Originally Posted by NEPatriots
Oh, please. Nice conspiracy theory.
They didn't lose a draft pick and get fined for nothing. Even though details were covered up nicely, the league knew they had to submit some kind of punishment as there was enough info out there to make the wins and SB's look tainted. Whether or not the outcomes were affected or not, we'll never know for sure, so yeah they are a little tainted in my mind.
In the NFL, with 2 closely matched playoff caliber teams, it only takes 1 or 2 plays to swing the advantage one way or the other. Knowing the plays that were coming would certainly provide that advantage.