Johnny Jolly, the on again, off again defensive lineman for the Green Bay Packers has been mostly written off as a possible free agent signing over the past couple of days after the Packers signed Letroy Guion and Julius Peppers to the roster.
However, that doesn’t mean that he won’t be back with the Packers.
His agent reported today that Jolly is expected to be fully cleared medically in a couple of weeks and should be ready to jump into the free agency fray.
Jolly, who had off-season surgeries on his neck and hip, played well for the Packers last year – especially early on in the 2013 season when he helped lead the
Packers to a top five run defense. But that was before the injuries crept in for the once jailed Packer. The Packers slip from being a defensive powerhouse early last season to a sieve against both the run and pass can be tied directly to Jolly’s injuries and limited playing time.
But the real question is whether the Packers want him back. While he’s on the wrong side of 30, he is relatively fresh in that he missed three seasons because of his run-ins with the law. After turning his life around and being reinstated by the league, Jolly played well last preseason and made the Packers’ 53-man roster.
Will that be considered by Ted Thompson as he continues to rebuild the Packers’ roster this offseason? In addition to Jolly, the Packers also still have the options to re-sign defensive linemen Ryan Pickett and C.J. Wilson. The Packers clearly won’t be bringing all three of them back, considering they have already signed the aforementioned Guion and Peppers, as well as B.J. Raji.
Will it be Jolly, Pickett or Wilson who might be back? Or have the Packers sailed from that port and moved on altogether?
We will know within the next week or two where the Packers will move on these players. But at least the team now knows that Jolly, should they decide to re-sign him, will be medically ready to play.
Stay tuned …