NEW YORK -- Bill Belichick should be able to read this signal clearly: Spy on your opponents, and it will cost you.
The New England coach was fined the NFL maximum of $500,000 Thursday and the Patriots were ordered to pay $250,000 for stealing an opponent's defensive signals.
Commissioner Roger Goodell also ordered the team to give up next year's first-round draft choice if it reaches the playoffs and second- and third-round picks if it doesn't.
The videotaping came to light after a camera was confiscated from Patriots video assistant Matt Estrella while he was on the New York Jets sideline during New England's 38-14 win last Sunday at Giants Stadium.
The NFL said the camera was seized before the end of the first quarter and had no impact on the game.
"This episode represents a calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid longstanding rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition on the playing field," Goodell said in a letter to the Patriots.
He said he considered suspending Belichick but didn't "largely because I believe that the discipline I am imposing of a maximum fine and forfeiture of a first-round draft choice, or multiple draft choices, is in fact more significant and long-lasting, and therefore more effective, than a suspension."
Instead, Goodell imposed the biggest fine ever on a coach and took away a first-round draft pick as a penalty for the first time in NFL history.
Reached at his home, Patriots owner Robert Kraft declined to comment.
Belichick, however, accepted full responsibility "for the actions that led to tonight's ruling. Once again, I apologize to the Kraft family and every person directly or indirectly associated with the New England Patriots for the embarrassment, distraction and penalty my mistake caused."
"I also apologize to Patriots fans and would like to thank them for their support during the past few days and throughout my career," Belichick said in a statement issued by the team. "As the Commissioner acknowledged, our use of sideline video had no impact on the outcome of last week's game. We have never used sideline video to obtain a competitive advantage while the game was in progress."
Goodell's hard line on discipline has been aimed so far at players -- most notably Michael Vick and Adam "Pacman" Jones.
By penalizing a coach and a team he showed that no one, not even management, was immune.