Former San Diego Charger Ryan Leaf’s Agent Admits to Draft Manipulation

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A good 16 years later into Peyton Manning’s career, more controversy arises from the 1998 NFL Draft and Ryan Leaf.

Earlier this morning, Mike and Mike in the Morning had Leaf’s former agent Leigh Steinberg on, and he admitted that Leaf had manipulated the 1998 draft. Leaf’s desire to be drafted by the San Diego Chargers caused him to sabotage the Indianapolis Colts’ plans by missing meetings with the Colts. Therefore, forcing the Colts to draft Manning.

It’s really some crazy ex-girlfriend stuff.

Bobby Beathard, Chargers GM at that time, went on to offer more insight on the proceedings. Though seemingly confused, Beathard insisted that he liked Manning more than Leaf and that he even offered the Colts a package of high draft picks to get Manning. Beathard also insisted that he didn’t play into Leaf and Steinberg’s manipulation of the draft and the drafting of Leaf was purely his fault and a disaster from the start.

It’s always surprising when Leaf still makes NFL headlines when he has not played in over a decade. Leaf usually makes headlines around April when writers and bloggers alike compile lists of biggest draft busts of all time. Leaf is usually No. 1 while JaMarcus Russell comes up second. Some people like to live on the edge and say Russell is the biggest bust of all time, but even for Leaf that’s crazy talk.

And of course this story has to break out while the actual No. 1 draft pick in 1998 NFL Draft is playing in another Super Bowl, and the No. 2 draft pick is in jail.

Erwin Mendoza is a San Diego Chargers writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @erwinsports, or add him to your network on Google.


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