Johnny Jolly receives plea deal in Texas

If only Johnny Jolly could have fared as well with Roger Goodell as he did with the long arm of the law.

The Green Bay Packers defensive end was allowed to enter a one-year pretrial diversion program in Harris County, Texas, after striking a deal with prosecutors that will keep him out of jail and if he successfully completes the program wipe a felony conviction off his record.

Jolly reached a plea agreement, according to Greg Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel instead of having to stand trial on charges he possessed more than 200 grams of codeine, something that could have led to as many as 20 years behind bars.

When it comes to football, he’s not doing so well. Jolly was suspended indefinitely by the NFL last month, ensuring he will not be able to play for at least the 2010 season. He will be allowed to apply for reinstatement in February.

Jolly, 27, was ordered by Judge Mike Anderson not to consume alcohol or drugs. He was ordered to perform community service and make public speaking appearances. Anderson wasn’t messing around with Jolly and informed him that he will be watching him.

Jolly is going to have to walk a fine line to meet the requirements of the court, and position himself for a return to the NFL at some point. Who knows at this point if he would be welcomed back in Green Bay, where he has been a productive player.

“I like Johnny, and I hope he comes through this OK,” general manager Ted Thompson said, according to Bedard. “We won't speculate on (his future with the club) right now. Johnny has a lot of work to do, and we have a lot of work to do here.”

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