Sources: Camera confiscated after claims of Pats spying on Jets
By Chris Mortensen
NFL security confiscated a video camera and its tape from a New England Patriots employee on the team's sideline during Sunday's game against the Jets in a suspected spying incident, sources said.
The camera and its tape were placed in a sealed box and forwarded to the league office for investigation, the sources said.
"We don't have any comment," an NFL spokesman said Monday.
The Patriots' cameraman was suspected of aiming his camera at the Jets' defensive coaches who were sending signals to their unit on the field, the sources said. The league also is investigating some radio frequency issues that occurred during the game.
The league's competition committee could conduct a conference call about the incident, which violates NFL policy, and ultimately recommend a penalty that could cost the Patriots a future draft pick or picks if it verifies that the team was spying on the Jets.
"It's not their first time," a member of the committee, who did not wish to be identified, said.
In fact, Green Bay Packers president Bob Harlan confirmed a similar incident that occurred when the Patriots played at Lambeau Field last Nov. 19. The same cameraman who was questioned by NFL security on Sunday was also the one whom the Packers removed from the sideline and escorted from the field during their 2006 game, according to Packers security official Doug Collins.
"From what I can remember, he had quite a fit when we took him out," Harlan said. "We had gotten word before the game that they [the Patriots] did this sort of thing, so we were looking for it."
A Jets official declined comment Monday, directing an inquiry to the league office. The Patriots also did not have immediate comment.
Chris Mortensen covers the NFL for ESPN.