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Patriots fined, lose draft pick

by The Associated Press | June 29, 2020 at 2:08 a.m.
FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2019, file photo, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick stands on the sideline during the second half of the team's NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati. The Patriots have been fined $1.1 million by the NFL for inappropriately filming the Cincinnati Bengals’ sideline during a game last season. On Sunday, June 28, 2020, the league also took away a third-round pick in the 2021 draft. “I personally have never viewed any video footage at all, anything that those production people have done, other than what’s shown on public television or something like that,” Belichick said in December. (AP Photo/Gary Landers, File)

NEW YORK -- The New England Patriots have been fined $1.1 million by the NFL for inappropriately filming the Cincinnati Bengals' sideline during a game last season.

On Sunday, the league also took away a third-round pick in the 2021 draft.

The team's production crew also will not be allowed to shoot any games in the 2020 season.

ESPN first reported the penalties. NFL spokesman Michael Signora confirmed the discipline to The Associated Press.

The filming occurred at the Bengals game at Cleveland on Dec. 8 of last season. The Bengals hosted the Patriots the next week and lost 34-13.

When the taping became known last season, the team said at the time a three-person crew producing a Web series titled "Do Your Job" inappropriately filmed the field from the press box as part of a feature on the scouting department.

The filming took place "without specific knowledge of league rules," the statement said.

The team's statement last season said that while they were granted credentials for the crew from the Browns, "our failure to inform the Bengals and the league was an unintended oversight."

When confronted, the team said the crew "immediately turned over all footage to the league and cooperated fully."

Previously, New England was fined $250,000 and lost a first-round draft pick in 2007 for violating NFL rules against using video to steal signals in a scandal dubbed "Spygate."

In 2015, the team was accused of illegally deflating the footballs used in the 2015 AFC Championship Game. Quarterback Tom Brady was suspended four games, and the team was fined $1 million and docked another first-round draft pick.

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