NFL: New England Patriots fined, lose draft pick for illegal sideline filming

New England Patriots helmet
New England Patriots helmet Photo credit: Getty

The New England Patriots will pay a US$1.5 million fine and lose a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, for their taping of the Cincinnati Bengals' sideline last season.

Additionally, the Patriots production crew has been banned from filming games in the 2020 season.

Senior team officials must undergo training about NFL operations and game policies, according to multiple reports.

The videographer who filmed the Bengals' sideline, David Mondillo, also was banned indefinitely from NFL facilities. The team previously fired Mondillo.

The Patriots had not issued a statement as of about the penalties, though a spokesperson confirmed to ESPN that the team would not appeal.

The taping incident occurred as the Bengals played the Cleveland Browns, a week before the Patriots were scheduled to play Cincinnati.

The Patriots defeated the Bengals 34-13 a week later.

The December incident raised comparisons to 2007's "Spygate," in which an investigation showed the New England staff illegally taped the signals of opposing coaches.

Head coach Bill Belichick and the organization were fined a total of $1.25 million and lost a first-round draft pick in 2008.