Several steps have been taken that would lead defensive lineman Johnny Jolly back to the NFL.
But he has several more to take, beginning with a face-to-face meeting with Packers officials.
Jolly was reinstated by the league after serving six months in prison for felony possession of codeine. The Packers still controlled his contract since he was a restricted free agent at the time of his initial suspension, and they restructured that deal recently to make a comeback more financially viable.
But Packers general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy want to hear from him first.
“The first step is for everybody to sit down and talk, that sort of thing,” Thompson said, via Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “We don’t have any answers. I don’t think anybody has all the answers. But we’re going to talk to the man and find out all the stuff that we can find out in terms of his obligations and that sort of thing.
“Johnny was a good football player for us. But let’s take this step by step.”
That Jolly could find a role after no playing since 2009 might say as much about the Packers as Jolly himself, and they’re being careful to cover themselves.
“As with any player, you go through a medical process,” McCarthy said. “We’ll go through all that. I think it’s important to go through all that before we get into how we feel. Johnny, I’ve always considered him one of our guys, and everybody knows what he’s been through. It would be great if this opportunity works out. But as an organization, we have a responsibility to go through the process.”
Jolly has taken all the right steps so far, but the Packers are reasonably making sure they check off every box before they bring him back.