This weekend, Cody Young made a case for why the Chargers should re-sign inside linebacker Manti Te’o and Richard Wade made the case for why he should be allowed to walk.
Cody suggested that the leadership role played by Te’o was valuable enough to overlook some of his shortcomings as a player:
Of all the traits Manti Te’o has had called into question, his leadership ability has never been one of them. Going back to his collegiate days, Manti has always been able to get his teammates fired up. Players rally around him and look to him for words of inspiration. This is a quote from an anonymous AFC executive talking about Te’o’s leadership quality coming out of college.
"Leadership at that position, you put a premium on it. He can make calls and checks, communicate to the line and the secondary, get everyone lined properly. He can be the face of your defense. With his leadership skills, you know he’ll be respected. And at that position, you’re front and center, that intangible part Is important." – Unnamed AFC executive
Whereas Richard argued that Te’o had far too many actual weaknesses for them to be made up for by intangible qualities like leadership:
The only real argument in favor of Te’o is that he has become a leader on the Chargers’ defense, but the best season the defense has had during his career came in 2016 when he played only three games. Also, while leadership is not without value, it is significantly less important than the ability to play NFL-caliber linebacker. Te’o has the skillset of a backup with the upside of a mediocre starter. While he is theoretically approaching his athletic prime at 27-years-old, he is more likely approaching the time where he will be most grossly overpaid relative to his production.
What do you think? Should the Chargers re-sign Manti Te’o this offseason?