The NFL came down on the New England Patriots with a few penalties on Thursday, including a significant fine against head coach Bill Belichick.
According to reports, the team lost two OTAs, and the league fined Belichick $50,000. The issue’s root seems to be that the team held a 15-minute meeting for its special teams group, Pro Football Talk reported. Greg Bedard noted Belichick’s hefty fine.
Patriots lost two OTA days due to a meeting violation; an NFLPA observer deemed an option gathering to be mandatory. https://t.co/7wqdOf30ON
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) May 25, 2023
Bill Belichick was fined $50,000 as part of the Patriots’ offseason violations, according to a league source.
— Greg A. Bedard (@GregABedard) May 25, 2023
“The Patriots will lose a pair of OTA days for violating the offseason rules,” Mike Florio of PFT wrote. “Per a source with knowledge of the situation, it was a meeting violation,” he revealed. ” The report said, “According to the source, an observer from the NFL Players Association believed that one of the optional early offseason meetings was a violation, because the 15-minute in question (a special-teams session) was made visible on the internal schedule.”
The NFLPA believes that the Patriots had the choice to make it either voluntary or mandatory, according to Florio, and because they didn’t, they punished them.
So this is a case where Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots didn’t follow the typical OTA protocol. While it seems egregious that they were hit hard just for a 15-minute meeting, it’s easy to see why they were punished. Especially considering that it was something so easily avoidable, but now Belichick’s bank account will take a hit, and the team will lose time practicing.