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Manti Te'o Reportedly Nearing Contract with Saints After 4 Seasons with Chargers

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2017

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 11:  Linebacker Manti Te'o #50 of the San Diego Chargers gets set on defense against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half on September 11, 2016 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)
Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

Manti Te'o and the New Orleans Saints are in the final stages of agreeing to a contract and could close the deal Tuesday, ESPN.com's Dan Graziano reported Monday.

Te'o played only three games for the now-Los Angeles Chargers in 2016 after suffering a season-ending torn Achilles.

Injuries have been a problem for Te'o throughout his NFL career. The 26-year-old has yet to play a full season since the Chargers selected him with the 38th overall pick in the 2013 draft.

When he has been healthy enough to play, Te'o's on-field returns have been mixed. Pro Football Focus has given him overall grades of 50.4, 74.9, 34.8 and 38.3 in his four years in the league.

If Te'o were the only middle linebacker New Orleans added to a unit that ranked 30th in defensive efficiency, per Football Outsiders, then the move would be somewhat concerning. However, the Saints already signed another inside linebacker, A.J. Klein.

With Klein on board, the Saints would be able to pencil in Te'o as a reserve, a role that makes sense given his injury history.

Should Te'o stay healthy, he could be a nice bargain for New Orleans. In the event durability or performance issues crop up again, his signing shouldn't be a costly mistake for the team.

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