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Volume 26 No. 229
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Goodell: Possible Patriots Discipline Based Only On Latest Incident

The Patriots still could face discipline for their acknowledged violation of NFL videotaping rules
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
The Patriots still could face discipline for their acknowledged violation of NFL videotaping rules
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
The Patriots still could face discipline for their acknowledged violation of NFL videotaping rules
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the evidence from Sunday's videotaping incident in Cleveland -- and not the Patriots’ "history of improperly recording opponents’ coaching signals -- will determine whether the NFL disciplines the team for its admitted violation of league policy," according to Mark Maske of the WASHINGTON POST. The league did "not announce a decision in the case" by the end of a two-day league meeting in Dallas yesterday. Sources said that as of early yesterday, the NFL's "attitude that this incident does not rise to the level of a Spygate-like infraction by the Patriots had not changed." However, the Patriots still could "face discipline for their acknowledged violation of NFL videotaping rules." Goodell and NFL Exec VP/Football Operations Troy Vincent "provided no timetable for a resolution of the case." The NFL originally "hoped to move quickly in its review and make a decision this week." Vincent said that the league has "no plans to share the content of the video with other teams after it makes its decision" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/12).

NOT THAT BIG A DEAL? NFL Network’s Judy Battista noted the sense around the league meeting was owners do not “think this rises to the level of a competitive issue." That likely will result in "minimal" discipline toward the Pats. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport noted the NFL "seems inclined to believe the Patriots." Rapoport: "A lot of the rival teams I talked to will kind of roll their eyes. Certainly there are people who would like the Patriots punished just because they don’t believe it” (“Good Morning Football,” NFL Network, 12/11). ESPN's Josina Anderson noted the "overall tone that you're gathering from this ... is that they don't feel like this is going to take us down a path where it's going to similar to like Spygate I" ("NFL Live," ESPN, 12/11).

NO CBA UPDATE: Goodell said that league owners "discussed the ongoing negotiations for a new labor agreement for about an hour but didn't have much else to report." The CBA expires in March '21, and Goodell said, "I know that we've committed to work hard and to try to keep the issues at the table and try to see if we can reach an agreement" (ESPN.com, 12/11).