Ex-Patriots employee Walsh sends eight videotapes to league

NEW YORK -- Former Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh sent the NFL eight videotapes that show New England violated league rules by recording opposing coaches' play-calling signals.

The tapes include signals by coaches of five opponents in six games from 2000-02, but don't include video from the St. Louis Rams' walkthrough before Super Bowl XXXVI.

The NFL said it received a letter from Michael Levy, the lawyer for Walsh, detailing the tapes that were scheduled to arrive Thursday at the league's New York offices.

The tapes sent to the NFL show the Patriots recorded signals in regular-season games against Miami, Buffalo, Cleveland and San Diego, and against Pittsburgh in the 2002 AFC championship game.

"This is consistent with what the Patriots had admitted they had been doing, consistent with what we already knew," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press.

The New York Times first reported the story on its Web site Wednesday night.

Walsh, who worked for New England from 1997 to 2003, agreed to turn over the tapes and other evidence by Thursday. He's scheduled to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell next Tuesday about New England's taping of opposing teams.

"We're not going to comment," said Stacey James, the Patriots' vice president for media relations. He added he expected the team will wait to issue a statement until after Walsh meets with Goodell.

Walsh's name first surfaced just before this year's Super Bowl, nearly five months after the Patriots were sanctioned for illegally taping the New York Jets in the season opener -- resulting in a $500,000 fine for coach Bill Belichick, a $250,000 fine for the organization, and the loss of a first-round draft pick.

At that time, the Boston Herald also reported an unnamed Patriots employee illegally taped the Rams' final walkthrough before Super Bowl XXXVI, when New England, a major underdog, upset St. Louis 20-17.

Goodell previously has said he was fully prepared to crack down again on the Patriots if his meeting with Walsh uncovered a tape made of the Rams' walkthrough practice.

"Mr. Walsh has never claimed to have a tape of the walkthrough," Levy told The New York Times. "Mr. Walsh has never been the source of any of the media speculation about such a tape. Mr. Walsh was not the source for the Feb. 2 Boston Herald, article."

After more than two months of negotiations, lawyers for the league and Walsh finally reached an agreement on April 23 on terms that will allow him to talk with Goodell. They include an agreement by the Patriots not to sue Walsh and to pay his legal expenses and his airfare to New York from Hawaii, where he is now a golf pro.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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