Former San Diego Chargers quarterback Ryan Leaf has reached a plea deal in the case against him. He was originally charged with breaking into a house and stealing prescription pain killers. The details of the agreement have not yet been disclosed.
Kenneth Olson, Leaf’s lawyer, requested a combined arraignment and change-of-plea hearing on these charges.
Leaf has not had a great life. The former super star quarterback for Washington State was the No. 2 overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. The big debate that year was whether to go with Leaf or Heisman runner-up Peyton Manning from the University of Tennessee. I think we can all agree the decision looks like a brilliant one by the Indianapolis Colts, and an unfortunate one by the Chargers.
Leaf proved to not have what it takes to make it in the NFL. He had the physical tools, but his attitude was terrible and cost him a career in the greatest league in the world. He was virtually un-coachable, fought with the media and threw his teammates under the bus. He was well-known for having a terrible work ethic, often hitting the golf course rather than putting in time. He had anger issues and was out of the league after the 2002 season.
He managed just four wins in three seasons with the Chargers, the team that made him the second overall pick. He has struggled with pain killer addiction since his retirement from the NFL. He’s been in and out of rehab and been involved with multiple crimes, ones usually involving pain killing drugs. He had a sweet gig at West Texas A&M coaching the quarterbacks, but after two years he was put on indefinite leave and subsequently resigned after asking a player for a pill.
Needless to say, Leaf is one of the sad stories in the NFL. However, it’s hard to feel sorry for a guy that seemingly threw everything away because of his poor attitude.
Leaf pleaded guilty to one count of felony burglary and drug possession and has been sentenced to nine months in rehab. The agreement also calls for a five year suspended sentence.
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