Speculation has been strong during the offseason that Josh Brent would be attempting to return to the National Football League after he had paid the debt that he owed to society. That debt was satisfied on Tuesday when Brent completed his treatment at the Enterhealth Ranch facility in Van Alstyne, Texas. He was allowed to complete the final stage of his 180-day jail term at the facility. Other than fulfilling the 10 years of probation that he will be subject to, Josh Brent is now a free man.
The former Cowboy is attempting to start the next phase of his life off on the right foot by surrounding himself with a group of supportive people. He has moved in to a room at the home of David Wells, who has experience in working with troubled members of the Dallas organization. He has worked with the likes of Dez Bryant, Pacman Jones, and Michael Irvin. Regardless of what people like you and I may think of Wells, many troubled ball players trust the former bail-bondsman-turned-millionaire to help steer them straight. That is what is important. Josh needs someone whom he can trust in and who will provide a firm guiding hand.
Wells' former protege, Michael Irvin, is also lending support to help out Brent. He and Nate Newton, another Cowboy that had some issues to deal with, have been enlisted by Wells to pay it forward by standing strong beside Brent as he attempts to work his way back into society. Both have experienced the unique pressures that come from dealing with off the field issues while being in a high profile situation, and they can serve as mentors for Brent. The hope is that they will help Josh avoid the setbacks that they experienced.
The final piece of Brent's support team is Stacey Jackson, the mother of the deceased Jerry Brown, Jr. Ms. Jackson has been open and vocal in her support of Brent since immediately after the accident that claimed her son's life. She stood firm in her forgiveness and support throughout the court case; and now she is committed to be there as Brent moves on. Her support and forgiveness may be the most important piece as Josh attempts to rebuild his life. Wells made a wise choice to insure that she was a key player in the team.
Brent is now attempting to get himself in condition to return to the game. He is working out at an undisclosed facility in the Dallas area while he awaits a meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Gooddell. That meeting will determine if and when the retired lineman will be able to return to the game. The conference has not been scheduled as of this point, and it will have to occur before the team can formally proceed with any attempt to bring Josh back into the fold. Speculation is that the meeting will occur soon, and Wells has hinted that he knows that Brent will be back in a Dallas uniform this season.
Regardless of the outcome, Josh Brent has made a positive choice to surround himself with a support group that can help him to turn his life around. In the game or out, that is the important thing. Commissioner Goodell will decide if that life includes football or not, but it appears that Brent has made the decision to move forward in a positive way no matter what his fate may hold.