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No More Cheating Patriots Accusations? NFL Fixes Headset Malfunctions Around the League

The New England Patriots get accused of cheating. A lot. Most of it is baseless and results from Bill Belichick owning prime real estate inside the heads of his opponents (warm Gatorade? Parking lot replay board? Don't make us roll our eyes).

But sometimes the chant of cheaters! is rooted in an actual event, even if the Patriots aren't the cause.

The Pittsburgh Steelers tried to insinuate that the Patriots were cheating in the 2015 opening game since their headsets to communicate plays from the sideline started to blast Scott Zolak's game broadcast. At least five other teams accused the Patriots of tampering with the headsets. This, of course, was hogwash because the NFL is in charge of the headsets and the Patriots have nothing to do with them.

Well, these accusations should stop because the NFL is changing how the headsets function, per ESPN's Kevin Seifert. The NFL has been developing a new internet-based communication system that will transfer information over a private frequency so it will no longer be interrupted with other radio stations.

"As part of its "Sideline of the Future" project," Seifert writes. "The NFL is ready to move forward with a VOIP (voice over Internet protocol) system it developed with help from two vendors over a four-year period. In simpler terms, the league will own a private encrypted mobile communication system and operate on an exclusive frequency it acquired from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It will face no interference because no other product can share its frequency."

The new platform should be approved for full distribution by the owners at this week's meeting.