Former Steelers Barrett Brooks' new allegations and the Patriots' legacy of Spygate

Jacksonville Jaguars v Pittsburgh Steelers
Jacksonville Jaguars v Pittsburgh Steelers / Nick Laham/GettyImages
2 of 4

Fallout from Spygate

The NFL, it appears, tried squashing the scandal immediately. In what was considered highly controversial, NFL league offices notified the Patriots to preserve any evidence and then sent executives to the Patriots’ offices to see what they could find.

In an office that Bill Belichick and only a few others had access to, the NFL found the tapes and detailed notes regarding the tapes. However, rather than release the tapes showing how widespread the Patriots’ filming was, Goodell ordered the tapes destroyed and notes shredded.

In the end, Goodell levied a fine of $500,000 on Belichick, fined the Patriots $250,000, and stripped them of 1st round draft pick in 2008. Was it a whitewashing of the apparent Patriots’ cheating? Apparently, the tapes' destruction also prevented a congressional investigation of the matter. Roger Goodell did not want anything to show that some NFL games were not on the level. That would have been bad for the NFL.

Perhaps the story would have ended there, then we had Deflategate following a few years later, which led to Tom Brady’s four-game suspension. Then in 2019, the Bengals caught the Patriots filming signals again.

This has become a never-ending story that, when you think it’s over, more allegations come out showing the Patriots' supposed cheating was way more extensive and calls into question Roger Goodell’s leadership and impartiality as NFL commissioner.