McCarthy wants to have Guion back

Ryan Wood
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Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion sacks Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez at Lambeau Field in November 2014.

INDIANAPOLIS - Letroy Guion is back in Green Bay and being "monitored" by the Packers, coach Mike McCarthy said Thursday afternoon.

McCarthy said he's spoken with Guion "a number of times" since the defensive tackle's drug arrest Feb. 3. Guion was charged with felony drug possession and carrying a gun in commission of a felony after being found with 357 grams of marijuana in his hometown of Starke, Fla.

"Obviously, players, all of us, the decisions you make off the field you're totally responsible for," McCarthy said. "I think he's accepted full responsibility."

The Packers signed Guion as a free agent from Minnesota last offseason, and he responded with a career-high 3.5 sacks. More than numbers, Guion anchored the middle of Green Bay's defensive line when tackle B.J. Raji's torn biceps ended his season in August.

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers said multiple times the Packers were fortunate to have Guion when Raji went down. Multiple times, MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers said Guion was one of his favorite teammates, a large presence in the locker room and on the field. The appreciation went both ways. Guion referred to Green Bay as "football heaven," crediting the Packers for pulling out the best of him as a player.

The Packers were in contract negotiations before Guion's arrest. They still have interest in the free agent, McCarthy said.

"I stand by what I said during the season, after the season," McCarthy said. "I thought he was an impactful personality and played good football. I'm hopeful that we get past this, and the monitoring gives us the green light to go forward, but I'd love to have Letroy back."

Packers general manager Ted Thompson has a history of offering second chances. Most notable, defensive lineman Johnny Jolly returned to the team three times after drug arrests.

For his personality and passion for the game, Guion has drawn comparisons to Jolly from teammates. A second chance with the Packers would be one more similarity.

On Thursday, Thompson wasn't ready to quit Green Bay's relationship with Guion. Right now, he's staying noncommittal, allowing due process to unfold.

"There's a lot of water that will have to go under the bridge before we can figure all that out," Thompson said. While speaking with media at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. "We'll defer that question. That'd be speculation."

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