We all are well too aware of the troubles that former Atlanta Falcons QB and now semi-free man and construction laborer Michael Vick has been through. Now we are getting word that former #2 pick in the 1998 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers, Ryan Leaf, is in some real hot water.
According to Canyon, Texas police, Leaf was arrested on suspicion of breaking and entering a home there to steal prescription painkillers. He also had tried to obtain them last year through a variety of physicians with incomplete medical evaluations.
Quite a long way from the PAC-10 Champion Washington State Cougars and the Rose Bowl, much less the number two overall pick in the draft and a chance at an NFL career with San Diego. Think the Indianapolis Colts made the right choice by selecting Tennessee's Peyton Manning with the first overall pick that year?
In the past there was former USC Trojan and Los Angeles Raider QB Todd Marinovich, who was drafted by the Raiders after his redshirt sophomore year in the first round (24th overall) of the 1991 NFL Draft, as the second QB taken in the draft and ahead of even some kid named Brett Favre. He took over as the starter in late 1991 and ended up playing his way out of the game in late 1992. He went through a ton of personal and legal problems, many focused on drugs or drug-related behaviors and was labeled by ESPN as the 4th biggest bust of their 25 Biggest Sports Flops (Ryan Leaf was #1).
Every Baltimore Colts fan knows of the legal troubles of the former QB out of THE Ohio State University, Art Schlichter. Schlichter was drafted by the Colts in 1982 and blew his entire signing bonus on gambling losses. By 1987, with a career passing rating of 42.6, he was arrested in a major gambling sting operation and was essentially banished from the league by then NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle.
Former Dallas Cowboys QB Quincy Carter was recently arrested on May 9th for a violation of his probation, as a result of drunken driving.
While there probably have been an equal or even larger number of issues with players in other position in the NFL, much less other major sports, the NFL QB stands alone in the limelight over any other player in any other sport. Therefore, when they do wander astray, they get the focus and attention of the media. Perhaps it's the new found fame, the big dollar contracts and the belief that they are untouchable and therefore comes the inability to handle that fame and fortune. Either way, these are all sad stories as most people would give their right arms to be in that position (maybe 'giving their right arm' is not the best analogy).
Hopefully, whether it ends up that Michael Vick is permitted to return to the NFL or the current crop of QB's are able to stay out of trouble, we just know a headline is looming in the not so distant future of who the next high profile NFL QB will be to cross that legal line of scrimmage.