Manti Te’o, an ex-NFL linebacker, holds a net worth of $3.5 million, as reported by Celebrity Net Worth.
He showcased his talents in the NFL, representing the San Diego Chargers, the New Orleans Saints, and the Chicago Bears.
His college football journey at Notre Dame earned him numerous accolades.
Despite his success, Te’o gained notoriety due to a notorious catfishing incident, involving a fictitious online girlfriend who purportedly succumbed to leukemia.
This article delves deeper into Manti Te’o’s life, career, earnings, and the catfishing controversy.
Who is Manti Te’o?
Manti Te’o was born on January 26, 1991, in Laie, Hawaii.
He is of Samoan descent and grew up in a Mormon family.
Te’o attended Punahou School in Honolulu, where he excelled in football and academics.
He was one of the most highly recruited athletes in the nation and chose to play for Notre Dame over other offers.
Te’o graduated from Notre Dame in 2013 with a degree in graphic design.
Manti Te’o’s Age
As of 2023, Manti Te’o is 32 years old.
He celebrated his 32nd birthday on January 26, 2023.
Manti Te’o Career
Manti Te’o had a stellar career at Notre Dame, where he was a four-year starter and a team captain.
He played as an inside linebacker and recorded 437 tackles, 34 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, seven interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and 17 pass breakups in his college career.
Te’o was a consensus All-American in 2012 and won eight national awards, including:
- the Maxwell Award
- the Chuck Bednarik Award
- the Bronko Nagurski Trophy
- the Butkus Award
- the Lombardi Award
- the Walter Camp Award.
Manti Te’o, who was the runner-up in Heisman Trophy voting, was selected by the San Diego Chargers as the 38th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
His four-year contract, valued at $5.04 million with $3.17 million guaranteed and a $2.06 million signing bonus, led to his tenure with the Chargers from 2013 to 2016, participating in 38 games with 34 starts.
During this period, he amassed 221 tackles, 1.5 sacks, two interceptions, and nine pass breakups.
In 2017, he signed a two-year contract with the New Orleans Saints worth $5 million, playing for them until 2019.
In 26 games with 18 starts, he managed 86 tackles, one sack, one interception, and three pass breakups.
In 2020, he signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears, initially joining their practice squad and later being promoted to their active roster.
Te’o appeared in two games with one start, contributing six tackles.
Manti Te’o Career Earnings
According to Spotrac, Manti Te’o earned a total of $10.42 million in salary during his NFL career.
His annual salary ranged from $405,000 in his rookie year to $2 million in his final year with the Saints.
Te’o highest earning year was 2017 when he made $2.5 million from his base salary and roster bonus.
Manti Te’o Catfishing Incident
One of the most controversial aspects of Manti Te’o’s career was his involvement in a catfishing hoax that made national headlines in 2013.
A catfishing hoax is when someone creates a fake online identity to deceive another person into a romantic relationship.
Manti Te’o claimed that he met his girlfriend Lennay Kekua online in 2009 and fell in love with her.
He said that they communicated through phone calls and social media but never met in person due to various reasons.
Te’o also said that she was diagnosed with leukemia and died on September 12, 2012, the same day as his grandmother’s death.
However, on January 16, 2013, Deadspin6 published an article that exposed Lennay Kekua as a fake persona created by Ronaiah Tuiasosopo (now Naya Tuiasosopo), a man who used photos of another woman named Diane O’Meara without her consent.
The article also revealed that Tuiasosopo had connections to Te’o’s family and friends and that he had confessed to being behind the hoax.
Manti Te’o denied any involvement or knowledge of the hoax and said that he was a victim of deception and manipulation.
He said that he found out about the truth on December 6, 2012, when he received a phone call from someone claiming to be Lennay Kekua.
Te’o said that he was confused and angry and that he lied to the media about his girlfriend’s death to protect his privacy and avoid embarrassment.
The catfishing scandal tarnished Manti Te’o’s reputation and affected his draft stock.
He was expected to be a first-round pick but fell to the second round.
Te’o also faced ridicule and criticism from the public and the media. He later appeared in several interviews, including with Katie Couric and Jeremy Schaap, to explain his side of the story and express his regret and sorrow.
Manti Te’o Personal Life
Manti Te’o is married to Jovi Nicole Engbino, a fitness enthusiast and beauty consultant.
They got engaged in February 2020 and tied the knot in August 2020 in La Jolla, California9.
Both welcomed their first child, a daughter named Hiromi, in July 202110.
Manti Te’o Height
Te’o is 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 meters) tall and weighs 241 pounds (109 kilograms).
Manti Te’o Net Worth 2023
As of 2023, Manti Te’o has an estimated net worth of $3.5 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Te’o earned most of his wealth from his NFL career, where he played for seven seasons and made over $10 million in salary.
He also earned money from endorsements, such as Adidas and Subway.
Te’o also wrote a book titled “The Manti Te’o Story: My Story, My Life, My Faith”, which was published in 2017.
Manti Te’o is a former American football player who had a remarkable college football career at Notre Dame but also faced a major catfishing scandal that damaged his image and reputation.
He played for the San Diego Chargers, the New Orleans Saints, and the Chicago Bears in the NFL and earned over $10 million in salary.
Te’o is married to Jovi Nicole Engbino and has a daughter named Hiromi.
He has a net worth of $3.5 million as of 2023.