The Pats are no strangers to a cheating scandal and this latest controversy brings up bad memories of their haunted past; more than seven years ago.
It was the game was against their divisional rival, the New York Jets, that gave the world Spygate.
September 2007 at the Meadowlands Belichick was coaching against his protégé Eric Mangini.
The patriots trounced the Jets 38-14 but the Pats were accused of taping the defensive coordinators signals.
While the practice was not legal, but many said it was common practice in the years prior.
The Patriots turned over their notes and video equipment and cooperated with the investigation
At first the team dismissed the allegations.
“When you’re successful in anything a lot of people try to take you down and do different things. We understand that,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in 2007.
But as the week progressed so did the pressure, and right before a weekly news conference Belichick issued a paper statement saying in part:
“I spoke to Commissioner Goodell about a videotape procedure during last Sunday’s game and my interpretation of the rules… Although it remains a league matter I want to apologize to everyone effected, most of all ownership, staff and players.”
When all was said and done the NFL fined Belichick $500,000, the Patriots $250,000 and a first round draft pick. It was the harshest penalty allowed.
A number of other teams came forward making allegations none were proven.