Jolly applied for reinstatement with the NFL on Tuesday and hopes Commissioner Roger Goodell will allow him to once again play the sport he loves. The 29-year-old was indefinitely suspended by the league after multiple arrests for possession of codeine, including an incident outside of a night club. He sat in jail for six months and was released early in order to use shock probation.
The former defensive lineman has not played in the NFL since 2009 and has probably kicked himself repeatedly for missing the Packers incredible Super Bowl run. There is no doubt Jolly was a huge part of Green Bay’s defense and many fans thought there was no way the pass rush would survive without his talents. However, the Packers proved they could play without him and, if reinstated, Jolly will have to show he is worth the comeback.
Green Bay still owns the rights to Jolly, which means if Goodell decides to restore his eligibility then the Packers will have to decide his fate. When he was asked if Green Bay would give him a second chance he certainly sounded optimistic.
“I think they would,” Jolly said. “I am dedicated to really make a change in my life and come back and be a positive role model. I think I have a great shot at going back to those guys. They’re a great organization. The coaches are very good, the players are good. I know they have supported me 100 percent.
“I want to say that would be a dream come true, but I made it in the NFL before. So, I would say it would be like another dream. It would be a journey and going back to do the things I love and showing everybody you can make mistakes but it’s the way you correct the things you’ve done wrong. I want to make the Packers look good if they want to take me back or not.”
Most people would say to release him but there are a few factors to consider. Green Bay could use another defensive end considering Anthony Hargrove and Mike Neal are suspended eight and four games respectably. Also, the Packers have rookies Jerel Worthy and Mike Daniels who will be forced to play more than they were originally intended to, but with Jolly on the team, they could learn from an old professional.
Jolly may not be in football shape but he is certainly in shape enough to get through camp. He was allowed to work out two to three times a day in jail and will be taking drug tests and going to meetings in order to help with his sobriety.
If given another chance with the NFL and the Packers, I believe Jolly would prove his worth and be a huge asset for the team. After everything he has dealt with the past three years it is highly unlikely he will fall off the wagon again, at least not until he is out of the league. Jolly could be an inspiration to others and help people who are unable to help themselves.