April 28, 2017

Riders, Lions issued fines for violating CFL by-laws

TORONTO — The Canadian Football League issued a press release Friday that states that all nine teams were under the salary cap in 2016.  The League also issued fines to Chris Jones and Saskatchewan Roughriders as well as the BC Lions.

An extensive audit process has confirmed that all nine teams were under the Canadian Football League’s (CFL) Salary Expenditure Cap for the 2016 season.

Based on additional audit and CFL By-Laws governance activities conducted by the League, the following fines have been levied:

  • The Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Club have been fined $31,500 for two CFL By-Laws violations which included players attending practice while on the CFL suspension list and violations related to the recruitment of a junior player.
  • The CFL has also fined Chris Jones $5,000 for meeting with Johnny Manziel’s publicist, which constitutes tampering and is in violation of CFL By-Laws. Based on evidence to date, there is nothing that concludes that Saskatchewan held any workouts involving Mr. Manziel.
  • The BC Lions Football Club have been fined $2,500 for violating the CFL By-Laws as it relates to matters concerning the contract of Adam Bighill.


The Riders issued a statement Friday morning saying: “The Saskatchewan Roughriders have been notified of the leagues decision and accept their disciplinary action,” stated Chris Jones, Roughriders Vice President of Football Operations, General Manager and Head Coach.

“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 salary cap for the 2016 season was $5.1 million. The system’s review process includes detailed field audits of all nine clubs. Teams are also required to provide regular updates on compensation levels at the 6-game, 12-game and 18-game points of the season.

The salary cap for the 2017 season is $5.15 million.

Under the provisions set by the League’s Board of Governors, teams that exceed the salary cap are fined; in some cases, teams can also lose multiple draft selections.

As no team exceeded the cap in 2016, the order for the 2017 CFL Draft on May 7 is not affected. To view the full draft order and selection list, click here.