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Eskimos fined for tampering in Willis signing

Former Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive end Odell Willis celebrate a sack

Liam Richards/The Canadian Press

The CFL fined the Edmonton Eskimos $10,000 on Wednesday for violating its tampering rules when signing free agent defensive lineman Odell Willis.

Edmonton was the first team to announce a signing following the start of CFL free agency Feb. 15. Trouble was, the Eskimos made the announcement of its multi-year deal with Willis mere minutes after the noon ET deadline.

The six-foot-two, 255-pound Willis signed with Edmonton after registering six sacks last season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

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"We respect the position taken by the Canadian Football League and commissioner Mark Cohon," Eskimos president Len Rhodes said in a statement. "As a result we feel that no other public comment is necessary nor will it be forthcoming from the Eskimo organization."

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