The New England Patriots’ cheating scandals didn’t stop at Spygate and Deflategate, according to Peyton Manning.
Manning said that he knew the Patriots bugged the visiting locker room at Gillette Stadium with hot mics to eavesdrop on conversations between opposing players.
“Every time I played against New England, I used to talk to my receivers in the showers,” Manning said during ESPN’s “Monday Night Football Manning-cast in Week 2’s matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions.
“Don’t talk about a play next to my locker because I know it’s bugged. I know it’s got a hot mic in there. Very strange to see seven guys hanging out in the shower.”
Manning, who spent a large chunk of his career dueling with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, has previously accused the Patriots of bugging opposing locker rooms.
In 2010, when Manning was on the Indianapolis Colts, Peter King reported Manning’s initial belief that the Patriots had hot mics in the visiting locker room at Gillette Stadium.
Former Colts head coach Tony Dungy confirmed that Manning was concerned over the Patriots listening in on conversations between him and his receivers when they played in New England, During an appearance on the “Dan Patrick Show” in 2015, Dungy said his quarterback would take his receivers out into the hallway to have important conversations.
“I know that that is very true, and, you know, as Peyton talked to guys who played for the Patriots, some of the guys who came over — whether it’s true or not he treated it as true. We didn’t have a lot of strategy discussions inside the locker room there,” Dungy said. “Peyton takes everything to the nth degree.”
Minutes after Manning blatantly suggested the Patriots were cheating on national television, he invited former Patriots franchise tight end Rob Gronkowski onto the broadcast. Manning and Gronkowski discussed football and their past rivalry, but no cheating allegations against the Patriots came up in that conversation.