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Johnny Jolly Will Get Paid

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Johnny Jolly Will Get Paid

But will it be the Packers writing the check?

Johnny Jolly has been nothing short of a revelation this season. Converting to the defensive end position in a 3-4 defense, just about the un-sexiest of jobs in NFL, could not have made Jolly happy last summer. But unlike Cullen Jenkins, Jolly never really aired any beef about the switch or the scheme, either in the offseason or earlier in the year. He's simply gone about the business of dominating. We saw hints of it in the preseason, but he has absolutely taken his game to the proverbial 'next level' this season.

Yes, he has his off-field issues to deal with. Yes, he's MAYBE in a contract year. (Depending on what happens with the CBA)

The Packers should pay the man.

Yes, Pickett deserves to get paid as well - but his replacement is on the roster in the form of B.J. Raji, who has looked more and more comfortable at the nose the last three weeks. Don't get me wrong - I'd love to have Pickett back at a Packer-friendly rate. But Jolly is just entering his prime and helps hold down a line that is currently part of the league's number one ranked run defense. He's made incredibly athletic plays almost routine. And behind him? Jarius Wynn has been nothing but solid and nothing close to special. The drop off is severe.

I know fans worry about the supposed attitude and the off-the-field stuff, but as Donald's Designated Driver puts it:

...having a player with a little (or a lot) of a nasty streak isn't the worst thing in the world for a defense.

Completely agree. Now if he could just be taught to NOT headbut people after the defense has just made a huge 3rd down stop, we'll be on our way.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (21) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Andyman's picture

I have liked Jolly since day one and I think it would benefit that defensive line (and the defense as a whole) to keep him around.

NickGBP's picture

Order of importance on the DL: Big Sexy, The Jolly Green Giant, Pickett (No good nicknames there). Pickett is last only because of the quality guy that we have behind him.

Chicago Hooligan's picture

I think we can call the transition to a 3-4 a success at this point. With that in mind, pay the guys who are performing well above replacement level in this system. Jolly is obviously worth more than Kampman now, unthinkable in previous years.

(PS. who needs Kevin Carter and Vonnie Holliday now? Tee hee.)

RockinRodgers's picture

As long as he isn't looking at jail time. Which I don't think he will. Do the Packers have the money to sign Colling, Jolly, Pickett and Colledge?

packeraaron's picture

CH - Actually, I'd love to have Holliday in the rotation behind Jenkins and Jolly. Can you imagine? Would certainly be better than Wynn or (shudder) Montgomery. I know I spent all offseason pining for Carter, but Holiday has really played well in Denver.

packeraaron's picture

RockinRodgers - yes, they have the money. And cap space will probably be a moot point after March.
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On a side note - you actually want them to resign Colledge? I guess if he comes dirt cheap...

Bearmeat's picture

He probably won't get jail time - his agent and lawyer will arrange for a hefty fine and some community service in a plea bargain before then. BUT, if he does plead no contest or something similar (I'm not a lawyer - and thus, not an expert on legal matters), Goodell will suspend him for a hefty chunk of time.
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TT does not sign players with attitude problems or legal problems. If the CBA is renewed and Jolly is a free agent, he won't be a Packer by march.

Jeff's picture

"TT does not sign players with attitude problems or legal problems. If the CBA is renewed and Jolly is a free agent, he won’t be a Packer by march."

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I don't think you can really say never. That might factor in signing a free agent, but Jolly's on the team already, so they know whether or not he's a good guy, anyway. The arrest is for codeine, nothing incredibly serious. I've never heard anybody question his attitude either.

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He's a great player and young to boot. Sign his ass.

Bearmeat's picture

I agree with you. I hope TT does sign him. We can't keep letting guys go forever, we need some vets with a winning attitude on board. It's been proven over and over again that teams can win with a couple "character risk" guys. Not saying Jolly is a bad guy, but an arrest is an arrest. It's only when there are too many "high risk" guys on board that a team implodes. (See Cincinatti circa 2005-2006).
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That being said, I'd be surprised if TT goes after extending Jolly. He usually seems to say "I can find cheaper and better in the draft".

D.D. Driver's picture

“TT does not sign players with attitude problems or legal problems"
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Koren Robinson?

wgbeethree's picture

NickGBP
Usually the best nicknames are the obvious ones. For Pickett how about ''The Fence''. Easy play on his name and the job of a NT and a fence is to keep things contained. I think it's pretty fitting.

