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Friday, March 25, 2011
Johnny Jolly might be out of chances

By Kevin Seifert

News of Johnny Jolly's latest arrest makes it hard to imagine Jolly returning to the NFL, let alone the Green Bay Packers, in 2011.

Jolly
According to police in Houston, Jolly was arrested Friday morning after police officers found 600 grams of codeine in his car during a traffic stop. The substance is the main ingredient in a narcotic known as Purple Drank, and the charge is similar to the one that ultimately got Jolly suspended for the 2010 season.

To avoid a trial on the first charge, Jolly agreed to "pretrial diversion." According to the Associated Press coverage of the agreement, it was "a form of probation that will have the charge against him dismissed in a year if he doesn't break the law and completes other requirements, including 160 hours of community service."

Jolly hadn't reached that one-year watermark, presumably re-activating the original charge on top of the new one. It's always risky to predict the course of a legal situation, but jail time seems awfully likely.

This winter, Jolly applied for NFL reinstatement. Coach Mike McCarthy said earlier this week that July was "definitely" in the team's plans if NFL commissioner Roger Goodell lifted the suspension. Given the latest development, it's hard to imagine Goodell feeling compelled to do that.

The Packers weren't necessarily counting on Jolly in 2011, but it was hoped that his return could help alleviate the expected loss of defensive end Cullen Jenkins. The Packers have two young players in Mike Neal and C.J. Wilson who will compete for the starting job.

It's hard to say at this point if Jolly, 28, has completely trashed his career. Goodell has allowed multiple offenders back into the league before. But it's not looking good right now.