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Cheese Curds, 6/29: Patriots fined, sign Cam Newton; Packers’ backfield ready to rotate

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The Patriots dominated the NFL landscape on Sunday, first signing a former MVP then getting slapped with some significant penalties as a result of another video recording incident.

New England Patriots v Carolina Panthers Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Death, taxes, and the New England Patriots being involved in scandals. Those are the great certainties in life, or so it seems nowadays.

For the second time in Bill Belichick’s tenure, the Patriots organization has been punished for actions involving improper video recordings. The penalty for the latest infraction of league rules involves a significant fine for the team as a whole and the loss of a day-two draft pick; that is a larger fine than the team was given in 2007, but a lower draft pick than the first-rounder the Pats were docked for 2008.

However, on the same day that this punishment was announced, the Pats signed quarterback Cam Newton, meaning that the team both lost and signed former NFL MVPs in the same offseason. Newton will presumably compete with Jarrett Stidham for the starting job, but Newton will presumably be the favorite on day one.

In Green Bay, all remains quiet as the team awaits word on when and if training camp will begin. Today we find news about an intriguing mock draft pick for 2021 (yes, it’s early, but it’s the NFL’s quiet period, so bear with us) and a breakdown of the running back group. With several different players all possessing varied skill sets, it will be a fun challenge for the offensive coaches to figure out how best to use all the players at their disposal in the backfield.

Former MVP QB Cam Newton agrees to 1-year deal with Patriots | NFL.com
The Pats landed Newton on a contract worth up to $7.5 million. As a reminder, the Bears traded a 4th-round pick to acquire Nick Foles, who will get $8 million guaranteed this year and $17 million guaranteed over the next three seasons.

New England Patriots fined $1.1 million, lose draft pick in film crew fallout | ESPN
The Pats also landed a seven-figure fine for another videotaping incident, and they will be docked a third-round pick in 2021. The team also will not be allowed to videotape any games in 2020.

Deep backfield has Packers ready for ‘huge chess match’ | Packers.com
This has us wondering about the Packers' running backs as chess pieces. Aaron Jones would be the queen due to his versatility. AJ Dillon as the rook, probably? And maybe Jamaal Williams as the knight for his pass protection?

Packers take stud Big 10 WR in Draft Wire’s way too early 2021 mock draft | Packers Wire
Minnesota's Rashod Bateman is a big play machine, as he racked up over 1200 yards with an average of 20.3 yards per catch and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore last fall. If he declares early next year, he could be a tremendous complement to Davante Adams.

NFL cancels 2020 Hall of Fame Game between Cowboys, Steelers | USA Today
Bobby Dillon's enshrinement into the Hall of Fame will wait until next year, and with COVID-19 spiking again, it should come as no surprise that the earliest preseason game is currently off the table.

Plague of blood-sucking, disease-carrying horse flies invading UK's parks and gardens - Mirror Online
What will the next ridiculous plot line on "Earth 2020" be? Crab people? Giant sandworms? Cthulhu finally returns?