|Bombers offensive linemen Dan Goodspeed (left) received one of the off-season bonuses that led the Bombers to exceed their salary cap for the past CFL season. (Winnipeg Sun)
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have been fined for exceeding the CFL salary cap last season.
The league fined the Bombers $44,687 for spending that much over the $4.2-million cap.
Winnipeg was the only team to go over the spending limit. Because the Bombers didn't exceed the cap by more than $100,000, they don't lose a draft pick.
"The final results of a comprehensive audit and review process show a high level of compliance with the salary management system," CFL commissioner Mark Cohon said in a statement.
The results don't come as a surprise, as Winnipeg spent a significant amount of money on off-season bonuses for players who wound up elsewhere, such as offensive lineman Dan Goodspeed ($88,000) and running back Joe Smith ($40,000).
As the Sun first reported last summer, retired receiver Milt Stegall remained on the payroll as well, to the tune of some $50,000.
The Bombers took several steps to reduce their salary costs, including releasing D-lineman Tyrone Williams, transferring O-lineman Kelly Bates to the nine-game injury list and leaving receiver Arjei Franklin on the nine-game list even when he was ready to play. Players on the nine-game list don't count towards the cap.
Cohon says it's good to see teams realize the need to be prudent.
"With seven of eight teams under the 2009 cap, and the Bombers working diligently over the course of last season to reduce their potential overrun, it's clear our teams recognize this need," Cohon said.
The cap for 2010 will remain at $4.2 million.