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CFL fines Riders head coach/GM Jones for meeting with Johnny Manziel's publicist

Jones fined for meeting Manziel's publicist

TORONTO — The CFL fined the Saskatchewan Roughriders $31,500 for two bylaw violations and head coach/GM Chris Jones $5,000 for meeting with the publicist for former NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel.

Manziel is on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats' negotiation list, giving them exclusive CFL rights to the quarterback. The league said Jones' actions "constitutes tampering and is in violation of CFL bylaws."

In February, there were reports Saskatchewan worked out Manziel. The Riders denied the reports and the CFL said there's no evidence to suggest any workout took place.

The Riders were fined for violating league bylaws regarding players attending practice while on the CFL suspension list as well as the recruitment of a junior player.

Jones said the Riders accept the league's punishments.

"The Saskatchewan Roughriders have been notified of the league's decision and accept their disciplinary action," he said in a statement. "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 CFL also fined the B.C. Lions $2,500 for violating its constitution regarding the contract of former linebacker Adam Bighill, who is now a member of the NFL's New Orleans Saints. The moves were announced in a release issued by the league outlining that all nine clubs finished 2016 under the $5.1-million salary cap.

As a result, the order of selection for the 2017 CFL draft May 7 remains intact. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have the first overall selection.

The 2017 salary cap is $5.15 million.

The Canadian Press