The New England Patriots have found themselves embroiled in another cheating scandal, and the NFL did them no favors Sunday when they hit the Pats with a major blow, including a fine of more than $1 million and the loss of a third-round draft pick.
This stems from the New England video crew that was videotaping the Cincinnati Bengals sideline during a game with the Cleveland Browns. Caught in the act, they tried to explain it off saying they were “filming a documentary” about the scouting crew (New England was playing Cincinnati the next week).
The Patriots thought it was serious enough a charge to masterfully leak their pursuit of former MVP Cam Newton just minutes before the punishment story was released. And that is why they are the Patriots, with their innumerable Super Bowls and legacy of success. At least, that’s what most fans like to think.
Obviously, it breaks into two camps. The New England fans (the die-hards, the casual fans are now sporting Tampa Bay jerseys and spouting facts about Brady’s immortality) will give it an eye roll, trot out the team propaganda, and call it much ado about nothing.
Everyone else will rightly point out that it’s more smoke to a fire some believed to have been burning for years. On the surface…it’s not great, to be caught up in MULTIPLE cheating scandals over the last few years. And the NFL took this one seriously. You may think a $1 million fine is insignificant (and maybe it is to a billionaire owner) but it’s one of the biggest fines the NFL has levied.
And losing a third-round draft pick? An enormous cost to give up, especially when it was in service to beat THE CINCINNATI BENGALS! No one needs to cheat to beat the Bengals. The Bengals are pretty effective at beating themselves, in fact (caveat: I write this as a Bengals fan, and this does not apply to the Joe Burrow era, which inevitably is going to be epic and awesome and in no way another bust).
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) June 29, 2020
If you’re going to give up something as valuable as a third-round draft pick, you better at least get some good return on that, such as a playoff victory (AT A MINIMUM). Not a win over the worst team in the NFL last season.
Ultimately, it’s not going to be a huge deterrent. The Patriots will have a hard enough time being competitive after failing to add any key skill position players to their offense for years, and after losing cyborg quarterback Tom Brady.
And in other news, @Patriots have been caught cheating again. According to reports, they will be fined $1.1 million and lose a draft pick. Smh. This is the reason Bill Belichick and Tom Brady can NEVER be considered the GOATs in the sport. Success built on cheating. #pathetic
— Rob Parker (@RobParkerFS1) June 29, 2020
And for the rest of the NFL, to which hating the New England Patriots is a fun hobby, it’s just more fuel to the fire.