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Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Johnny Jolly applies for NFL return

ESPN.com news services

Defensive end Johnny Jolly, who hasn't played in the NFL since 2009 because of an indefinite suspension for drug charges, told a website that he has applied to commissioner Roger Goodell for reinstatement.

"I know that the NFL doesn't need me," Jolly told the 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, who has battled an addiction to codeine, said he has been sober for eight months and takes regular drug tests. He said he worked out regularly in prison.

"I'm in pretty good shape," Jolly told the website. "I would like to lose about 10 pounds. I'm probably at 332 right now, about seven pounds over my playing weight. I feel good. I am strong. My wind is up. I'm healthy, and my body feels great."

Jolly, who was a starter for the Green Bay Packers in 2008 and 2009, faced drug charges in Houston after his July 2008 arrest outside a club for possession of at least 200 grams of codeine. Jolly was then charged last year with possession of a compound containing codeine, a controlled substance, after a traffic stop in Houston in October. He also was charged with tampering with evidence for attempting to conceal the substance from the investigating officers.

Jolly was sentenced to six years in prison in November for violating terms of his probation but applied for shock probation, which allows convicts to ask to be released early on probation after experiencing the shock or trauma of being in jail. A Houston judge granted him 10 years of shock probation in May.

Jolly, who grew up in Houston, was a sixth-round draft pick of the Packers in 2006 after playing at Texas A&M.

If he does get a chance to return to the NFL, he told the National Football Post that he would like it to be with Green Bay.

"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."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.