Manti Te’o Net Worth, Early Life, Career, & Incident of Cat Fishing?

American professional football player Manti Te’o has a $3.5 million net worth. During his career in the NFL, Manti played for groups including the Chicago Bears, the New Orleans Saints, and the San Diego Chargers. Te’o played college football at Notre Dame before this. His contract with the Bears expires in 2021, terminating his linebacker career. We detail Manti’s famed catfishing incident later in the piece, which may have cost him an expected first-round draught pick. He was ultimately selected early in the second round. He did lose millions of dollars due to this slip.

There are more specifics on this later in the essay. Manti’s overall salary during his NFL career was $10.4 million. In August 2022, Manti made his Netflix debut in a documentary where he finally revealed his side of the famed catfishing tale. Manti received a lot of appreciation for how he appeared, how he handled the matter, and how he forgave the person who had perpetrated the fake.

Manti Te’o Net Worth

Net Worth: $3.5 Million
Date of Birth: Jan 26, 1991 (31 years old)
Gender: Male
Height: 6 ft (1.85 m)

Manti Te’o Early Life

On January 26, 1991, Manti Malietau Louis Te’o was born in Laie, Hawaii. He received multiple accolades while playing high school football at a prestigious school in Hawaii during his formative years. These accolades in 2007 included Gatorade State Player of the Year and State Defensive Player of the Year. Manti amassed 400 rushing yards, 90 tackles, five sacks, and ten touchdowns as a running back this season (his junior year). Colleges and recruiters around the nation were immediately interested in this.

Before his senior year started, Te’o had already earned many college offers. He had 129 tackles, 11 sacks, and four touchdowns and led his high school to its first-ever state victory that year. The fact that he returned a blocked punt for a touchdown was a particularly noteworthy play. Manti received numerous awards for these accomplishments, including his second Gatorade State Player of the Year title.

He enrolled at the University of Notre Dame in 2009 after high school. Then, during his freshman season, he participated in all 12 games and had 63 tackles. He was named a Freshman All-American for his excellent start. He changed positions from outside linebacker to inside linebacker during his second season. He registered 133 tackles throughout the season.

Additionally, it set a career-high that he would never surpass. He followed up the following year with 128 tackles and further accolades. He made 103 total tackles during his senior year, which helped Notre Dame rise to the second-best scoring defense in the country.

One of the most distinguished defensive players in college football history, Te’o graduated from Notre Dame. He received several honors, including the Walter Camp Award, the Maxwell Award, the Chuck Bednarik Award, the Butkus Award, and the Lombardi Award. He made 437 total tackles for Notre Dame as well.

Manti Te’o Career

Manti Teo Net Worth
Manti Teo Net Worth

Te’o had let several recruiters down by the time it came time to announce his NFL Draft eligibility, particularly concerning his 40-yard sprint time. He finally went to the San Diego Chargers, who took him 38th overall and offered him a four-year, $5 million contract. In addition to a signing bonus of nearly $2 million, the deal included slightly over $3 million in guaranteed money. Sadly, Manti suffered a foot injury in the first preseason game, preventing him from playing in many subsequent contests. He eventually made his NFL debut against the Houston Texans and had 61 tackles by the end of the year.

His career was further hampered in 2014 when he fractured his foot. By the middle of the season, he had fully healed and was beginning to register his first interceptions and sacks. He made roughly 60 tackles per season over the ensuing few seasons, and in 2016 he was made one of the Chargers’ teams captains. Unfortunately, he experienced yet another injury that year, an Achilles tendon tear.

Manti was traded to the New Orleans Saints after being put on the injured reserve list. He committed to a two-year deal with his new side, and in the end, he led the league in tackles for loss in 2017. Unfortunately, when his contract expired, he wasn’t renewed. But in 2019, New Orleans re-signed him for a short time after he missed much of the season.

He became a member of the Chicago Bears practice squad in 2020. He joined the team’s active roster in 2021 and faced the New Orleans Saints that year. After that game, though, he was reinstated to the practice squad. His practice squad deal with the Bears expires in January 2021, thereby terminating his NFL career.

Manti Te’o Career Income

Manti Te’o’s NFL career spanned from 2013 until 2020 when he made a total salary of $10.4 million (before taxes and other fees). His highest-earning season was in 2018 when the New Orleans Saints paid him $1.7 million. Manti was expected to be selected in the top half of the first round of the 2013 NFL draught as a Heisman finalist fresh off of an appearance in the championship. Some feel his controversy prompted him to lose and move on to round two. Manti was selected sixth overall and 38th overall in the second round.


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Manti agreed to a 4-year, $5.172 million deal with a $2.14 million signing bonus after the Chargers selected him in the first round of the draught. If his controversy-related withdrawal from the first round cost him millions, Manti did indeed lose out. In contrast, Kenny Vaccaro was selected with the fifteenth choice in the first round. The Saints offered Kenny a 4-year, $9.4 million rookie deal with a $5.2 million signing bonus.

Manti agreed to a two-year, $5 million contract with the Saints in 2017, followed by a one-year, $805,000 agreement. Manti earned $132,000 as a practice squad member for the Chicago Bears during his final NFL season.

Incident of Cat Fishing

Most people know Manti Te’o for his role in a catfishing incident. Manti was the target of an elaborate prank played on him by a man named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo over several years while he was a student at Notre Dame. Tuiasosopo deceived Manti into believing he was a gorgeous woman named Lennay Kekua by creating a realistic-looking fictitious world on Facebook. Manti learned that his fiancée was in a coma following a vehicle accident at one point during their internet romance. The hoaxer quickly persuaded Manti that Lennay had passed away from leukemia after she emerged from her coma.

Tragically, Manti’s grandmother passed away while all of this was happening. A media frenzy started when news broke that a famous football player’s grandma and girlfriend allegedly passed away on the same day. When Manti started to suspect anything was wrong, two Deadspin reporters received a tip that the girlfriend was a fake. When his lover called, she claimed to have emerged from hiding after being declared dead.

Sadly, Manti, the victim, experienced an extreme and unfair backlash after the catfishing was made public. Manti may have lost millions of dollars by being selected in the second round of the NFL draught rather than the first due to the backlash.

Manti and the perpetrator both appeared in a Netflix documentary about the hoax over ten years after the incident. The documentary unambiguously demonstrated that Manti handled a perplexing circumstance to the best of his ability at every turn. He wasn’t a part of it. Very quickly after learning it was a fake, he informed his friends, parents, and school officials of the incident.

Manti publicly forgave the hoaxer in the Netflix documentary despite losing millions of dollars in the draught, being a laughingstock to the nation, and perhaps having a less-than-stellar NFL career due to the disgrace.

Generally speaking, Manti Te’o is due an apology from the entire media.

Manti Te’o Marriage

Manti proposed to his girlfriend, Jovi Nicole Engbino, in 2020. Later that year, they got married.

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