Te’o: Lost A Lot More Than A Girlfriend

ImageThe 2013 NFL draft is now in the books and now it’s time for all the analysis to begin. One of the biggest stories of the draft was the fact that Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel was drafted ahead of more well-known QBs such as Geno Smith of West Virgina or Ryan Nassib of Syracuse. That was followed by Geno Smith getting drafted in the 2nd round by the New York Jets who at the time had 6 QBs on their roster. This morning the Jets announced that Tim Tebow was being cut and basically sending a message to Smith that the quarterback job in New York is his to lose.

One of the most compelling stories of the draft was that Notre Dame linebacker, Manti Te’o, was skipped over in the 1st round and was picked as the sixth pick of the second round (38th overall) by the San Diego Chargers. Many analysts predicted Te’o to be a mid-first round pick, including two well known draft predictors Mel Kiper and Todd McShay. They picked Te’o to be drafted 20th and 25th, respectively.

English: Photo of Notre Dame linebacker Manti ...

English: Photo of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o taken in 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No contract information has been made public yet, however based upon past draft years, Te’o could lose around 50% of contract and endorsement deals by falling to the second round. Had he been picked in the first round he could have been making between $8-$9 million in guaranteed money over 4 years. Players in the 2012 draft that were drafted high in the second round only signed deals for around $3-$4 million.

Debates have already started as to why Te’o dropped so far in the draft. Could it be because of his lackluster performance in the national championship game? It may possibly be because of his uninspiring 40-yard dash times at the NFL combine. Although it most likely it has to do with his off field “Catfish” story which broke a few months ago. As reported by ESPN, many NFL teams who would have drafted him in the first round decided to pass on Te’o directly because of his off field issues.

Whatever the case may be, Te’o needs to perform in San Diego this year and if he does, his legacy won’t be about a fake girlfriend; it will be about a stellar NFL linebacker. Nevertheless, he will have to settle for a much lower contract due to a number of factors.

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