Ryan Leaf is one of the (too many) poster children for the story called: Pro Sports Fall From Grace. Leaf's personal downward spiral, which saw him exit the NFL after just three seasons, is thrown into sharp relief by the enduring success of his exact contemporary: the year (1998) Leaf was the #2 pick in the NFL draft, the #1 pick was Peyton Manning. Leaf hasn't played an NFL game since 2001. Manning will report to work this Sunday for Super Bowl 50.
So Leaf always has Manning as a sort of reverse doppelganger to look at -- an image of what-might-have-been. But Leaf's real life doppelganger is a much younger guy. The troubled and newly agent-less Johnny Manziel -- aka Johnny Football, the Heisman Trophy winner who bombed out of Cleveland. Leaf, whose off-field troubles with drugs landed him in jail more than once, told ESPN's The Afternoon Show that he watching what's happening with Manziel is like "a mirror for me." Leaf has hard-won advice for Manziel that has a real expiration date: "Asking for help may be the strongest thing you could ever do."
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