Topic: NFL fines Belichick half a million strips Patriots of 1st draft pick

Wow I am suprised at the 1st round pick, It wasn't that big of a deal to me because basically I think a lot of teams were doing it last year, I guess Goodell was making a example of the Pats. … nfirm=true

NFL fines Belichick, strips Patriots of draft pick

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has been fined the maximum amount under the NFL Constitution and By-Laws of $500,000 for violating league policy last Sunday on the use of equipment to videotape an opposing team's offensive or defensive signals.

In addition, Commissioner Roger Goodell also notified the Patriots that they would forfeit their first-round draft choice in 2008 if they reach the playoffs, or their own second-round and third-round picks if they do not qualify for the playoffs, and that the club would be fined $250,000.

"This episode represents a calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid longstanding rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition on the playing field," Goodell wrote in a letter to the Patriots.

NFL policy states that "no video recording devices of any kind are permitted to be in use in the coaches' booth, on the field, or in the locker room during the game" and that all video shooting locations for club coaching purposes "must be enclosed on all sides with a roof overhead."

In a memo to NFL head coaches and general managers on Sept. 6, 2006, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson said, "Videotaping of any type, including but not limited to taping of an opponent's offensive or defensive signals, is prohibited on the sidelines, in the coaches' booth, in the locker room, or at any other locations accessible to club staff members during the game."

In his review of the facts, Goodell determined that the Patriots' use last Sunday of the video camera, which was seized by NFL security before the end of the first quarter, had no impact on the outcome of the Patriots-New York Jets game.

Goodell also believes that Patriots ownership was unaware of Belichick's action, but determined that penalties should be imposed on the club because "Coach Belichick not only serves as the head coach but also has substantial control over all aspects of New England's football operations. His actions and decisions are properly attributed to the club."

Goodell informed the Patriots that the NFL would closely review and monitor the Patriots' coaching video program, effective immediately.

"I specifically considered whether to impose a suspension on Coach Belichick," Goodell wrote. "I have determined not to do so, largely because I believe that the discipline I am imposing of a maximum fine and forfeiture of a first-round draft choice, or multiple draft choices, is in fact more significant and long-lasting, and therefore more effective, than a suspension."

Last edited by goldenwarrior (2007-09-13 20:23:34)

Re: NFL fines Belichick half a million strips Patriots of 1st draft pick

Pretty extreme example considreing every team must be doing the same thing one way or another. I guess the Pats got to big for their britches and had to brought down a peg or two.

Re: NFL fines Belichick half a million strips Patriots of 1st draft pick

The famous pic

Re: NFL fines Belichick half a million strips Patriots of 1st draft pick

It was predicted by some sports writers that the Pat's would loose a draft pick or 2, but the $500K fine is an interesting decision, I think.  Goodell seems to really be taking charge of the leauge's image anyway and I gotta give him a hat's off for a real attempt at cracking down on leauge rule infractions.  The punishments that I've heard about seem to be much better than a slap on the wrist types that were happening before he took office.

Re: NFL fines Belichick half a million strips Patriots of 1st draft pick

LOL, this is great cause I can't stand the Pats anyway.:P

Re: NFL fines Belichick half a million strips Patriots of 1st draft pick

this sux for me... im a patriots fan, have been for a long time now.

Re: NFL fines Belichick half a million strips Patriots of 1st draft pick

I’m honestly shocked that most people think that this is a fair, if not excessive punishment.  I believe that this is simply a slap on the wrist to the Patriots and Bill Bilicheck.  They got off extremely light for cheating.  Here are my reasons why:

1.     History – It’s not like this is the first time this has happened with the Patriots.  The Packers accused them of this during a 35-0 game in Green Bay.  The NFL agreed and told them not to do this again and then proceeded to send a letter to the rest of the NFL’s 31 teams and warned them of this infraction as well.  Also, last year when the Lions were playing in Foxboro, Lions noticed a camera pointed right at their defensive coordinator.  They ended up calling up to the NFL booth and the booth had the cameraman stop.  He did, for a while, but then started again and the process was repeated.  Not only are they repeat offenders in multiple games, but they got caught more than once in a SINGLE game, thus completely ignoring what the NFL was asking them to do.

2.    Fines – So Bill Bilicheck is going to get fined the maximum fine possible at $500,000.  That is a high amount for anyone, but let’s honestly put it into perspective.  They (SI, ESPN) are estimating that this is about 12% of his total salary for the year.  If my calculations are correct, then his salary would be approximately $4.2 million for this season not including personal appearance fees and other extra endorsement deals he might have.  That would mean his salary for coaching this year after the fine would be $3.7 million.  Boo-hoo?

