NEW YORK (AP) - The NFL reportedly is considering punishing the New England Patriots for spying on the New York Jets in their season opener.
ESPN.com, citing league sources, reported Tuesday that commissioner Roger Goodell has determined the Patriots violated league rules Sunday when they videotaped defensive signals by the Jets' coaches. But the report also said the Patriots have not yet presented their case to the league.
The Web site's report said Goodell is considering severe sanctions, including docking the Patriots "multiple draft picks."
A league spokesman, however, said only that an investigation is under way. Both teams said no decision has been made.
NFL security confiscated a video camera and tape from a Patriots employee during New England's 38-14 victory Sunday. The employee
was accused of aiming his camera at the Jets' defensive coaches as
they signaled to players on the field.
Last season, the Green Bay Packers had an issue with a man wearing a Patriots staff credential who was carrying a video camera on their sideline.
"The rule is that no video recording devices of any kind are permitted to be in use in the coaches' booth, on the field, or in the locker room during the game," the league said Monday in a statement from spokesman Greg Aiello. "Clubs have specifically been reminded in the past that the videotaping of an opponent's offensive or defensive signals on the sidelines is prohibited.
"We are looking into whether the Patriots violated this rule."
There also are questions regarding the Patriots' use of radio frequencies during the game.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)