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Two of the Vikings' most tenured players reacted to accusations that the Patriots were filming defensive signals of the Jets during Sunday's game between the two teams. See what Tony Richardson and Darren Sharper had to say when informed of the incident.

When JetsConfidential.com broke the story Monday that the New York Jets had spotted a New England Patriots employee filming New York's defensive signals during the game between the two teams, it made a ripple around the league.

ESPN.com has reported that the Patriots could lose "multiple draft picks" over the incident.

Two Vikings veterans, fullback Tony Richardson and safety Darren Sharper, said they had never heard of such tactics.

"No. But I'll tell you, you're starting to hear some really weird things with this (Bill) Belichick, whether it's him and Coach Childress or trading guys, stealing signals," Sharper said.

A week before the regular season began, Vikings coach Brad Childress told WCCO radio that Patriots coach Bill Belichick had asked Childress to not sign tight end Garrett Mills, whom the Patriots had hoped would clear waivers in order to sign to their practice squad. Belichick then said he was eyeing a member of the Vikings' waived players but wouldn't sign him if the Vikings would let Mills slide, according to Childress.

The Vikings were undaunted and signed Mills to their active roster. The Patriots responded by signing linebacker rookie David Herron, whom the Vikings released, to their active roster. That apparently did go as planned, as the Patriots waived Herron earlier this week (and the Vikings have since cleared room on their practice squad by waiving linebacker Brandon Archer).

But the issue at hand for the Patriots and teams around the league is preserving a level playing field, which may have been tainted if the accusations of stealing signals are true.

"That's kind of a first. That's kind of new. I guess you try to get an advantage however you can in this league," said Richardson, who is in his 13th NFL season. "The signals aren't a secret, but that's tough. From defense, I'd imagine you probably change a lot of things. I know that's not something we do around here because if you start guessing things like that, then you start getting wrong signals and you're calling plays that don't even work."

Said Sharper, an 11-year veteran of the league: "I've never heard of a guy's camera getting confiscated because he's recording signals, but in this day and age in the NFL everyone is trying to get the upper hand somehow. I guess if you're not cheating, you're not trying."

But the issue probably won't just go away, as the NFL is likely to act soon on the charges.

Sharper also said he heard a rumor that the Patriots were practicing players that were on injured reserve in the past. That would also be against league rules.

Richardson, who is a member of the league's new Player Advisory Council, a committee made up of six current and recent NFL players, said his group isn't likely to have much influence on the matter.

"The commissioner (Roger Goodell) may ask us, but we really have no control," Richardson said. "It's one of those things where we want to keep the playing field as level as possible, so hopefully you can eliminate those type of things. If he ever asked me about the situation, I'd be like, ‘Hey, let's try to get that cleaned up.' You just want to go out and play the game and know that another team doesn't have a competitive advantage against you."


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