3.    Loss of Draft Picks – Ok, this is the one that really gets me into a bind.  Goodell did this because of “more long term impact� .  Really?  Let’s break this down some.

a.    Loss of First Round Pick – So if they make the playoffs (which I’m pretty confident they will) they will lose their very late first round pick.  Just that one pick.  So they will have the rest of their entire draft, all 8 picks.  But wait!  The draft is only 7 rounds and if you take 1 pick away, that’s only 6 picks, how would they have 8?  Well, they have 8 because they would be able to keep the 49ers first round pick and the Falcons 3rd round pick that they traded for.  Basically, if they make the playoffs, they still have a full draft.

b.    Loss of 2nd and 3rd Round Picks – See above.  Now the situation is that they lose 2 picks but still have 2 first round picks and a pick in the third.  I fail to see how this is hurting a team.

c.    Hypothetical – Let’s say Goodell changes his mind and takes away ALL of their first day picks, 5 in total.  This is still the team that every other team and media outlet says they have managed to master free agency.  They’ve managed to pick up players like Adalius Thomas, Donte’ Stallworth, Sammy Morris, and Kyle Brady all through free agency this year.  Not only that, but they managed to get Randy Moss and Wes Welker through trades.  I believe you could take this team’s entire draft away one year without any long term ramifications.

4.    Further accusations – In the Lions game I mentioned above, another odd thing happened.  At one point in the game, the Lions were driving the ball and NE’s defense couldn’t seem to catch up to what they were doing.  And well, here is the story from one of the Lion’s players:

"At one point we had a good drive going against the Patriots," said one Lion who doesn't want his name involved in this mess, but was willing to talk about it. "Mike Martz really had 'em going. They were getting fouled up, lining up wrong, we were moving the ball. Then boom, the headset from the sidelines to the coaches' booth goes out.

"Next possession we were moving the ball again and the same thing happened. You know it only takes two or three plays to mess up a drive."

Matt Millen was telling this story to another head coach at the league meetings.  Before he could finish, the other coach (who is reportedly Marvin Lewis of the Bengals) said
“Yeah, I know.  The headsets went out.  It happened to me at Foxboro, too.�

It seems a bit too coincidental to me and I doubt that this is the end of it.

Link to the story can be found Here


This is a cheating scandal that not only helped them win, but could have possibly kept other teams out of the playoffs and Super Bowl appearances.  To me, the minimum thing that should have happened would be at least a full year suspension of Bill Bilicheck, the same as a player would receive for their second offense of using preformance enhancing substances.  My reasoning behind this is Chris Henry, ‘Pacman’ Jones, and Micheal Vick all had very fair suspensions.  Their actions affected their teams and themselves primarily.  The cheating done by the Patriots not only affected their teams, but every team they played against while they cheated.

If you want to get a message across, I would actually take a page out of the college ranks and suspend their post-season possibilities for this year.  I believe that this would have a much more significant meaning across the board and make it very taboo for any other team to even try.

Last edited by DrChannard (2007-09-14 15:50:43)

Re: NFL fines Belichick half a million strips Patriots of 1st draft pick

I would also like to point out that I had nothing against the Patriots.  Being a Bengals fan, it was nice to see a team that was as miserable as us get out of the gutter and turn themselves into winners.  It gave me a lot of hope that we could someday do the same thing.

Re: NFL fines Belichick half a million strips Patriots of 1st draft pick

I can't make out, as it would be impossible for me to do so, as to whether *all* teams use vid like the Pats, whether *a lot* of them do, etc. Hard to say how much of a smack down the Pats deserve for this unless we know just how much all of the other teams do this. And you *know* there's no way the others would come clean about it, ya know?

However, if the Pats are really the only NFL team that did this, they should be punished. mad

Re: NFL fines Belichick half a million strips Patriots of 1st draft pick

I have read more then one book by retired playiers that this goes on and has for years.
To inclue hiring lip readers. So this is nothing new.
One would think that the teams would be taking steps on their own to prevent it.

Re: NFL fines Belichick half a million strips Patriots of 1st draft pick

A local article I read called Belachick the "Barry Bonds" of football in that he's disliked for acting like he's better than everyone else. 

This is such an interesting ethics question - I still can't decide if it's smart or it's cheating.  The commish apparently thinks it's cheating enough to impose these fines.