A lot of Detroit Lions fans have been screaming that one of the team’s most underrated needs is a linebacker. Well, it looks like the team knows it. According to a report from ESPN’s Field Yates (via Mike Triplett), the Lions have hosted former Saints linebacker Manti Te’o for a visit:
Lions hosted Saints free agent LB Manti Te’o on a visit, per @FieldYates. Te’o had also scheduled a visit with the Raiders, per @RapSheet. Probably expendable in New Orleans because of depth at middle LB, but still a quality player.— Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) March 20, 2019
Te’o is a free agent after a somewhat successful two-year stint with the New Orleans Saints. When his career as a Charger never took off, Te’o came in and immediately was a starter for a burgeoning Saints defense. In his first year with New Orleans, Te’o played in all 16 games, started 10, and had 62 tackles and three passes defended. However, injuries limited his availability early in 2018, and later in the year the Saints only kept him around as a healthy scratch on game days.
Te’o, who does his best work as an inside linebacker, would provide nice depth on a Lions roster that doesn’t have much in terms of linebackers. He likely wouldn’t push Jarrad Davis out of a job immediately, but he’d provide depth and competition at the position, should the Lions decide to sign him.
As mentioned by Triplett, the Raiders also had interest in Te’o, but they decided to sign Vontaze Burfict on Tuesday, likely keeping them out of contention for the Notre Dame alum.