Report: Jolly applies for reinstatement to NFL

June 19, 2012

One month after being released from prison just six months into a six-year sentence, former Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly is applying for reinstatement into the NFL, according to Brad Biggs of National Football Post.

Jolly, who was released from a Texas prison early in favor of 10 years of shock probation, hasn't played in the NFL since 2009. However, if NFL commissioner Roger Goodell decides Jolly can return to the league, the 332-pounder's rights are still held by the Packers.

In an interview with National Football Post, Jolly liked his chances of rejoining his former team.

"I think they would (bring me back),"Jolly said. "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 make the Packers look good if they want to take me back or not.”

Jolly added that he sent a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last week requesting his reinstatement. If approved, the Packers would have to decide whether bringing the 29-year-old to Green Bay is worth it. In Jolly's four seasons with the Packers from 2006 to 2009, he recorded a total of 77 tackles and two sacks. He was a full-time starter in Green Bay during the 2008 and 2009 seasons and at times was a disruptive force on the line.

"I know that the NFL doesn't need me,"Jolly told National Football Post. "I need it way more than it needs me. I really want to be a part of it, and I am hoping to go back and show that I am a good reliable citizen that the league and others can depend on and trust.”

Jolly was arrested three times between 2008 and 2011, with each incident involving the possession of large quantities of codeine. Jolly's final arrest came in March 2011 when police found 600 grams of the narcotic in his vehicle during a traffic stop. Prior to that, Jolly also was arrested for possessing at least 200 grams of codeine in 2008 and had another drug-related arrest in 2009.

It was Jolly's arrest in 2009 that led to his indefinite suspension from the NFL.

It's unclear how long Goodell will take to rule on Jolly's reinstatement request, but even if allowed back into the NFL, Jolly would almost certainly be suspended for several games. With the Packers already dealing with the suspensions of two of their defensive lineman -- Anthony Hargrove's eight games for his role in the Saints bounty program and Mike Neal's four games for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy -- general manager Ted Thompson would have to be willing to deal with yet another suspended player on his roster.

Follow Paul Imig on Twitter.