During Sunday's matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns, a Bengals employee spotted a member of the Patriots organization filming Cincinnati's sideline from the press box during the entire first quarter. A Bengals official immediately alerted the NFL and the videotape was confiscated.
In a statement released by the Patriots on Monday night, the team accepted full responsibility for the "unintended oversight," saying:
"The sole purpose of the filming was to provide an illustration of an advance scout at work on the road. There was no intention of using the footage for any other purpose. We understand and acknowledge that our video crew, which included independent contractors who shot the video, unknowingly violated a league policy by filming the field and sideline from the press box."
🔦 In 2007, the Patriots were fined $250,000 by the NFL for videotaping the New York Jets sideline during a game they won 38–14. Coach Bill Belichick was also fined $500,000 — the largest fine ever imposed on a coach in the league's history — and the team lost their 2008 first-round draft pick.