Ryan Leaf pleaded guilty to felony drug possession and burglary charges today in Montana as part of a deal that will see him serve nine months in a treatment facility, followed by six more months in a pre-release center.
Leaf, the No. 2 overall pick in the 1998 NFL draft, told a judge today that the drug treatment is exactly what he wants.
“I’m very much looking forward to that opportunity,,” Leaf said, via the Great Falls Tribune. “An intensive nine months in a rehab facility is what’s presently needed at this point.”
Although Montana authorities are expected to suspend the remainder of Leaf’s five-year sentence if he does what’s asked of him in treatment and pre-release, that doesn’t mean he won’t serve significant time in prison. Leaf was already on probation in Texas for similar crimes related to stealing prescription painkillers, and Texas authorities may sentence him to up to 10 years in prison for violating his probation. A determination on his status in Texas is expected to take place next month.
Leaf has been in jail since the second of his two arrests this year for breaking into homes and stealing painkillers. He has said he became addicted to painkillers he took for injuries he suffered during his football career.