Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots

The NFL is apparently still investigating the Patriots for filming the Bengals

Months after it happened, the NFL is still investigating what went down when the New England Patriots filmed the Cincinnati Bengals’ sidelines. What’s next?

The NFL is still investigating the New England Patriots about what happened in Cincinnati.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reports there is still an ongoing investigation about what happened on the Cincinnati Bengals’ sidelines back on Dec. 8. Florio said league spokesman Brian McCarthy emailed Pro Football Talk on Tuesday, “The matter remains under review.”

What makes this significant is the 2020 NFL Draft begins a week from Thursday. With no punishment being doled out to New England as of now, it remains critical if there is an obvious football operations connection here or not.

Florio wrote Tuesday afternoon, “absent proof of such a connection, the punishment should be the equivalent of a parking ticket…If, on the other hand, such a connection exists, the Patriots could be in line for a significant punishment, especially in light of past incidents.”

Should there be a direct football connection, New England may end up losing picks, even in the upcoming draft. That would be quite the shocker to the league in general if the Patriots lost one of their 12 picks in the 2020 NFL Draft within a week of the draft going down. Because the Patriots would be a repeat offender in commissioner Roger Goodell’s eyes, any pick might be on the table.

Could you imagine if the Patriots had to forfeit their No. 23 overall pick a week before the draft? That’s so unlikely, but it would be devastating to their draft plans. Though New England has 12 picks this spring, 11 of them are in the third round or later, as the Patriots do not have a second-round pick this year, as they traded it to the Atlanta Falcons for wide receiver Mohamed Sanu.

Because of an unprecedented turnaround, one would think if the New England film crew did have an obvious connection to football operations, a potential forfeited pick would be, in theory, carried over to the 2021 NFL Draft. Again, the connection between the film crew and the football operations department would have to be undeniable for any of this to happen.

As Florio wrote, if there is no certainty of a connection, New England may only get a slap on the wrist in the form of some sort of fine. What is important here is the NFL wants to make sure it has all the facts and as much information as possible before figuring out how to punish the Patriots for their role in filming the Bengals sidelines in early December. We need to keep an eye on this.

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