Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly was due in a Texas court Thursday on a felony charge of drug possession, but his court date was postponed until March 8.
The Green Bay Press-Gazette writes that the new date — requested by Jolly’s attorney — means the Packers “will have to apply his tender as a restricted free agent without knowing the outcome or whether he’ll be suspended the first four games next season.”
It’s surely true that the Packers would prefer to know the outcome of Jolly’s case before they decide how to proceed in free agency, but it’s not true that they “have to” do anything. If they’re concerned about his legal status, the Packers are free to move on without him and let him shop his services to 31 other teams.
The Press Gazette also writes, “If Jolly is found guilty, it’s a given he’ll be suspended the first four games of next season for violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy.” That’s not necessarily true, either; NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would make that determination at a later date.
But it is true that Jolly, who is charged with possession of at least 200 grams of codeine, could be facing an NFL suspension and prison time. In December, Jolly said, “I don’t worry about nothing. I’ve got God on my side.”
What may be more important is having a good lawyer on his side.