It's always hard to see talent wasted. But it happens. It happens far more often than not, and one case sadly stands out among the rest for NFL fans. That case is none other than the trouble of former number-two draft pick Ryan Leaf.
Leaf, who was barely beat out for the top spot in the 1998 draft by Peyton Manning, was the ultimate bust in the NFL and hasn't changed much within the past decade since he's been out of the sport.
Leaf's latest run in with trouble–or I guess we should say run-ins–have came within the last week. On Friday, March 31st, Leaf was arrested on burglary and drug possession charges at the parole office in his hometown of Great Falls, Montana. He posted a $76,000 bond at the Cascade County Detention Center.
The arrest was the result of a month-long investigation by the Central Montana Drug Task Force. The authorities were tipped off by the U.S. Postal Service, who told police that Leaf was "receiving suspicious cash-on-delivery packages from Florida valued between $500 and $700." They arranged a place to search his car and found oxycodone pills in his golf bag that an acquaintance later said were stolen from his home
"I've made some mistakes, and have no excuses," Leaf said a statement released by his publicist after this incident. "I am using the tools I've learned to move forward rather than backwards, and will be open to talking about the details in the days to come. I am confident that there will be further understanding when the facts are revealed, and feel very blessed for all of the support, especially from my friends and family."
Apparently, though, one mistake of this magnitude wasn't enough for Leaf as he was arrested again early Monday on accusations that he broke into another home outside Great Falls, according to Central Montana Drug Task Force Commander Chris Hickman.
According to Hickman, the home owners walked into the house Sunday afternoon to find a ''tall man with an athletic build'' inside. The man told the owners he had the wrong address and left.
The owners later discovered three bottles of prescription medication missing and phoned police. After describing his truck, his clothes and his ''shiny black loafers,'' they picked Leaf out of a photo lineup.
A search of Leaf's home turned up 89 hydrocodone pills loose in the pocket of a bathrobe, police said. Authorities do not believe those were the same pills that were taken from the burglarized home.
There has been no comment from Leaf's publicist or attorney at this time but the evidence itself points to some serious jail time in Leaf's immediate future. In addition to an eyewitness, the GPS data from Leaf's own vehicle showed that he was in the driveway during that time frame and that he was also in front of the homes of five to ten other houses in the vicinity.
These events, both of which happened within days, are the compilation of a lifetime of bad decisions for Leaf, a person who had all the talent in the world to make it big, but didn't have the sense enough to use it.
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