UPDATED 12/10, 10:14 a.m. ET: Sources tell The Athletic that the tape handed over to the NFL by the Patriots features "about eight minutes" of footage focused on the Bengals sideline and is in "direct view" as coaches "make signals for plays.
UPDATED 12/9, 9:40 p.m ET: The Patriots have released a statement explaining their side of the story.
See original story below.
The Patriots are no stranger to controversy and have been accused of bending the rules on more than one occasion. Now it appears that the Pats could be tangled up in another Spygate.
Bengals coach Zac Taylor confirmed on Monday that NFL is investigating claims that the Patriots were recording film during their loss to Cleveland on Sunday.
"I'm aware that there was an incident," Taylor said according to the Boston Herald when asked about the accusations. "I know the league is investigating it, so I’ve got no comment."
Initially, it was reported that the Patriots were filming Cincinnati's sideline signals. If this is true, it could potentially affect the outcome of next week's game when the Pats travel to Cincinnati to face the Bengals.
Sources close to New England combat these allegations. They claim that the Patriots sent a camera crew to Cleveland to record an episode of the team's behind-the-scenes documentary, Do Your Job. The series follows different employees and departments of the organization and a New England advance scout was being filmed for this episode. The taping did take place at the stadium, but the Pats say that the interview was over before the game started.
The insider did admit that Cincinnati was unaware of the recording. But the team cleared the camera crew with the Browns since the filming took place on Cleveland's side of the field. When a Bengals scout noticed that the Pats were videotaping in the Browns' press box, he alerted a team executive who told the NFL. The Pats are now cooperating fully with the NFL and have turned to footage over to the league.
Bill Belichick also spoke on the matter.
Because of New England's track record and the similarities this situation draws to 2007's Spygate, some fans aren't totally sold on the Patriots' excuse. Also, others fans found humor in the idea that the 10-3 Patriots needed to steal signals from a then 1-11 Bengals team.