Ryan Leaf calls out Bill Polian for his 'lie' about Colts pre-draft meeting with Leaf

Dec 28, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; Former NFL and Washington State Cougars player Ryan Leaf looks on
Dec 28, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; Former NFL and Washington State Cougars player Ryan Leaf looks on / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

25 years after the 1998 Draft, Ryan Leaf is criticizing Bill Polian for lying about an alleged pre-draft meeting between the Indianapolis Colts and Leaf.

In 1998, the Indianapolis Colts had the No. 1 pick in the draft. In desperate need of a quarterback, the Colts had to decided between two guys with prolific collegiate careers: Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf. As we know, Manning ended up going No. 1 to Indianapolis and becoming one of the greatest NFL QBs of all time, and Leaf went second to the Chargers and had an underwhelming career.

Recently, Bill Polian, Indy’s general manager at the time, was reflecting on the pre-draft process and recounted a story of one of the things that helped him and the Colts choose Manning over Leaf. Polian talked about how impressive Manning was during his combine meeting with the team, practically interviewing the team, and expressing his commitment to show up ready to work the day after the draft, regardless of the fact that it wasn’t allowed by the league.

Polian then juxtaposed Manning’s combine meeting with Ryan Leaf’s, explaining that Leaf was the polar opposite. Polian claimed that Leaf said he would be on a guys trip in Vegas the day after the draft before reporting to Indianapolis, if drafted by the Colts.

Obviously, it’s clear how that would endear Manning to a team over Leaf. The only problem is, that never happened according to Ryan Leaf. Jumping on Twitter to defend himself, Leaf had an impassioned reply, with some profanity sprinkled in, basically calling Polian’s story an unnecessary lie.

Ryan Leaf criticizes Bill Polian for draft story

On Wednesday, Leaf stepped in front of the camera to further denounce Polian’s story and to also speak his truth. In an appearance on Good Morning Football, Leaf emphasized that he doesn’t understand why Polian embellishes these stories, because the truth is interesting enough: Indy had to decide between two quarterbacks and the one they chose is arguably the greatest quarterback ever and the one they didn’t is arguably the biggest bust ever.

Beyond that, Leaf explained that he never even met with the Colts at the combine, a documented fact because it was a big story at the time. Leaf has spoken in the past about the trip to Las Vegas, and believes that’s where Polian got the idea to layer it into this story.

Ultimately, Leaf is comfortable with who he is and has accepted the way everything has unfolded, so he’ll be defending himself when people lie about him. He admits that he never met Bill Polian and doesn’t understand his angle, but is extending an open invitation for Polian to join him on his podcast and talk things out.

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