Former NFL QB Ryan Leaf arrested on drug, burglary charges

Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf was arrested Friday in his Montana hometown of Great Falls on burglary and drug possession charges, police said.

The circumstances surrounding Leaf's arrest were not immediately clear. Great Falls Police Sgt. Dean Bennett, who confirmed Leaf's arrest, said Friday night that he had not seen a report detailing the allegations against the ex-football player.

Leaf was booked on felony charges of burglary of a residence and criminal possession of dangerous drugs, plus a first-time charge of misdemeanour theft, Cascade County Detention Center Officer Robert Rivera said.

Leaf was freed on $76,000 US bond and is scheduled to make an initial court appearance Monday.

Leaf, a former standout quarterback for Washington State, was the No. 2 pick in the 1998 draft behind Peyton Manning. But Leaf flamed out as quarterback for the San Diego Chargers, gaining a reputation as one of the biggest busts in NFL history.

There is no phone listing for Leaf in Great Falls. A message left at his parents' house was not immediately returned Friday night. It was not clear whether he had hired an attorney."

Last year, Leaf had surgery to remove a benign tumour from his brain stem and later underwent additional radiation treatments.

On March 21, Leaf told an Associated Press reporter in an email exchange that he had struggled through treatments and had an MRI scheduled for the end of the month, but "I'm doing/feeling much better and am excited for the rest of 2012."

Friday's arrest also raises the question of whether his arrest means the 10-year probation plea agreement he negotiated with Texas prosecutors stemming from drug and burglary charges in 2009 will be revoked.

James Farren, the Randall County district attorney who negotiated the 2010 plea agreement, did not immediately return a text message seeking comment on Leaf's arrest in Montana.

In 2008, when Leaf was a quarterbacks coach for Division II West Texas A&M, he was accused of burglarizing a player's home. An investigation turned up that Leaf had obtained nearly 1,000 pain pills from area pharmacies in an eight-month span.

He resigned that year, was indicted in 2009 and the next year pleaded guilty to eight felony drug charges. Besides the 10 years' probation, he was fined $20,000.

Last year, he authored a book titled "596 Switch" — the name of a passing play in the Washington State playbook — that focused on the 1997 season when he led the Cougars to their first Rose Bowl in six decades.