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Bills to ask Manti Te'o what in hell that girlfriend thing was all about

By Tim Graham

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Buffalo Bills want some answers from Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o this week.

Doug Whaley, the Bills' assistant general manager, told The Buffalo News today in Indianapolis that Te'o will be among the 60 college prospects they interview here at the NFL scouting combine.

Te'o made international headlines last month when it was revealed his dead girlfriend -- a significant part of an inspirational tale about a kid playing through tragedy to become a Heisman Trophy runner-up -- didn't exist.

"Everybody's going to ask him about that drama, but it's just going to be a piece of the puzzle," Whaley said. "We'll treat it independently, just like we'll treat the other 59 guys who might have issues or might not have issues.

"This is one of the things we're here for, to fact-find about all that stuff. ... We'll try to get as much information as possible out of it."

The Bills have the eighth overall pick in April's draft. Te'o is one of the highest-rated linebackers in this year's class, and the Bills badly need help at that position. That was before the Bills released Nick Barnett, last year's leading tackler, nine days ago.

Te'o won the Maxwell Award, Butkus Award, Bednarik Award, Nagurski Trophy, Lombardi Award and Walter Camp Award.

But his draft stock likely has dipped.

In addition to Te'o's off-field soap opera, his draft stock was damaged with a poor performance against Alabama in the national title game, when running backs Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon made him look woefully overmatched.


2013 draft | 2013 NFL scouting combine | Doug Whaley | Manti Te'o | Nick Barnett
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |