The prosecution is saying Johnny Jolly "bought, sold, funded, transported and aided in the buying, selling, funding and transportation of illegal narcotics including cocaine and marijuana" in Harris County from 2006 through May 2008.
It seems as though this may be an unfortunate side effect of Jolly's looking to not receive any punishment from the league by pleading guilty to any lesser charges.
Per Greg A. Bedard from the Journal-Sentinel, "Jolly has had – and I’m pretty sure still does – multiple opportunities to plead his codeine charge out for much lesser charges but has chosen not to do so at every turn. Likely because Jolly knew he’d get suspended if he pled guilty to anything under the personal conduct policy. Jolly rolled the dice but not making this thing go away quickly, taking his medicine from Roger Goodell and just getting on with his career. By going to trial, Jolly risked other things coming up as the prosecution prepared for trial. Whether these allegations are true or not, Jolly evidently lost on that gamble because if he would have pled out, the only thing most people would think about Jolly is that he made a stupid decision two years. Now he’s viewed in a whole new light."
Bedard answers all kinds of questions surrounding the case here, but the most important one is this:
Q: Did the Packers have any clue that allegations of drug dealing could be connected to Jolly?
A: This, I think, is a huge and very important question. If the Packers knew about these allegations and thought they had any merit, why is Jolly still a member of the team let alone receiving a first-round tender at $2.5 million? If the Packers did know, did they just turn the other way and hope no one found out so their on-field team would be better?
I don’t know and I’m not sure we’ll ever know.
Circumstantial evidence – the drafting of Mike Neal and C.J. Wilson, and moving Ryan Pickett to left end – could be taken as a sign the Packers thought they could be without Jolly for sometime.
But I talked with eight veterans in the locker room on Wednesday and seven said they had never heard a single rumor about Jolly and drugs. If most of his teammates didn’t know, how could the Packers? That is entirely possible. But the Packers, like every other team, employ security personnel that are at least supposed to have some idea about what their players are up to off the field.
One player said he had heard the rumors and thought the Packers had to have some clue.
So, like I said, we don’t know, and I’m not sure we’ll ever know.