The hardest working man in the NFL biz, Chris Mortensen, has gotten word from league sources that confirm the New England Patriots are guilty of stealing hand signals. And John Clayton says that the penalty will be severe, stating it might cost the Pats a 2nd Rounder and a 5th rounders in next year's draft. Clayton also brings up the fact that defensive signal callers might begin to wear the same equipment as QBs. He, then, concludes the column with a bizarre, almost dismissive thought:
What will be the longterm effect on Belichick and the Patriots? Although this is embarrassing, you can't take away what this franchise can do. They may have the best team in football. Robert Kraft is one of the league's best owners. The team has three Super Bowl rings and a great chance to get a fourth. Other great organizations have paid penalties for violating league rules. The Broncos lost a draft choice for violating the salary cap with John Elway. The Steelers once had to forfeit a third-round draft choice for working out in shoulder pads in the offseason. The Patriots may lose a draft choice or two. And whether or not the Patriots videotaped the Jets' defensive signals, Belichick won't be any less of a coach.