Patriots a Super Bowl favorite with Can Newton signing

But the Pats have also set themselves up to possibly recoup the draft pick they're about to lose because of last season's Spygate sequel.

The New England Patriots have been fined $1.1 million by the National Football League for inappropriately filming the Cincinnati Bengals' sideline during a game last season, the Associated Press reports.

In addition, the Patriots' television production crews will not be allowed to shoot any games during the 2020 season, and senior club officials will undergo required training on league operation and game policies.

ESPN first reported the penalties.

Since that season the Panthers only reached the playoffs once, in 2017, where they were beaten by the New Orleans Saints in a wild-card game.

The Patriots beat the Bengals 34-13 during Week 15 during the 2019 season.

The New England Patriots are getting hit hard for their illicit filming at FirstEnergy Stadium last December prior to the Browns home game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

At the time, Patriots coach Bill Belichick says neither he nor his coaching staff had watched any of the video footage. "There was no intention of using footage for any other goal". Belichick was also fined $500,000.

Allen Bell of CBS SportsLine tweeted numbers that showed the Patriots now have a much better chance of winning the AFC East and making the playoffs. Signing Newton, who will presumably win the starting quarterback job if he's healthy, gives the Patriots offense an added layer of difficulty for the 49ers' defense.