NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots Over Last Season's Film Crew Scandal

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick / Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Leave it to the New England Patriots to perfect the news drop.

The Pats announced that they signed Cam Newton on Sunday night, and just minutes later, they were docked over $1 million and a draft pick. It's funny how that works.

Back in Dec. of 2019, the Patriots film crew was caught shooting live game football between the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals for what they claimed was a documentary. The Patriots just so happened to play the Bengals a few weeks later. Considering their history with recording devices, the NFL punished the Patriots appropriately.

On the surface, such a punishment appears more than just your average slap on the wrist. On further review, however, the club fees are unlikely to hurt Robert Kraft, who is valued at at least $4 billion as of 2019, and New England could very well recoup that third-round pick, per Adam Schefter.

New England is eternally great at gaming the system, whether opposing fans would like to admit it or not.

After Spygate and Deflategate, one would've assumed the Patriots would play things close to the vest. It's only cheating if you get caught, and the Pats have gotten off fairly easy yet again.