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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Follow @MJEversoll

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.

10

September

Packers make room for LB Walden, cut CB Ross

Packers LB Erik Walden

Packers LB Erik Walden

As the Packers turn the page on Erik Walden’s one-game suspension, they’ve cut cornerback Brandian Ross to clear room for the 27 year-old linebacker.

Ross was inactive for Sunday’s game against the 49ers, but the Packers will likely try and keep him around to the practice squad. Teams have 24 hours to put in a claim for Ross before he’s eligible for the Packers to bring him back.

Walden will provide depth to the outside linebacker position behind starters Clay Matthews and Nick Perry. Matthews was one of just a few bright spots on Sunday, racking up 2.5 sacks–nearly half of last season’s total of six.

Ross was a surprise inclusion on the 53-man roster, so it makes sense that he’s been released to free up a roster spot for Walden.

While it remains highly unlikely that Walden will solve all of the Packers problems defensively, his return will be a welcome addition to the team craving a win over the Chicago Bears on Thursday. The best game of Walden’s career came against the Bears in the regular season finale of the 2010 season, recording 12 total tackles and sacking Jay Cutler three times.

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Follow @MJEversoll

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.

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9

July

Monday Morning View: Roger Goodell Has Ethical Responsibility in Bounty Suspensions

Roger Goodell

As NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell has a responsibility to act ethically in bounty scandal suspensions.

We’ve all been following this New Orleans Saints bounty scandal for a while now, and although NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell recently upheld the four player suspensions in their appeal, the fight is far from over. The NFLPA has now filed a lawsuit on behalf of Will Smith, Anthony Hargrove, and Scott Fujita claiming that Goodell violated the labor agreement in the “investigation and arbitration process.” Jonathan Vilma is currently involved in a separate lawsuit against the NFL.

But I want to back up a little bit. When the news was released that Goodell denied the players’ appeals, he wrote a “public” letter to the players involved that outlined the foundations of his decision. Here is some of the text in case you’ve missed it:

Throughout this entire process, including your appeals, and despite repeated invitations and encouragement to do so, none of you has offered any evidence that would warrant reconsideration of your suspensions. Instead, you elected not to participate meaningfully in the appeal process . . .

Although you claimed to have been ‘wrongfully accused with insufficient evidence,’ your lawyers elected not to ask a single question of the principal investigators, both of whom were present at the hearing (as your lawyers had requested); you elected not to testify or to make any substantive statement, written or oral, in support of your appeal; you elected not to call a single witness to support your appeal; and you elected not to introduce a single exhibit addressing the merits of your appeal. Instead, your lawyers raised a series of jurisdictional and procedural objections that generally ignore the CBA, in particular its provisions governing ‘conduct detrimental’ determinations . . .

In sum, I did not make my determinations here lightly. At every stage, I took seriously my responsibilities under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. I determined the discipline for each of you

(1) only after a long, detailed and professional investigation by NFL Security’s experienced investigators;

(2) only after the results of that investigation were carefully reviewed by an independent expert, former United States Attorney Mary Jo White;

(3) only after I heard the appeals of the Saints’ coaches and staff regarding discipline for their roles in the program;