Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf will be spending as many as 15 months locked down in Montana. First he will be placed in a secure drug treatment facility and then he will be in a pre-release living center.
Ryan Leaf pleaded guilty to breaking into a house and illegally possessing painkillers which were not prescribed to him. District Judge Kenneth Neill sentenced Leaf on Tuesday to seven years with the Department of Corrections. He will have two years suspended if he abides by all of the conditions.
Ryan Leaf was taken number 2 overall by the San Diego Chargers in the 1998 NFL draft. Throughout his rocky and short-lived professional football career, Leaf earned the reputation of being one of the biggest busts in NFL history.
Leaf’s struggles with painkillers reportedly began years ago and has persisted despite treatment efforts put forward in the past. He relapsed after going through chemotherapy for a brain tumor.
When his attorney tried to accredit past NFL injuries to the source of his problems, the former quarterback dismissed his attorney’s claims and said that he has simply been “lazy and dishonest.”
Treatment at the Nexus Treatment Center in Lewistown will hopefully get Ryan Leaf on the road to recovery. “If he is successful in treatment and dedicates himself to helping others, he has great potential to do that,” Leaf’s attorney Kenneth Olson said. “The fact is Ryan is at a very serious crossroads in his life.” Olson added that Leaf’s family members fear he may take his life if his addiction problems are not fixed.