A pre-trial hearing for defensive end Johnny Jolly was postponed in Houston, Texas yesterday and that could leave the Packers in a spot when they must tender a contract offer to the restricted free agent by March 4. Jolly is charged with posessing at least 200 grams of codeine cough syrup which authorities say is mixed with soda to create a drug called "lean". He was originally arrested in July of 2008 but had the charges dropped, only to have the case refiled last year. If convicted, Jolly could face jail time and if he's found guilty, he would almost certainly face disciplinary action from the NFL, a likely 4 game suspension. With the pre-trial hearing not set for March 8, after the contract offer deadline, the Packers may not be sure how to proceed. If the Packers place a second round tender on Jolly, worth 1.75 million dolars, the team would receive a second round draft choice if another franchise signs him and the Packers decline to match. A lower tender would drop the salary to 1.1 million and the Packers would get a pick from the round Jolly was originally selected, a 6th. Jolly was productive last season, leading the defensive line with 75 tackles and batting a club record 11 passes down. He also had an interception.
It's one stop shopping. The NFL scouting combine is next week in Indianapolis. Over 300 draft eligible players will be poked, prodded, tested and interviewed by NFL general managers and scouts. Packers GM Ted Thompson has said the most valuable aspect of the combine is the opportunity to get complete medical dossiers on all of the players, an impossibility for teams to handle on their own. Next on Thompson's list is the chance to visit with and interview prospective draft choices. Thompson said the actual combine workouts only serve as bench marks to check with prior workouts of the players but the bulk of the scouting work based on their play as collegians last fall has already been finished.