Remembering Everything the Chargers Traded in Order to Draft All-Time Bust Ryan Leaf

San Diego Chargers quarterback Ryan Leaf dropping back to pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers
San Diego Chargers quarterback Ryan Leaf dropping back to pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers / David Madison/Getty Images

As the 2020 NFL Draft is less than 10 days away, experts and fans alike are thinking long and hard about the all the big trades that their favorite teams might make in order to move up and select a future star.

Of course, some of these major moves end up blowing up right in a team's face, and perhaps none was worse than when the Chargers traded up from No. 3 to No. 2, to ensure they would draft either University of Tennessee star Peyton Manning or Washington State product Ryan Leaf in the 1998 draft. Coveting both quarterbacks, San Diego was happy to snatch up whichever guy didn't go No. 1.

The Chargers swapped first-round picks with the Cardinals, but in order to seal the deal, they gave up not only that year's second-round pick, but their 1999 first-rounder as well. And the rest is history.

The Bolts thought they were getting a sure thing in Leaf, but boy, were they wrong. The first team All-American would only play three seasons with the team, throwing 33 interceptions to only 13 touchdowns in 21 games. Leaf was also a locker room nightmare for San Diego, and is perhaps best known for shouting at media members in his time with the team.

So, what did Arizona do with all that added draft capital?

Surprisingly, not much. They selected defensive end Andre Wadsworth, safety Corey Chavous and receiver David Boston with the 1998 first-round pick, '98 second-round pick, and the1999 first-rounder respectively. For the most part, however, these players all had at least modestly productive runs in the NFL. They certaintly did not have their careers crash and burn spectacularly like Leaf did.

Chavous would end up making a Pro Bowl and intercepted eight passes in 2003. Boston racked up over 1,100 yards twice in his eight-year career. Wadsworth was the only player who didn't really pan out, as he only racked up just eight sacks in his three years in the NFL.

It's safe to say that even though the Cardinals did not acquire any generational talents in the Ryan Leaf trade, they definitely added some solid talent that didn't set them back. That is something that the Chargers cannot say on their end of the trade. Not by a long shot.