Johnny Jolly has a chance to resume his career in the NFL.
The NFL has reinstated the defensive lineman from suspension this week. Jolly tweeted out a letter informing him he is able to seek employment in the league again.
The Green Bay Packers retain the rights to Jolly, who has not played in three years following a series of arrests for possession of codeine. Jolly turned 30 earlier this month.
In June, Jolly told the National Football Post he had been sober for eight months and that he hoped to get a second chance from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. He applied for reinstatement at that time.
“I know that the NFL doesn’t need me,” Jolly said at the time. “I need it way more than it needs me. I really want to be a part of it and I am hoping to go back and show that I am a good reliable citizen that the league and others can depend on and trust.
“It was very hard and painful being in jail,” Jolly said. “Being away from your family, it hurt me bad. Everyone looks up to you is like … it hurts them too. It’s so hard to adjust. But when I was in there I learned that I had to find out who my real friends was, to sit down and go over myself and examine myself and see who I really was.
“I just want to show everyone that I am a reliable person and I am trustworthy and responsible,” he said. “I am willing to talk to kids and tell them about the things that I’ve went through, not only the kids but there might be other guys that might have a problem and I’d be able to talk to those guys as well.
“I am pretty sure a lot of guys have been through a lot of things, but I feel like I’ve got some experience with it, what I’ve been through. I can let these guys know ahead of time before they go down a road of destruction, to keep them on the right path.
“I just hope I can get a chance.”
His chance has arrived. Now, we’ll see if there is a club willing to give Jolly a chance, starting with the Packers.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune