were also involved in a more recent scandal — Deflategate — in which Tom Brady was suspended for four games due to his involvement in the scandal.
However, Belichick is doubling down on his stance relating to this latest scandal — he had absolutely nothing to do with it.
“The football team, the football staff, and the coaching staff had nothing to do with what happened. Nothing. So there was no involvement in it. He was doing his job, that’s what he was doing. Like we all try to do. That’s what the football team, the football staff, and the coaching staff did last week, is try to do their job for Kansas City. We had no involvement in it. Zero.
“I’ve told you everything. Mr. Kraft made a statement, the team made a statement. I do not have anything to add.”
Although Belichick is likely telling the truth, the media and fans won’t stop piling on the hate on the Patriots due to their recent history of breaking league rules.