GREEN BAY, Wis. — Nine months after his release from prison, Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly has been reinstated by the NFL.
An NFL spokesperson confirmed to FOXSportsWisconsin.com that Jolly’s reinstatement will be effective as of Monday, March 4.
Jolly, who hasn’t played in the NFL since 2009, then will be a part of Green Bay’s active roster. It remains to be seen, however, whether the Packers are interested in retaining the 30-year-old now that he is allowed to continue his NFL career. A decision from the team likely will need to be made by the time free agency begins on March 12, which is also when the 2013 salary cap goes into effect.
Jolly was suspended indefinitely by the NFL before the start of the 2010 season after being arrested multiple times. He first was arrested in 2008 for possessing at least 200 grams of codeine. After the 2009 season, Jolly was arrested on a separate drug charge, which led to his indefinite suspension from the league.
Jolly was sentenced to six years in prison in November 2011 after violating his probation for a drug conviction. After only six months in prison, however, Jolly was released after applying for — and being granted by a Texas judge — “shock probation.” As a first-time prisoner, Jolly was eligible for that program after experiencing the shock and trauma of being in jail. Jolly was required to serve 10 years of shock probation and perform 200 hours of community service.
Jolly was a sixth-round pick by Green Bay in 2006. He played four seasons with the Packers and started all 16 games in each of the 2008 and 2009 seasons.