Johnny Jolly's latest boneheaded decision to use and possibly sell codeine has unequivocally ended his playing career with Green Bay. A second suspension from the NFL wouldn't be out of the question, but the greater question is whether he'll be able to avoid jail time after his second offense... and there's absolutely no reason to keep him on the roster now.
First, The Goners:
Cullen Jenkins, #77, DE: 6'2", 302 lbs. Age: 30.
Jenkins, one of the team's few remaining players from the Mike Sherman era, will almost certainly leave the Packers in free agency. He's played out the four-year contract he signed in 2006, and while he nearly always had some sort of nagging injury, Jenkins registered a career-high seven sacks this year while starting just eight games. In addition, profootballfocus.com judges that he had the second-highest percentage of pressures per rush of any interior lineman. The Packers have shown little interest in re-signing him, and he can play virtually any position except nose tackle (since 2006, Jenkins has played as a 4-3 DE, 4-3 DT, 3-4 DE and 3-4 nickel rusher). Jenkins will get a huge payday someplace, and the Packers seem content to move on with whom they have.
Justin Harrell, #91, DE: 6'4", 315 lbs. Age: 27.
The Big Names
B.J. Raji, #90, NT/Nickel Rusher: 6'2", 337 lbs. Age: 24
Ryan Pickett, #79, DE: 6'2", 340 lbs. Age: 31
Howard Green, #95, DE: 6'2", 340. Age: 32
Mike Neal, #96, DE: 6'3", 294 lbs. Age: 23
The problem is that Neal couldn't stay healthy. After a solid training camp, Neal suffered a rare abdominal injury and was out for the first three games of the season. He forced a fumble in the fourth game (Detroit) and recorded a sack in the fifth (Washington), but injured his shoulder and went on injured reserve. It's a bit early to call him injury-prone, but, well... The Packers appear to be counting on him to replace Jenkins, which he is completely able to do, in my opinion. But if he never gets on the field, the Packers better have a backup plan before the season starts.
C.J. Wilson, #98, DE: 6'3", 290 lbs. Age: 23
Jarius Wynn, #94, DE: 6'3", 285 lbs. Age: 24
Beaten out by Wilson for the last spot on the line in 2010, Wynn was resigned almost immediately after Harrell tore his ACL in the first game. He's hung around the Packers for two seasons now but hasn't shown all that much; he's not stout against the run, and while he does have some pass-rush capability (he recorded the only sack of Brett Favre in the first Vikings game), Wynn simply appears too light to play as a 3-4 DE. He'll hang around in training camp this year, but if the Packers draft a DE (as seems likely), Wynn will be the first one to get cut.
Sum Up: What To Do?
The Packers will have a passel of decent players (Pickett, Wilson, Green) on the line, but if Neal gets hurt, this would be a pretty nondescript group except for Raji. Neal and Pickett are penciled in as the starting 3-4 DEs, but drafting another player with pass-rush capability would enable this line to dominate opposing offenses. I've come around to the idea of 'drafting to a position of strength'; the Packers aren't exactly weak on the line, but by beefing up their depth here they could conceivably be unstoppable. Adding a player like Corey Liuget, Phil Taylor, Cameron Heyward or J.J. Watt could do that.