I definitely hope Jolly is around next year and that his case is high profile enough to get that B.S. law changed. The way it is currently written is a complete travesty of justice. No one should be facing up to 20 years for having a small personal amount of drugs especially on a first offense. Jolly won't ever see hard time over it but I'm sure there are numerous innercity youths who couldn't afford quality legal representation who are. DDDriver has an excellent article on his blog about just how rediculous it is. To me it's the equivalent on the police finding a joint in your pocket and since you weigh 190 lbs charging you with possessing 190 lbs of pot. I can not explain how much that law makes my blood boil!

manolito's picture

Pickett already has a nickname, the WTMJ guys use it all the time. He's referred to as "Grease" by his teammates.

Oppy's picture

no one on the coaching staff questions Jolly's talent- word is they've all been excited about his potential from the first few days he arrived in Green Bay a few short years ago- but it's been rumored they have been worried about his commitment and dedication to the game of football.
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In other words, the kid can play- but they fear football is only a tool for him to get paid.. And once he's paid, they think he may just quit working for it- ala Shaun Rodgers (plays when he feels like it), Cleditus Hunt(Got contract and flat out quit working), etc and so forth.
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Only time will tell with Johnny Jolly. His play has warranted a big contract ONLY if he continues to work to improve and compete at a high level. Wish the Packers had a crystal ball.

Oppy's picture

manolito, you are correct.
Occasionally, they go so far as to call him "Big Grease". Apparently, sometimes the Packers players feel the need to state the obvious.

AdamInEngland's picture

“TT does not sign players with attitude problems or legal problems”

As well as Koren Robinson who DDD pointed out, there were some questions about Raji pre-draft.

Bearmeat's picture

DDD - You are right about Koren. I think Oppy makes a relevant point here:
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"no one on the coaching staff questions Jolly’s talent- word is they’ve all been excited about his potential from the first few days he arrived in Green Bay a few short years ago- but it’s been rumored they have been worried about his commitment and dedication to the game of football."
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That's what I question as well. Koren's problem was an addiction, not football work ethic. Raji's problem, if I remember correctly, was academic ineligibility, not football. And besides that, Raji fixed his problem by the next year.
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All this makes me think TT hopes Wynn develops, and drafts another guy behind him. I'd bet Jolly's gone by February if there's a renewal of the CBA.
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A side point here: This entire conversation is probably moot for another 2 years, as if looks like 2010 will be uncapped and thus, rookie signings will go from 4 to 6 years anyway.
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However, that just prolongs the debate in point. Again, I'll defer to Oppy: "Wish the Packers had a crystal ball."

DaveK's picture

I do think they work out the CBA. It is just too big a pie for them not to figure out how to split it. In the short term, that is bad news for the Packers as they will simply have a roster full of starters that may be free agents: Collins, Bigby, Jolly, Pickett, Colledge, Clifton, Tauscher, and Williams. Obviously you let some of this group leave but the Packers are probably unique in that they could have so many starters up for free agency. Plus, TT has to make decisions on injured players Spitz, Kampman, and Harris. It will be an interesting off season to see how it plays out.

I do think Collins gets the franchise tag if the CBA is worked out. The tag for safeties is cheap in comparison to other positions and it gives TT the summer to work out a long term deal with Collins.

retiredgrampa's picture

Sometimes you can over-think a problem. What it boils down to is that Jolly has done a fine, inspiring job at DT. He plays with passion which his position demands. These guys don't grow on trees. He will star on another team. He is less risk than a rookie. SIGN HIM NOW!!

Dilligaff's picture

I have bad feelings about Jolly, if he signs that big contract with all that guaranteed money, he will become fat, slow and happy. He is just a big risk that can go either way, face facts, he is playing for his life this year, he will only get worse once that contract is signed.

PACKERS's picture

IMHO it sounds like you uderstated the off-field issues. I heard that he could get up to 20 years for all of the charges he's facing.

Oppy's picture

In regards to my comments on the coaches' perceptions of Johnny Jolly, Coach Trgovac is calling me a liar!
http://www.packers.com/news/stories/2009/12/31/1/
;)

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