Leaf skips camp, tells new team that he's retired

Tuesday, January 1, 2002

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Ryan Leaf, the second overall pick in the 1998 draft, has decided to end a career marred by clashes with fans, teammates and team executives and marked by ineptitude on the field.

Leaf, who signed with Seattle in the offseason, didn't show up in camp on Thursday with the rest of the team's quarterbacks. Team spokesman Dave Pearson said he had told the Seahawks he was "retired."

In four seasons, Leaf appeared in 25 games, making 21 starts. He completed 317 of 655 passes for 3,666 yards, with 14 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. He had a dismal quarterback rating of 50.

Leaf not only failed to perform on the field but also alienated teammates and the media with frequent tirades, blaming others for his problems.

The 26-year-old Leaf signed with the Seahawks in May, a day after being released by the Cowboys.

Elsewhere

  • DOLPHINS: The team has begun talking with agents for running back Ricky Williams about a new contract.

    Team officials met for about an hour Thursday with agents Leigh Steinberg, Jeff Moorad and Warren Moon, the former NFL quarterback. When the Dolphins traded for Williams in March, Steinberg said he wanted a new deal.

    LIONS: Detroit officially opened its new $36 million practice facility Friday, hoping to forget its 0-12 start and 2-14 finish in its first season under coach Marty Mornhinweg and president Matt Millen.

    CHIEFS: Dick Vermeil opened his second training camp as Chiefs coach Friday with a handful of key newcomers -- left tackle Willie Roaf, kicker Morten Andersen and wide receiver Johnnie Morton.

    But defensive tackle Ryan Sims, their first-round draft pick is locked in a contract dispute. Also missing from Friday's opening workout was Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez, who continues to hold out.

    REDSKINS: Defensive lineman Daryl Gardener, who arrived in Carlisle, Pa., late Thursday, had a workout with coaches Friday and stayed to watch part of morning practice.

    BROWNS: While waiting for first-round draft pick William Green to sign a contract and report to training camp, the Browns signed running back Autry Denson to a one-year contract Friday.

    COWBOYS: The Cowboys signed No. 1 pick Roy Williams and the rest of their top-four selections Friday, and will have all nine of their drafted rookies on the field for their first practice. Also signed were second-round picks center/offensive guard Andre Gurode and receiver Antonio Bryant, and third-round pick cornerback Derek Ross.

    FALCONS: T.J. Duckett, the No. 1 draft pick of Atlanta, missed his second day of training camp Friday because of a contract dispute.

    SAINTS: Former Georgia defensive end Charles Grant, and the second player picked by New Orleans in the NFL draft, agreed to a five-year deal Friday.

    -- From wire reports

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