While the Roughriders maintain that they never worked out former NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel, head coach and vice-president of football operations Chris Jones has been fined $5,000 for speaking with his publicist.
And the fines don’t end there.
The Riders were also hit with a $31,500 fine relating to roster violations.
The league determined “there is nothing that concludes that Saskatchewan held any workouts involving Mr. Manziel” in results of its audit of all CFL teams’ salaries and practices released Friday morning.
Manziel, who’s listed on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats negotiation list, is off-limits to other teams per CFL rules.
As such, Jones reaching out to his publicist is considered tampering, but is a much lesser infraction than what the team was accused of in February by 3DownNation’s Justin Dunk.
Dunk wrote that the Roughriders had a full workout with Manziel, something the team vehemently denied.
“The Saskatchewan Roughriders have not held or attended a workout involving Johnny Manziel,” Jones said in an emailed release at the time, while declining any further comment on the accusation.
The CFL audit also found the Roughriders violated two of the league’s bylaws, one related to “players attending practice while on the CFL suspension list” and another violation “related to the recruitment of a junior player.”
In an emailed statement issued Friday, Jones said the team accepted the league’s discipline.
“We have been forthcoming with the CFL office on any information they have requested. We look forward to moving on and continuing to prepare for the 2017 season.”
The Roughriders have already been fined several times under Jones, including $60,000 related to practice roster players, which included a loss of $26,000 to the team’s salary cap.
In July, the Riders were fined $15,000 for playing too many international players against B.C. and in August they were tagged for $5,000 for staying on the midfield logo for too long at Calgary’s McMahon Stadium.
With Friday’s additions the Riders have been fined $111,500 under Jones’ watch, not including his $5,000 personal fine or the $26,000 lost in the salary cap.