Ryan Leaf —arguably one of the NFL's all-time historic busts — and notably one of its most famous footnotes — was released from a Montana prison on Wednesday after more than two years behind bars, reported the Great Falls Tribune.
It's been 16 years since the great debate over who would be the 1998 No. 1 draft pick between Peyton Manning and the record-breaking quarterback out of Washington State but, if you imagine what each man was doing yesterday, sadly, you can see how far apart they are now.
Manning was taken No. 1 by the Colts and the strong-armed Leaf No. 2 by the Chargers. As Manning continues his assault on the NFL record books and has the Broncos primed for another deep playoff run. Leaf is starting yet another new chapter in his life — as an ex-con.
Leaf, who lasted three disastrous seasons in the NFL, went to prison after breaking into a house near Great Falls, Montana in 2012 in order to steal prescription pills.
A spokesperson for the Montana Department of Corrections told the Tribune that Leaf is now being supervised by probation and parole officers in Great Falls. The newspaper reported the ex-NFL player has already made his first appointment with his parole officer.
Leaf's legal woes date back to his stint as the quarterbacks coach at West Texas A&M when he was busted for robbing a player's house in 2008. The resulting investigation found that Leaf had illegally gotten his hands on close to 1,000 pain pills from area pharmacies.
He eventually plead guilty to multiple counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.
The Montana native started nine games as a rookie for the Chargers and despite his ideal physique — 6-3 and 245-pounds — was almost forgettable from the start.
A shoulder injury slowed him down in year two and after a second chance with the Cowboys in 2001, Leaf was done in the NFL after just three seasons.
His final NFL career numbers include a 4-17 record with 36 career interceptions.