Thursday, February 28, 2013

Will They Play For The Packers in 2013? Johnny Jolly and Jermichael Finley

It's been a long road to reinstatement for former Green Bay Packers DE Johnny Jolly. He was on the verge of making it back before the 2011 season but another arrest for codeine possession cost him two more years. It's now been reported that Roger Goodell has finally reinstated Jolly from his suspension and he can resume his NFL career.

The odd thing is that the Packers have to address the situation right away because Jolly was tendered a $2.521 million contract for the 2010 season, and that amount will be applied against their salary cap beginning March 12th. They own his rights, but probably not for long, because I would expect they'll release him instead of taking that cap hit.

The more interesting question is whether Jolly has a future in football. As Tom Silverstein points out, "Ted Thompson has been willing to give players a second chance." Aaron Rodgers has been supportive of Jolly in the past so Jolly hasn't seemed to have burned all his bridges. The first step is believing in Jolly and so far, at least Roger Goodell has bought into Jolly's rehabilitation. If he does find a team willing to invite him to camp on a veteran's minimum contract, no one will really know if he can play again after three years away from football until he steps onto the field.

And for what it's worth, Jolly was a better starter in 2009 than any other lineman who started in the Packers' base 3-4 defense last season, except for B.J. Raji. If Jolly can play just as well, and get himself back into football shape before the start of the regular season, he'd be a bargain at the veteran's minimum. Of course, those are some big assumptions.

And on one final note:
Not even TE Jermichael Finley knows his future with the Packers. He said he wouldn't take a pay cut, but who knows if that's talk or just his first offer. Otherwise, nothing's really changed except the Packers are keeping a tight lid on the roster decisions they discuss internally.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

It's reasonable to think the Packers will take a chance on Jolly as a minimum-salary camp body.

I remain pessimistic about the wisdom of having Finley in camp at almost any price. Talented teases are coach-killers, and I'd rather see the Packers start over at TE with someone else.