The Patriots are in trouble.
They are under investigation by the NFL and the NCAA for their alleged use of draft picks to help their own players get drafted.
The report comes as ESPN’s Rich Cimini examines the fallout from the Patriots’ alleged tampering.
(0:56)The Patriots are now facing their biggest test of the offseason in front of a television audience, as they attempt to navigate a new era under new general manager Dave Gettleman.
It was a turbulent year in New England.
The team went 3-10, and its roster suffered a season-ending ACL injury to receiver Brandon Lloyd.
The NFL and NCAA are investigating the Patriots and the way they handled draft picks and signing free agents in the off-season.
The league is also looking into whether the Patriots used any of their draft picks in the 2018 draft.
The Patriots’ initial draft pick in 2018, safety Nate Ebner, was selected No. 3 overall, after the team selected him with the fifth overall pick in the first round.
The NFL has also identified a number of players who were on the Patriots team for draft weekend.
There are more than 1,400 Patriots draft picks on the roster.ESPN.com reported Thursday that a league source told ESPN that the Patriots obtained four players who signed with the team, including linebacker Malcolm Butler and cornerback Kyle Arrington.
The source did not provide the names of those players.
The Patriots also signed free agent cornerback Darqueze Dennard and offensive lineman Zach Miller, who signed as undrafted free agents, according to the report.
The report does not name the players involved in the deal, but the league source said the Patriots received a third-round pick and a second-round selection.
The third-rounder and second-rounder were in addition to the first-round picks.ESPN’s Rob Demovsky first reported the report on Thursday morning.
The NCAA’s Office of Investigations is conducting its own investigation into the Patriots, as is the NFL.
The NCAA is investigating the NFL’s use of the draft picks that the league used to draft the Patriots players.
The investigation is not limited to the Patriots.
The inquiry also could include the NFL Players Association, which is involved in drafting players.
Aguirre said the report did not come as a surprise.
“I’ve seen it for months,” Aguirresaid Thursday morning on ESPN’s “Mike & Mike.”
“I know it’s going to get attention.
I know they’re going to find something.
But they’re not going to be able to prove it.”ESPN’s Ciminis added that he believes there is “a significant problem with the way the investigation is being handled” in the NFL, but did not elaborate.
A few weeks ago, ESPN’s John Clayton reported that the NCAA was also investigating the team for possible collusion.
ESPN also reported that former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and former NFL executive Jim Nantz were also under investigation.
The story has already sparked outrage among the Patriots fans, as well as former teammates.
It has also fueled speculation about the Patriots handling of the investigation.
Some of the players who are being scrutinized have said they were disappointed in the Patriots organization.
The quarterback said after the AFC Championship Game that he didn’t want to come to New England because he thought it was going to have a different feel from the NFL.
“He said he was not going there because he wanted to get a job and be a starter, and he wanted the fans to have fun,” said teammate and former Patriots receiver Randy Moss.
“He felt like the fans were going to hate him, but I feel like that’s not what happened.
They love him.
I felt like that wasn’t a part of it, but he was just disappointed that people weren’t happy about it.
I didn’t think it was that bad.
I thought it had a lot to do with the fans not liking the Patriots.”
The Patriots have not released a statement about the investigation, but they have addressed the allegations in the past.
“We’ve been thoroughly and vigorously investigating this matter and will provide any additional information that we can at this time,” a team spokesperson told ESPN.
“We believe that our team, and we are very proud of our organization, has done a very good job.”