Te’o, the 38th overall pick in the 2013 draft, has been hindered by injuries throughout his career. As a rookie in 2013, Te’o suffered a foot injury in the preseason which sidelined him for the first part of the regular season. In the following year, the linebacker missed six games due to a foot fracture. In 2015, Te’o missed four games as the result of an ankle injury.
All told, the Notre Dame product has managed only 30 starts in four years with the Chargers, and he hasn’t been especially productive. Still, he ranks as the No. 7 free agent linebacker on PFR’s updated list, mostly based on potential upside.
The Saints have remade their linebacker group a bit this offseason, adding middle linebacker A.J. Klein and outside linebacker Alex Okafor. The addition of Te’o would give New Orleans nine LBs in total, for the time being. It’s not clear how New Orleans will use Te’o given the presence of Klein and last year’s starting middle linebacker Craig Robertson. Robertson, in theory, could see time on the outside, allowing Te’o to play predominantly in the middle. Klein could also see some snaps at outside linebacker, but the inside is his best position.
Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (on Twitter) first reported that a deal was close.
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