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Goodbye Manti Te’o

In which Lee offers the former Chargers linebacker a less than kind goodbye.

NFL: San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
NFL: San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
NFL: San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Adios, Manti Te’o.

The former 2nd round pick out of Notre Dame has signed a two-year contract with the New Orleans Saints this morning.

Thank God.

Often embattled, whether it be due to the copious number of injuries he suffered, or due to his inconsistent-if-not-borderline awful level of play (aka “he would have been a star if every week was Week 1”) or just surface level blandness, Te’o was either beloved by the Chargers fanbase (likely those eager to stuff him into a “Junior Seau”-sized narrative coffin because their last names rhyme and because they’re both ethnically similar, though Manti Te’o is Hawaiian and Junior was Samoan) or reviled for just being not good.

Manti Te’o joins the litany of draft picks made by the John Spanos/Tom Telesco “brain trust” that have yet to pan out for the Chargers for all kinds of reasons. Te’o’s inability to turn into a star (no matter how may ham-fisted “accolades” like Team Captain-ship were force fed to him publicly) is compounded by the fact that the team traded away a 4th round pick in 2013 to move up into the 2nd round and take him (effectively resetting his draft stock/value to the “late 1st round pick” level).

That Te’o has been replaced by a 5th round pick (Jatavis Brown), a UDFA (Korey Toomer) and hopefully a 4th round pick (Josh Perry) should not be lost on fans, and especially not on the front office personnel who made that deal in the first place.