Patriots Quick Hits Part 2: More Spygate

The focus on the New England Patriots and their overenthusiastic use of videotape in recent years continues to spur controversy even at the NFL Combine. When the focus should be on teams building for the future, many members of the media have peppered the speakers with questions on the Matt Walsh investigation and the Rams Super Bowl.

--The Patriots decided not to use the franchise tag on WR Randy Moss. That could mean that the sides have agreed in principle to a multi-year contract. However, because of league rules, a contract of that nature can't be announced until the 2008 league year begins Feb. 29, because players can't extend/restructure a contract more than once in a league year. Moss restructured his deal in April in order to be traded from Oakland to New England.

--Gene Upshaw, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, talked about the Patriots' videotaping allegations before the Combine kicked off in Indianapolis.

"It's absolutely ludicrous to believe it affects a play," he said. "Look at the play in the Super Bowl, you can have all the film in the world but Eli (Manning) still gets out of the pocket, sheds those tackles, and throws that ball. Then go back to the Super Bowl against St. Louis, do you think filming had anything to do with Kurt Warner's fumble?"

--NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that the league is making progress toward reaching an agreement with former Patriots employee Matt Walsh to talk about what information he may have on his former team.

Walsh, a former Patriots video assistant, has intimated that he has a tape of the St. Louis Rams walkthrough prior to Super Bowl XXXVI. But he said that a confidentiality agreement he signed with New England prevents him from talking without facing legal retaliation by the Patriots and has been seeking indemnification to talk.

"We very much want to talk to him," Goodell said. "We've made some progress on the conditions that he's asked for, how he would speak to us, and what the conditions are with what he's going to be asked to do and what he wants us to be able to do when he makes his testimony. I expect that that will happen shortly. We're making progress."

--Jets coach Eric Mangini spoke to the media at the Combine but when the topic turned to the Patriots, Mangini couldn't end the press conference quick enough.

"There is nothing to say for me on this issue," he said. "It's a league issue. That's really where it is."


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