NFL to reinstate Johnny Jolly

Updated: February 28, 2013, 12:33 PM ET
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, will be reinstated effective Monday, the league said.

Jolly

The Green Bay Packers still hold Jolly's rights. At the time of his suspension he had been tendered by the team with a one-year, $2.521 million offer. That tender would remain the same once he's reinstated, but it's likely he would have to restructure his contract to remain with the team.

Jolly, who was a starter for the 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 trauma of being in jail. A Houston judge granted him 10 years of shock probation in May 2012.

The 30-year-old Jolly, who has battled an addiction to codeine, told the National Football Post in June 2012 when he applied for reinstatement that he had been sober for eight months and takes regular drug tests. He said he worked out regularly in prison.

"I know that the NFL doesn't need me," Jolly told the website. "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 grew up in Houston, was a sixth-round draft pick of the Packers in 2006 after playing at Texas A&M.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.