The Canadian Football League has fined the Edmonton Eskimos $10,000 for tampering in its signing of free agent defensive end Odell Willis.
The Eskimos announced the signing of Willis at 10:04 a.m. on Feb. 15, just four minutes into the opening of CFL free agency. Essentially, the Eskimos made contact with Willis too soon. The fine marks the first misstep in Ed Hervey’s short tenure as the Eskimos’ general manager. Here’s the memo that the league sent out to media this afternoon.
CFL FINES ESKIMOS FOR TAMPERING
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