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Goodell: no rush to judgment in NFL probe of Patriots

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell

National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell said he will not rush to judgment amid an ongoing league investigation into alleged inappropriate filming by the New England Patriots of an opponent.

The Patriots are being probed by the league after they acknowledged they filmed the Cincinnati Bengals’ sideline during a recent game while developing their own web content series entitled, “Do Your Job.” The Patriots have said the effort had nothing to do with their football operations or scouting, but filming of opponents in any situation is heavily governed by league rules, and the Bengals and NFL were not notified in advance of New England’s activities. 

New England is scheduled to play Cincinnati on December 15 at Paul Brown Stadium.

And the Patriots have a history in this area, as in 2007, they were fined $250,000 and lost a first-round draft pick for violating league rules by using video to steal signals in the “Spygate” scandal. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was also fined $500,000.

While that prior history will be taken into account, Goodell insisted he will wait to make any judgments, and pledged a thorough review.

“One of the things I’ve learned is you don’t draw conclusions until you have all the information,” said Goodell, speaking at league meetings in Texas. “Once we have all the information, then we draw conclusions. We’re not going to draw conclusions along the way.”

There is no set timetable for the investigation to conclude.