September 21, 2017

Pats Probe Continues

by Scott Benson
[email protected]

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen – citing ‘league sources’ – reports tonight that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has decided that the Patriots violated league rules on Sunday by stationing a cameraman to videotape the defensive signals of the New York Jets.

The league has not issued a statement on the controversy, which arose in the wake of the Jets embarrassing loss in the season’s opening game.

Mortensen’s sources – who chose to remain anonymous – claim that the Patriots will have until Friday to respond to the charges. Goodell, according to Mortensen’s sources, could impose “severe sanctions” that may include “multiple draft picks”.

The sources go on to allege that the Patriots are also being investigated due to questions – presumably raised by the Jets – about audio communications equipment used by the Patriots during their one-sided victory over New York, which had been touted as the Patriots’ immediate successor as divisional champions.

Mortensen’s report does not indicate whether the league’s Competition Committee – which includes Colts President Bill Polian – has conferenced on the matter, or made a recommendation to the Commissioner. No committee member has commented for the record on the Patriots controversy.

Patriots Daily will continue to monitor this developing story.  Full commentary will follow in Friday’s Patriots Roundtable.


  1. The Patriots sure know how to make news, it seems. Was this season too good to be true? Were things going a little “too” well?

    This puts a serious damper on our newly begun season if it turns out to be true. It’s pretty unfortunate that 31 other teams are probably guilty of doing the same thing (if not something similar), only they were not caught and punished by our new strict commissioner. Are the Pats going to be an “example” to the rest of the league?

    I suppose we should probably wait to see how Belichick and the Patriots respond, and see if they can present a case to counter these claims of cheating.

    Don’t you find it a little strange that the cameraman who was caught was identified as the same one from the Green Bay incident? Don’t you think the Patriots would be a little more discreet? The whole situation just seems a little odd, and uncharacteristic of our “genius” head coach.

  2. Still, I suppose we should probably wait.

  3. I don’t know how much of a “serious damper” it puts on the season. I guess it would depend on which draft picks they penalize us (if that’s what it comes to)….To tell ya the truth, I could see the Patriots using this to their advantage. We all know how they love to play the “disrespect card”….how do you think they like hearing the “talking heads” say they are “cheaters” and wondering if their Super Bowl championships are “tainted”….yep, get those “disrespect cards” renewed!

  4. I guess that could happen, but I guess I see this as a short term shitstorm, which coincidentally comes at a time when they are preparing for a significant conference game that could very well have ramifications in December and January.

  5. I hope it’s a short term shitstorm because right now it’s sort of OUT OF CONTROL. Just heard Terrell Davis on the NFL Network say,,.. “They should do like in college and put the Patriots on probation, no matter how many games they win they should not be allowed in the playoffs!”….and he was serious…good grief

  6. jamesgarnerisgod says:

    What does it take for a team to change its name? That is, does the commissioner have to sign off on it? Just to start the ball rolling, I’d like to suggest a new cognomen for our recently vanquished AFC East rivals: The New York Pussies.

    They videotaped one of our coaches! Waaaaah.

    And, while we’re at it, thank you LT for the bulletin board material. Yeah, the Patriots are cheaters who disrespected the great Shawn Merriman last year. They’re always cheating … that’s the only way the Patriots ever win, right?

    Who’s going to hit LT the hardest? James Sanders? Vrabel? Thomas? Wilfork?

    Sorry about the childish tenor of this post, but c’mon — investigations over stealing signs? That’s what the NFL’s come down to?

  7. The key here, as Scott seems to be hip to, is Mortenson. This story started on a Jets fan blog this morning and he took it and ran. Really ran. After that initial story broke other smaller blogs added some new twists and, soon after, Mort would add the same report with his super secret “anonymous league sources” (think of how many people in how many capacities that could be) as a supplement. Aiello from the league office had refuted everything Mortenson reported by the end of the day – there is no scheduled Friday meeting and NO determination had been made – and here we are. This is Mort’s baby now.

  8. While we’re waiting to discuss this issue, can we discuss the bevy (OK, maybe not a bevy, but it was mentioned and somewhat affirmed in Reiss’s email and I think Hector Longo ripped him as well) of complaints about Adalious Thomas’s debut?

    I’m not as learned in the ways of the game as many, but he busted up at least 3 passes 10-20 yards downfield. Passes intended for receivers mind you. Are people expecting the Pro-Bowl sack numbers from this guy and no other accomplishments are valued? Looked like he was doing what they brought him in here to do and what nobody else they have can come close to doing.

  9. jamesgarnerisgod says:

    OK, I’m back with a little less petulance.

    Re: Mortensen … I work in the newspaper business and I don’t let reporters quote anonymous sources, ever. End of story. There may be some scenarios where it’s absolutely necessary — say, the mayor or chief of police is guilty of some major transgression, and anonymity is the only way, at least initially, an organization can get the story. Even then, however, the information is exhaustively verified and corroborated before it sees print. Then the editors and reporters cross their fingers after publication. But, as I said earlier, it almost never happens. (Obviously, I don’t work for the Herald or Globe, since those papers have no problems using information that isn’t attributed to anyone — journalism has gotten extremely sloppy, especially in the larger news organizations, in the race to be first with info.) Anyway, it’s impossible to imagine that Mortensen (or, more likely, ESPN interns and entry-level staffers who do the star reporters’ footwork) had the time to do any such fact-checking. They surely made no serious attempt to get anything on the record. If, however, Mortensen’s source truly is in a position to know, than the information was leaked by an agenda-driven coward who most certainly will burn the four-letter network at some point before the season is up. In that case, ESPN’s lack of virtue will be its own reward.

    Re: Thomas … I thought he looked solid, though he clearly has/had some trouble catching the ball. In terms of that, he’s not Bruschi or Vrabel, though they aren’t as young and athletic as he is. Again, though, it looks like the Pats have put together a balanced, complementary and, I think we’ll see, dominant D.

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