It's done. Goodell has spoken and justice is sweet. Belichick is out 500K, the Pats out 250K. The team also has to give up a first round pick if they make the playoffs and a 2nd and a 3rd if they don't. I would like to have seen a suspension, but I think this is a fair punishment. Bear in mind that Marshall Faulk was traded for a second round pick. I think this sounds pretty just and coupled with the scorn of a country, should serve its purpose. I think he'll have a much harder time getting into the Hall of Fame now. And that is a real penalty.
Not everyone agrees. Chris Mortensen said that reaction throughout the league is mixed and many wanted stronger punishments. Mort also said that the commish still has his eye on the Pats for other offenses that merit serious investigation. This may just be the tip of the iceberg. John Clayton and Don Banks think that the punishment was too light. So do Prisco and Freeman. Peter King thought so too.
Meanwhile, Bill "Frank Palpatine" Belichick offered a ridiculous apology. Apparently he thought that since he wasn't using the video footage the same day, it was ok. Apparently he doesn't speak English. What part of no videotaping didn't he understand? Claiming it was a misinterpretation of the rules was both classless and insulting. But honestly, I didn't expect anything more.
Demond Sanders' Comments: The problem I think most people will have with this is that monetary fines mean nothing to these guys. What is $250,000 to Robert Kraft? Belichick is loving this: He'll pay $500,000 in a heartbeat versus being forced to miss a game or three. My guess is the coach weaseled his way out of a suspension by pouring on the charm with the commish. Wait. . . I forgot who we were talking about for a minute.