It took a little while for former Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Manti Te’o to catch on with a new team, but it appears he has found one.
Te’o, drafted in the second round out of Notre Dame in 2013, will reportedly sign a two-year deal with the New Orleans Saints.
Te’o was considered to be a high first-round draft pick after finishing second in the Heisman race during his senior season, but then news broke of a fake girlfriend hoax and his draft stock began to tumble. The Chargers were the team to take a chance on him.
Though he couldn’t be considered a complete bust, Te’o was never able to reach his full potential with the Chargers, and that was due in large part to the fact that he had a difficult time staying in the lineup.
Te’o was unable to play all 16 games of a season in any year he was with the Chargers, including appearing in just three games last year before a torn ACL ended his season. He had 154 tackles, 1.5 sacks, one interception and one forced fumble in parts of four seasons with the team.
More from Bolt Beat
- LA Chargers: 3 early takeaways from 2021 minicamp thus far
- LA Chargers: Drue Tranquill takes a jab at Gus Bradley’s defense
- LA Chargers second-year players: Nothing to lose and a lot to gain
- LA Chargers: Why running back could be a big issue for the Bolts
- LA Chargers: Chris Rumph’s upside is Melvin Ingram-like, but better
The play of fifth-round draft pick Jatavis Brown last season made Te’o expendable, and the decision not to re-sign him was likely rather easy.
The Saints have been looking for a reliable option at the middle linebacker position for years. The team signed Craig Robertson last offseason and in addition to Te’o, former Carolina Panthers linebacker A.J. Klein was also signed through free agency this year.
Expect the three of them to compete for the starting position this offseason, but if Te’o can prove he’s fully recovered from his injury, there’s no reason why he can’t win that job.
As for the Chargers, the team will now turn to Brown and likely never look back at what could have been with Te’o.