New England Patriots fined $1.1 million, lose draft pick in film crew fallout
The NFL fined the New England Patriots $1.1 million and took away a third-round pick in the 2021 draft among the punishments for their television crew's filming the field and sideline during a Dec. 8 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns.
In addition, the Patriots' television production crews will not be allowed to shoot any games during the 2020 season, and senior club officials will undergo required training on league operation and game policies.
NFL spokesperson Michael Signora confirmed the punishments Sunday night after ESPN broke the news.
The NFL also banned David Mondillo, who was suspended by the Patriots at the time of the NFL investigation, from NFL facilities until further notice. Before the league's discipline, Mondillo was terminated by the Patriots.
The Patriots admitted that their production crew inappropriately filmed the field and sideline. The crew was credentialed by the Browns to shoot video for a Patriots web series called "Do Your Job," but the Patriots did not inform the Bengals or the NFL, which the Patriots called an "unintended oversight."
"The sole purpose of the filming was to provide an illustration of an advance scout at work on the road," a Patriots statement said at the time. "There was no intention of using footage for any other purpose."
The Patriots also said the production crew, which included independent contractors who shot the video, is not part of New England's football operation.
A Patriots spokesperson confirmed the team won't contest the penalties.