A pair of Green Bay Packers who have been, or very soon will be, on the oustide looking in, are front and center this week. Anthony Hargrove goes first. After attending his appeal hearing in New York before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday, the former New Orleans Saint lashed out at Goodell and the league for how the bounty scandal has played out. Hargrove is among 7 players and officials facing suspension over the Saints pay for performance and bounty for knockout or injuries to opposing players programs between 2007 and 2009. Head coach Sean Payton is already serving his one year suspension and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is on indefinate leave. General Manager Mickey Loomis and interim head coach Joe Vitt will start serving their sentences at the beginning of the regular season. Jonathan Vilma was given a one year suspension, Will Smith four games, ex-New Orleans linebacker Scott Fujita three and Hargrove, now with the Pack, 8 games. Fujita and Vilma lashed out at the league Monday but Hargrove was even more vocal for reporters on Tuesday. Hargrove was identified on a sideline video from the 2009 NFC Championship game in which Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre was knocked out of the game. The league believes Hargrove yelled, "Give me the money!", heard on the footage. Defiantley, Hargrove told reporters, "It wasn't me". "The NFL got their evidence all wrong," Hargrove said. "In their rush to convict me, they made a very serious error. Is it intentional? I don't know. But one thing I do know with absolute certainty, it was not me." The backlash is sounding awfully hollow because Williams never bothered to appeal his discipline and has given the league investigators details on how the bounty program operated. It's almost inconceivable that Goodell will reduce or eliminate the suspensions already handed out. Hargrove looked more like a rapping, town crier that nobody is going to listen to, or believe.
Then there's Johnny Jolly. Johnny wants to play. He wants to play for the Pack. The former 6th round draft choice in 2007 from Texas A&M was showing promise as an NFL linemen but he could not resist the lure of a street drug in his hometown of Houston. Four times Jolly was arrested for posessing codeine. Large quantities of the prescription liquid cough medicine that when mixed with certain sodas, becomes "Purple Drank" or "Shyzzurp". For violating the league's substance abuse policy, Jolly was suspended indefinately by the league. After not being a part of the Super Bowl 45 title team, Jolly first applied for reinstatement but two months later, was arrested again. He was sentenced to six years in prison but finished serving seven months in May. Now free but on serious probation, Jolly has applied a second time for reinstatement. He tells the National Football Post website that he's been clean for 8 months, understands the errors of his ways and wants to be part of professional football again. The Packers still hold Jolly's contractural rights but he hasn't been in uniform since Green Bay's 51-45 overtime playoff loss to the Cardinals in Arizona in January of 2010. That's two and a half years ago. While there appears to be sentiment for giving Jolly another chance, he is afterall, still 29 years old, my guess is the Packers are going to move on. That's if the reinstatement request is approved and the suspension lifted. Even with Hargrove facing an 8 game suspension and yet another defensive lineman, Mike Neal, facing a four game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy, leaving the team thin at the position, existing roster players and draft picks will pick up the slack.