27

February

Packers News: Johnny Jolly to be reinstated by NFL

Packers DL Johnny Jolly

Packers DL Johnny Jolly

Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly has been reinstated by the league following a three-year suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Jolly was released from prison in May after serving six months of a six-year sentence on drug charges. After avoiding jail time following a similar charge in 2008, Jolly was arrested in October of 2011 and charged with possession of a narcotic compound containing codeine, which is a felony. He was already suspended by the NFL at the time of his arrest.

Jolly hasn’t played football since 2009, but the Packers could opt to bring him back to camp and compete for a roster spot. He was a restricted free agent at the time of his suspension, so Green Bay still holds his rights at the $2.5-million tender he received in 2010.

After being a two-year starter at Texas A&M, Jolly was selected in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He played four seasons with the Packers prior to being suspended.

Brian Carriveau of Cheesehead TV tweeted a picture of Jolly’s reinstatement letter, which the defensive end posted on Instagram. His article ran before other media outlets ran with the story, and the news became public.

Pete Dougherty, of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, confirmed the story on Wednesday evening via Twitter.

Before his suspension, Jolly was a solid starter for the Packers. His last season, 2009, was likely his best as a professional, in which he recorded a one sack and the only interception of his career off Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. Now 30 years old, Jolly faces tough odds to return to football shape.

Green Bay has reportedly shown interest in signing 49ers defensive end Ricky Jean-Francois and Giants defensive end Chris Canty. With the availability of Jerel Worthy for 2013 up in the air, the Packers may be in the market for multiple defensive linemen, and there’s certainly a possibility that Jolly would be given a chance to make the roster.

 

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Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.