Will This Be Belichick's Watergate?

So you suppose the question now is: What did Bill Belichick know, and when did he know it? After a Patriots staffer was busted videotaping the Jets sideline on Sunday, the NFL checked out the confiscated tape and — cover your ears, Simmons! — determined that the guy was stealing coaches' signs. There were all kinds of top secret hand gestures on there (plus a couple of Denny Marcin closeup ass shots, which is odd). Well, you know how I stand on all of this; I'm just waiting to get 10-year-old Jason Krause's take on the matter before I form an opinion.

ESPN.com, citing league sources, reported Tuesday that commissioner Roger Goodell has determined the Patriots violated league rules Sunday when they videotaped defensive signals by the Jets' coaches. But the report also said the Patriots have not yet presented their case to the league. The Web site's report said Goodell is considering severe sanctions, including docking the Patriots "multiple draft picks." A league spokesman, however, said only that an investigation is under way. Both teams said no decision has been made.

If Belichick ordered this — and there's no proof so far that he did — is it just one more heartwarming story to add to the big needlepoint pillow of his career so far? Or could it actually get him fired? Some stuff from the Belichick file:

• Jan. 7, 2007: Pummels cameraman for getting in his way following game with Jets.
• Jan. 24, 2007: On HBO's Inside the NFL Bob Costas rips Belichick as unprofessional and insulting for assorted boorish actions following the AFC Championship game, won by the Colts. "A guy with three Super Bowl rings should be better than that."
• Ongoing: Look out men, he'll steal your wife!
• Sept. 2006: A feud with another coach over waived players? Really? I thought that only happened in my fantasy league.

The two most amusing things about this whole affair: First, that Belichick would be so brazen as to send a camera guy over to the Jets sideline to openly break the rules. If true, that's just a ballsy, glorious, tragically flawed move. Second, Terrell Davis, now employed by NFL.com, saying quite seriously on Tuesday that New England "should be put on probation, like in college. No matter how many games they win, they can't go to the postseason."

And no float in the homecoming parade! Don't forget that, Terrell.

Report: NFL Believes Patriots Spied On Jets [MSNBC]
Men Keep Your Wives From Bill Belichick [Deadspin]