After weeks of negotiations that at times appeared to be headed for impasse and as of last Tuesday a 50-50 chance that he’ll head to the hoosegow, former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf has reached a plea bargain regarding a variety of charges arising from Leaf’s effort to gather up pain pills.
But according to Brent Schrotenboer of San Diego Union-Tribune, the deal will not involve prison time, even though one of the charges — burglary — carried a maximum sentence of 20 years. Leaf’s reprieve in this regard comes from a decision by the victim, a player on the West Texas A&M team Leaf helped coach, not to push for a tougher sentence.
“The burglary would have been a bigger problem for us to agree to
probation, but it’s hard to proceed without a victim,” said Randall County, Texas prosecutor James Farren. “We try to give a
voice to [the] victim when we can. A lot of young men still look up to Mr.
Leaf, and I understand that.”
Leaf, the second overall pick in the 1998 draft, will be placed on probation for 10 years, and he’ll pay a $20,000 fine, if the judge accepts the plea deal at a hearing scheduled for next week.
Still, even if Leaf avoids prison now, he’ll need to dramatically change his ways, or he’ll inevitably end up residing in a room with a view that consists of peering through the spaces between steel bars.