- The NFL is investigating the New England Patriots after an official for the Cincinnati Bengals saw a crew member in Patriots gear filming the Bengals’ Week 13 game against the Cleveland Browns.
- According to reports, the Patriots were filming an advanced scout for a feature called “Do Your Job” and were credentialed by the Browns.
- According to a report from ESPN’s Diana Russini, the videographer identified himself as an employee of Robert Kraft, had the camera focused on the Bengals sideline for the first quarter, and when confronted by Bengals security, asked if the situation could be forgotten if the footage was deleted.
- The details in Russini’s report has striking similarities to accusations of how the Patriots filmed opposing teams during what became known as “Spygate.”
- The NFL now has the tape. Its contents are unknown at this time.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The NFL is investigating the New England Patriots after an unusual situation took place during the Cincinnati Bengals’ Week 14 game versus the Cleveland Browns.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Patriots had an advance scout at the game filming a feature titled “Do Your Job” that the team produces. The series covers a day in the life of different members of the Patriots organization. Schefter added that the Browns credentialed the video crew.
According to multiple reports, a Bengals official saw the video being taped and alerted Bengals security, who then confiscated the tape. The NFL has the tape, and it is unknown what’s on it. Bengals coach Zac Taylor told reporters on Monday that he was aware of a situation that took place but would not comment on it.
The Patriots play the Bengals in Week 15 in Cincinnati.
ESPN’s Diana Russini reported some eyebrow-raising details from the confrontation between the Bengals official, Bengals security, and the Patriots crew.
According to Russini, the cameraman in the box identified himself as an employee of Robert Kraft. A source at the scene told her the camera was focused on the Bengals’ sideline for the first quarter. A source also told Russini that the pro scout allegedly being featured in “Do Your Job” was interviewed before the game but was not interviewed once the game began.
According to Russini, when Bengals security arrived to interview the Kraft cameraman, the cameraman “asked if they could just delete the footage, and it all be forgotten.”
According to Russini, the Patriots no longer have the tape, and the Bengals would not release the tape to ESPN.
Similarities to “Spygate”
The situation bears striking similarities to how the Patriots filmed opposing teams during the “Spygate” scandal.
ESPN’s Don Van Natta and Seth Wickersham reported in 2015 that the Patriots would send scouts to opponents’ games undercover as media members. They would get media credentials listed under “Patriots TV” or “Kraft Productions” and were prepared with excuses for what to say they were filming if security asked.
Van Natta and Wickersham wrote in 2015: “The videographers also were provided with excuses for what to tell NFL security if asked what they were doing: Tell them you’re filming the quarterbacks. Or the kickers. Or footage for a team show.”
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was on WEEI on Monday and denied knowledge of the “Do Your Job” feature. He said it is unrelated to the team.
“We have absolutely nothing to do with anything they produce or direct or shoot,” Belichick said. “I have never seen any of their tapes or anything else. This is something that we 100% have zero involvement with.”
The NFL forced the Patriots to give up their first-round draft pick in 2008 after “Spygate.” The league also fined Patriots head coach Bill Belichick $500,000 and the team an additional $250,000.
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The Patriots did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on the incident.
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