Friday Apr 01

What Jolly's Flop Means for the Packers

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Jolly arrested for possession of codeine again.After Johnny Jolly was suspended by the NFL for drug charges, most fans were under the impression that Jolly was taking advantage of the extended offseason to turn his life around and prepare for a strong return to the Packers. With opportunities opening to reclaim his job in Green Bay, Jolly has found himself in trouble once again - the 28 year-old was arrested on last Friday and charged with possession of 600 grams of codeine with intent to distribute. 

Let me first point out that we don't even know if Jolly was necessarily part of the Packers' future plans in the first place. Even with Cullen Jenkins' likely departure via free agency, the Packers may have been comfortable with their depth at defensive line, with little intention to have him in green and gold again. Unfortunately, the Packers will certainly lose something from Jolly's flop. At the very least, they will lose valuable trade bait that could have helped replenish thinner areas on the roster. 

So, does Jolly's arrest change the Packers' plans in attempting to resign Cullen Jenkins? I really don't believe so. In my mind, there is no chance that Ted Thompson was banking on Jolly's return to satisfy the team's depth at defensive end. I think that the organization was moving forward with the idea that it would be a pleasant surprise to have Jolly back. That said, Jolly's definite absence from football will not push Thompson's hand in keeping Jenkins in Green Bay.


The removal of Jolly from the future equation at defensive end only means added pressure on young defensive lineman, Mike Neal. The second that Jenkins finalizes his decision to sign with another franchise, Mike Neal's name will be etched in as the starter at end opposite Ryan Pickett. Though the prospect of Pickett and Neal as the two everyday starters doesn't seem so bad, the line will be left with a dangerously low level of depth unless Thompson snags another lineman in the draft.

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+1 # Brady Augustine 2011-03-29 08:45
Totally agree that TT would have Johnny Jolly as a possible but not be depending on his return up to this point. When Mike Neal was drafted it didn't take long to see that a lot of what the Packer brass liked about him corresponded to what they liked about Jenkins...if this guy can stay healthy and learn, he might be better than Jenkins. But in no way is GB happy with their D-line depth right now. Last season was a big scare and almost a disaster. I think they will pick up another D-lineman in the draft.
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0 # Mike Davidsen 2011-03-29 09:06
Last season, DL became almost as thin as OLB. The Packers were forced to bring back Jarius Wynn, after having cut him in camp, as well as sign Howard Green. Provided that Justin Harrell's time in Green Bay is over, the Packers are right back to where they started, almost assuring a DL selection at some point in the draft. I guess you could say that the best DL class in a long time came at the right time.
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