According to Brad Biggs of the National Football Post, Johnny Jolly has applied for reinstatement by the NFL. Jolly told Biggs he’s been sober for 8 months. Jolly, formerly with the Packers, was arrested for possession of codeine, a painkiller Jolly says he was addicted to. Jolly, now 29 years old, believes he’s ready to re-enter the NFL, but should he?
For my short answer, I’ll simply say yes. Jolly should re-enter the league, and Roger Goodell should allow the defensive tackle back in the NFL, even if it’s understood that Jolly would be on a short leash.
The simple truth here is that I truly do believe in second chances, even if more times than not they end in failure. Johnny Jolly is no exception, and I see no reason why the NFL shouldn’t allow him back in the league. Jolly has paid his debt to society following his arrests, and he believes he’s able to stay clean. Whether I believe him or not is irrelevant in the matter. No one knows Jolly better than himself, and he clearly believes he’s a better person now.
In 2009, when Jolly last played, he played in all 16 games for the Packers. He did the same back in 2008. Clearly a drug addiction derailed his career, and there’s always a threat that it could happen again. Equally as clear is the fact that Jolly can play and play well. Too often we put people that have made big mistakes in the past into a corner and hope they stay quiet. There’s no reason Jolly shouldn’t get another chance, and the NFL should oblige.