NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell fined New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick $500,000, and ordered the team to pay an additional $250,000 and lose one or more draft picks, for violations of league rules against taping an opposing team's play signals. The Patriots will have to give up their first-round draft pick in 2008 if they make the playoffs this year, their second and third-round picks if they do not. Said Goodell, "This episode represents a calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid longstanding rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition on the playing field." Nonetheless, Goodell decided not to suspend Belichick "largely because I believe that the discipline I am imposing of a maximum fine and forfeiture of a first-round draft choice, or multiple draft choices, is in fact more significant and long-lasting, and therefore more effective, than a suspension." Although this is a precedent-setting penalty, ESPN analyst John Clayton still thinks the Patriots got off easy.
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- No Suspension for Belichick:
- What Penalty for the Patriots?