The New England Patriots, who had a video camera confiscated following last Sunday’s game against the Jets on allegations that they were videotaping defensive signals, have been illegally filming opponents for years, say the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Coach Bill Belichick even did it when he was leading the Browns, they said (not that it helped much). Meanwhile, wide receiver Hines Ward said the Patriots knew the Steelers’ plays in advance in their 2001 AFC championship game (though the Pats still only won because Kordell Stewart and the Steelers’ special teams imploded).
The Patriots could be up for some serious penalties here. There is some precedent for the forfeit of draft picks. In 1978, the Steelers lost a 3rd round pick for practicing in shoulder pads at the wrong time of the year, and again in 2001 for a minor salary cap flub. Seems to me, what the Pats have done is worse. I’m thinking multiple picks and a pretty hefty fine.