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Controversial LB Te'o has spoken with Packers

Feb. 23, 2013
 
Manti Te'o Effect at the NFL Combine
Manti Te'o Effect at the NFL Combine: USA TODAY Sports' Jim Corbett and Lindsay Jones discuss how the Te'o girlfriend hoax has NFL teams mining social media more.
Manti Teo. (Michael Conroy/AP)

In easily the largest media huddle in NFL scouting combine history, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Teo confirmed hes talked with the Green Bay Packers.

Amidst a swarm of questions relating to the now-infamous catfish situation he;s been connected with, Teo said hes scheduled to speak with about 20 teams at this weeks combine and already spoken to the Packers and Houston Texans.

The Heisman Trophy finalist gained national attention for the embellishment of his fake girlfriend and her death, making for one of the most talked about and strangest events in sports history.

The 6-foot-2, 255-pound inside linebacker is projected as a first- or second-round selection by NFLDraftScout.com with one NFL.com mock draft having the Packers drafting Teo with their first-round selection (26th overall).

Packers general manager Ted Thompson hasnt been shy about bringing in players with controversial backgrounds, beginning in 2005 with wide receiver Koren Robinson despite his involvement in a high-speed car accident and other issues relating to substance abuse.

Last summer, Thompson rolled the dice on veteran defensive end Anthony Hargrove in the midst of the New Orleans Saints bountygate scandal, which Hargove was initially suspended eight games for.

Teo differs in that he hasnt been committed of any wrongdoing aside from taking a view lumps in the court of public opinion with the perpetrator of the hoax, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, maintaining Teo as an innocent, if not gullible, bystander.

So would the Packers be interested in Teo in spite of his newly gained infamy? Thompson takes that on a case-by-case basis.

I think those kind of things, any sort of bugaboos, whether off the field with legal problems or jam-ups with the law, whatever it is, those things are all individual cases and you try to work through it, Thompson said.

"We dont doubt that people have made mistakes. Weve all made mistakes. I think you can make a mistake and bounce back from it. We do try to discern whether a person is a good guy or a bad guy. I know that sounds simple, but its not.

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