Mar 7, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (left) speaks during a press conference as owner Jim Irsay looks on during a press conference to announce Manning

NFL Rumors: Colts wanted to draft Ryan Leaf over Peyton Manning

You may recall back in 1998, both Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf were the interchangeable number one pick in the NFL Draft. The Colts eventually selected Manning out of Tennessee and the San Diego Chargers, picking second, selected Leaf.

Manning of course has went on to have a Hall of Fame career while Leaf is quite possibly the biggest draft bust in NFL history.

But how different would things have been if not for Leaf’s reluctance to play in Indianapolis, who according to power agent Leigh Steinberg, wanted to draft the Washington State product.

Leaf wasn’t interested in playing for the Colts according to Steinberg and did everything he could to sabotage their interest in him, including skipping a scheduled meeting with Indianapolis.

“No way do I want to play in Indianapolis,” he told me, referring to the Colts, who owned the No. 1 pick. Instead, because of the exceptional weather and the more laid-back lifestyle, he preferred the San Diego Chargers, who would go second.

“That’s fine,” I warned him, “but the way to achieve this is not exactly going to help your image. You’ll get a lot of criticism.” Ryan didn’t care about his image, though, only his destination.

Talk about a thin line between success and failure for the Colts.

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Tags: Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning Ryan Leaf San Diego Chargers

  • Padraigh Keogh

    If Leaf went to Colts, we wouldn’t have to have needed to draft Brees or Rivers. Maybe this is why Eli wouldn’t go to San Diego? Maybe Chargers would have a Superbowl by now. Who knows… Also, Brees wouldn’t have got injured with Chargers and wouldn’t have been released…thus New Orleans never won the Superbowl as they wouldn’t have him. Same goes for Manning and the Colts Superbowl win. He would also never have damaged his neck as that happened at Colts.