Linebacker Manti Te'o of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish works out at IMG Academy on January 23, 2013 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
With the departure of Nick Roach and Brian Urlacher's uncertain status as a free agent, the Bears linebacking corps is looking thin. Will they need to turn to the draft to find more linebackers?
As it stands now, Urlacher's return to the Bears is far from certain. The Vikings, Cowboys and Cardinals are all apparently interested in him. The contract that he's reportedly looking for is far beyond what the Bears can spend because of the salary cap.
Chicago will need someone who has experience as an inside linebacker. Of the best available linebackers in the draft, the one with the most experience in the middle is Notre Dame's Manti Te'o.
The NFL.com profile on Te'o lauds his ability to be a vocal leader on the field, which is key for an effective middle linebacker. He can stop the run, work through double teams and move to the ball. These traits are all key to filling in for Urlacher. His height isn't great and he can use work, but the Bears need help at linebacker.
But the biggest question with Te'o, of course, is how much the Bears want to put up with the spotlight that will come with Te'o and his baggage. He was the victim of a hoax involving a fake girlfriend, then lied about that hoax. Is he worth it? Phil Emery and Co. will have to make that decision in coming weeks.