Ed Driscoll

Pats, Lies, And Videotape

Well, here’s one way to build a consistent NFL powerhouse:

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has determined that the New England Patriots violated league rules Sunday when they videotaped defensive signals by the New York Jets’ coaches, according to league sources.

NFL security officials confiscated a camera and videotape from Patriots video assistant Matt Estrella on the New England sidelines when it was suspected he was recording the Jets’ defensive signals. Sources say the visual evidence confirmed the suspicion.

Goodell is considering severe sanctions, including the possibility of docking the Patriots “multiple draft picks” because it is the competitive violation in the wake of a stern warning to all teams since he became commissioner, the sources said. The Patriots have been suspected in previous incidents.

The Patriots will be allowed an opportunity to present their case by Friday, sources said, most likely via the telephone.

The league also was reviewing a possible violation into the number of radio frequencies the Patriots were using during Sunday’s game, sources said. The team did not have a satisfactory explanation when asked about possible irregularities in its communication setup during the game.

Goodell is expected to have a decision no later than Friday but that is not set in stone.

The league refused comment but did confirm Monday that they were reviewing a possible violation by the Patriots.

Back in 2004, immediately after Super Bowl XXXVIII, and its infamous “wardrobe malfunction“, when the Pats won the second of their third Super Bowls (so far), Paul Attner of The Sporting News wrote that Bill Belichick has helped the Patriots crack the NFL code. In hindsight, he had no idea just how prescient he was!

(Between this, Kevin Everett’s horrific spinal injury, and the dog days of Michael Vick, the NFL is off to some start this year, huh?)