For those of you that haven't heard, the Pats were found guilty of video taping the Jets' play signals, last Sunday. (Hmmm... didn't Montreal try the very same thing quite recently?)
Kudos to the Commission. Here's what I call a serious fine:
Bill Belichick has been fined $500,000 by the NFL. (That is the maximum amount under the NFL Constitution )
The Patriots have been fined $250,000 by the NFL.
The Patriots will give up their first-round pick in 2008 if they make the playoffs. If they don't make the playoffs, they will surrender their second and third round picks.
From the Commish, himself:
[i]"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. I specifically considered whether to impose a suspension on Coach Belichick. I have determined not to do so, 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."