Johnny Jolly Begins Process of Reinstatement
Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press Gazette reports that Packers’ defensive lineman Johnny Jolly has begun the process of applying for reinstatement to the National Football League. Jolly was suspended indefinitely prior to the 2010 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Jolly’s suspension stemmed from a felony “possession of a controlled substance” charge back in 2008, but he avoided jail time by agreeing to a plea deal. The league stated that Jolly would be eligible to apply for reinstatement after the Super Bowl.
Now that the offseason is upon us, Jolly’s agent, Brian Overstreet, said he would be surprised if the Packers did not welcome back the fifth-year player out of Texas A&M.
“They’ve been very supportive of him this whole ride,” Overstreet said. “So I’d be surprised if that didn’t happen. But you know Johnny realizes that he has some responsibilities in this and to make sure that he does that. But they’ve been nothing but supportive of Johnny his entire career, even with this.”
Demovsky also writes that a Packers team source recently said “they were open to bringing Jolly back as long as he was clean.”
Prior to his suspension, Jolly signed a one-year tender offer worth $2.52 million dollars. Once Jolly is reinstated, the Packers would still hold his rights for that one-year contract.
Assuming Jolly is reinstated (the league reinstated Michael Vick after all), and the Packers do not feel his presence would disrupt the locker room chemistry, his return to the Packers may signal the end of fellow defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins’ time in Green Bay.
The Packers have until March 3 to choose whether or not to re-sign Jenkins or any other players on their team.