NFL Notebook

Patriots Could Be Fined, Lose Picks

By Mark Maske
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 12, 2007

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is prepared to strip draft picks from the New England Patriots as punishment for Sunday's incident in which they allegedly used videotaping equipment to steal the play signals of the New York Jets, two sources familiar with the league's investigation into the matter said yesterday.

"He is going to do more than just fine" the Patriots, said one person with knowledge of the investigation, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the league has not announced its decision. "Draft choices could come into play."

Another source said that Goodell would not make a final determination about punishment until speaking to Patriots officials. That conversation is likely to take place by telephone this week, the source said. "No decision has been rendered," said Greg Aiello, the NFL's senior vice president of public relations.

League security officials confiscated videotaping equipment from a Patriots employee who was on the field at Giants Stadium during Sunday's triumph over the Jets. The Patriots allegedly were taping the hand signals used by Jets coaches to make play calls to players on the field. That would violate league rules, and Goodell is empowered to punish such an infraction with a fine or the stripping of a draft selection or selections.

Frye Traded to Seattle

The Browns traded quarterback Charlie Frye to the Seattle Seahawks for a sixth-round draft pick. Derek Anderson takes over as the starter in Cleveland and rookie Brady Quinn becomes the No. 2. . . . The Seahawks traded defensive end Bryce Fisher to Tennessee for a draft choice.

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