It appears Edmonton’s signing of former Riders defensive end Odell Willis four minutes after the CFL’s free agency period opened on Feb. 15 wasn’t within the league’s rules. The league announced this afternoon that the Eskimos have been fined $10,000 for tampering. That’s no slap on the wrist, so the league is serious about that kind of stuff. Here’s the official release:
TORONTO – The Canadian Football League announced today that it has fined the Edmonton Eskimo Football Club $10,000.00 for violating the league’s tampering rules when signing free agent Odell Willis.
As outlined in the league’s by-laws, CFL tampering rules state:
A coach, manager, trainer, player, officer, executive or any other person connected, directly or indirectly, with a Member Club is prohibited from:
(d) directly or indirectly through an agent or by public or private statement or inference, contacting or negotiating with
(ii) any player who is under contract to, on the Negotiation List, or Suspension List, or Retired List, or otherwise the property of, another Member Club