NFL Commisioner Goodell had reached a decision regarding the Patriots penalty for videotaping Jets signals in last Sunday's game. Bill Belicheck recieved a $500,000 fine, the Patriots organization recieved a $250,000 fine, and the Patriots will lose a 1st round draft pick if they make the playoffs and a 2nd and 3rd round pick if they do not. It's hard to determine the fairness of this penalty as there is really no precedent for this particular infraction and all penalties are completely within the discretion of commisioner Goodell. I felt like the Broncos violation of the salary cap to sign some key players to win the Super Bowl provided them with a much greater advantage than recorded defensive signs mid game could have provided but the penalty was much lighter for the Broncos as they only lost a later round pick.
Fortunately, the Patriots planned ahead and have a second first rounder pick they acquired from the 49ers in this year's draft. I'm willing to gamble that pick will probably fall much sooner than the pick the Patriots would have gotten naturally. There will still be some new talent to get excited about in the off season.