Ryan Leaf: Where Are They Now?

Luis OrtizContributor IJune 21, 2009

10 Dec 2000:  Ryan Leaf #16 of the San Diego Chargers looks on from the sideline as the Baltimore Ravens clinched a playoff birth with a 24-3 defeat of the Chargers at PSINet Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. <<DIGITAL IMAGE>> Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger/ALLSPORT

Don't you ever think about some of yesterday's stars and busts, and where they are?

Are they just like the average joe? Did they save any of the big contract deals or bonuses and invest in the proper way?

Well, ladies and gentlemen, this will be my first of a series of weekly inquiries of famous to somewhat famous all-stars, starting off with everyone's famous "bust," Ryan Leaf.

Pullman, WashingtonThe Cougars had a promising young quarterback in Ryan Leaf, averaging 330.6 yards and throwing for 33 touchdowns, setting a PAC-10 record that year. Leaf was one of the finalists for the Heisman trophy.

1998In the NFL Draft, San Diego Chargers traded up from the third pick to the second pick to assure they would get one of the two quarterbacks that year. One was Peyton Manning (whom Charger fans still wish they'd gotten to this day), and the other was Ryan Leaf.

On draft day, Leaf was selected second and was signed to a four-year, $31.25 million contract and a $11.25 million "guaranteed signing bonus." Right before the season started, Leaf was quoted as saying, "I look forward to a 15 year career, a couple of trips to the Super Bowl, and a parade through downtown San Diego."

Well, none of that ever happened. He started off his career by skipping out on a rookie mandatory meeting "symposium" that led to Leaf getting fined. 

That was just the start of his downward spin. 

After 10 games as a starter, Leaf had two touchdowns and 15 interceptions with a passing rating of a horrible 39, missing the entire second season on injured reserve.

Leaf still managed to make headlines by arguing with the general manager and coaching staff, which he was fined for again and suspended for four games. While serving the suspension, he was spotted in Ocean Beach playing flag football, "a breach of contract," and the Chargers got back $2.25 out of the $11.25 million signing bonus.

Leaf's career went a couple more years, joining the the Bucs, Cowboys, and ending with the Seattle Seahawks, and each team thought they could develop him slowly by making him watch and learn.

Injuries didn't let him excel, retiring at the age of 26.

Leaf spent a couple of years at West Texas A&M as a quarterback coach. Leaf, now 33, was recently indicted on one count of burglary, seven counts of obtaining a controlled substance, and one count of delivery of a controlled substance.

Leaf had a warrant for his arrest after failing to appear. Yesterday, Leaf turned himself in to Texas Authorities to face burglary and drug related charges.