The NFL finally released its decision on the Johnny Jolly situation. I think the thought with many of us was that a 4-6 game suspension will teach him a lesson. A season would be pretty substantial (put him among the likes of Vick) but a couple games might not really send the full message. Jolly has a bit of a checkered history with a few really stupid decisions but he seemed to do pretty well in 2009 and the would love to have him for depth for this upcoming season.
More about the suspension after the jump...The league must have felt that 4-6 games wouldn't be a substantial enough penalty though as a few sources are reporting that the NFL suspended Green Bay Packers defensive end Johnny Jolly without pay for the upcoming season and perhaps beyond for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Jolly’s suspension begins immediately and will continue through at least the 2010 season. He will be eligible to apply for reinstatement after the Super Bowl.
Ted Thompson was asked about it and had this to say:
"Johnny is a good player that loves everything about the game of football, we appreciate the contributions he has made to the Packers the past four seasons. His focus and priorities now lie elsewhere—our thoughts are with him during this difficult personal time."
Mike McCarthy released a statement as well:
"There’s a lot going on, and he needs to focus and make sure he has everything in line. These decisions that are going to be made legally will affect every aspect of his life, most importantly his personal life and then his professional life."
Reporters found Ryan Pickett who had the following to say:
"If this stuff doesn’t cause you to change, what will? All this stuff he’s going through—you’re missing practice, you can’t be around your teammates, that’ll make you feel isolated from the team. So if this stuff doesn’t change, then that’s an issue. I’m expecting him to be changed by this experience, definitely."
Jolly is 27 and was a key man in our DE rotation in 2009. Clearly with the 2010 draft the Packers were preparing for the worst by drafting TWO DEs even though many of us felt that wasn't a position of need. Clearly, in hindsight, we were very wrong as we now have lost a starter. This is a deathblow for Jolly though. After a season where most of us remember him for his worst play (against the Vikings) Jolly who is in a contract season now will not play in 2010 and will have a REALLY bad rap. It will be interesting to see if the Packers even offer him a contract after this season. Hopefully Neal pans out and can quickly fill in the gaping hole that we now have for next year. For Jolly not only does he have to miss the upcoming season but he still doesn't know where his case stands...rough days ahead for this guy.