Rich Dudes│Uncovering Manti Te'o's Net Worth from NFL, Stocks, & Real Estate
Rich Dudes│Uncovering Manti Te'o's Net Worth from NFL, Stocks, & Real Estate

Rich Dudes│Uncovering Manti Te'o's Net Worth from NFL, Stocks, & Real Estate

Ex-NFL linebacker Manti Te'o has a $3.5 million net worth. Learn how the footballer made money from his career, endorsement deals, startups, real estate, and the stock market.

Real Estate

Real Estate





Manti Te’o’s story captures the imagination, filled with triumphs, challenges, and controversies. From his college football days at Notre Dame to his professional career in the National Football League (NFL), Te’o has been a subject of intrigue.

Manti Te’o has invested in various tech startups, including a ride-sharing app, food delivery app GrubMarket, virtual reality company Jaunt, and a mobile gaming platform.

Manti Malietau Louis Te’o, a former college football player, stood out at Notre Dame, winning numerous awards and becoming a Heisman finalist. He eventually played for the Chargers, Saints, and Bears in the National Football League, amassing a net worth estimated at $3.5 million.

But what influenced Manti Te'o's net worth journey, and how did the infamous catfishing scandal affect his life?

We will take you on a journey through Manti Te'o’s life, exploring his time with the Chargers, Saints, and Bears, his earnings from his NFL career, endorsement deals, and profitable, diversified investments contributing to his net worth. We'll also delve into the catfishing scandal that shook his world and its impact on his public perception, and the Netflix documentary that emerged from it.

Manti Te'o net worth at a glance

Net worth

$3.5 million


January 26, 1991


American born in Laie, Hawaii, USA

Became a millionaire at



American football linebacker

Sources of wealth

NFL earnings and endorsements

Asset classes

Startups, real estate, and stocks

How Manti Te'o made his money in the NFL

Let's talk about the roller coaster ride of Manti Te'o's professional football career in the NFL. Stretching from 2013 to 2021, our man Manti showcased his considerable talents playing for the San Diego Chargers (which became the Los Angeles Chargers in 2016), New Orleans Saints, and Chicago Bears. Sure, injuries and a few controversies threw some curveballs his way, but let's not forget those 400 career tackles and a pair of interceptions he racked up.

Kicking things off, Manti landed a spot with the San Diego Chargers following the 2013 NFL Draft. He quickly cemented his star status, and a pretty sweet deal followed—a four-year contract worth a cool $5.2 million, with a nifty $2.14 million sign-up bonus to boot.

Unfortunately, a tough spell of injuries and inconsistent form punctuated his rookie season. Then in 2016, a nasty Achilles tendon rupture put him out of action and signaled his time was up with the Chargers.

Next stop, the New Orleans Saints. In 2017, Manti pocketed around $5 million with a two-year contract. He hit the ground running, impressing the team and fans by leading with 62 tackles in his first season. However, 2018 saw a shift, with injuries limiting him to 18 tackles across five games. 

By the time 2019 rolled around, Manti was only playing three games, averaging two tackles each. All this saw his earnings dip with the Saints, topping at only $1.7 million.

From his highest-earning year with the New Orleans Saints to his short stint with the Chicago Bears, Te'o earned more than $10 million in salary.

Fast forward to 2020, Manti joined the Chicago Bears' practice squad. Despite only playing one playoff game before his contract ended in January 2021, he still managed to bag a $132,000 salary. 

After such a ride in the NFL, it wasn't surprising that Manti started considering broadening his horizons and exploring other opportunities. Reflecting on his journey, he made a profitable run in professional football, amassing an impressive haul during his time in the league.

Earnings breakdown

Manti Te’o’s net worth is estimated at $3.5 million, primarily derived from his football career salary and endorsement agreements. Te’o accumulated over $18 million in salary and endorsement deals throughout his career, with his highest-earning year being in 2017 with the New Orleans Saints.

Let’s look at the breakdown of his earnings from his NFL salary and endorsement deals.

NFL salary and endorsement deals

Throughout his NFL career, Manti Te'o earned over $10 million in salary. His highest-earning year was in 2017, when he played for the New Orleans Saints, while his lowest salary came during his brief time with the Chicago Bears, earning $132,000. Despite the setbacks and controversies that plagued his career, Te’o significant NFL salary contributed heavily to his net worth.

Aside from salaried contracts, Te’o’s earnings also came with an aggregated signing bonus of $2.7 million, a roster bonus of $1.6 million, a workout bonus of $100,000, and an incentive of $80,789. These earnings and his salary contributed to his wealth, making it a topic of interest for many fans and followers.

Te'o's earnings included a glamorous $2.7 million signing bonus to go with his salaried contracts.

In addition to his NFL salary, Manti Te'o earned income from endorsement deals with companies such as Nike and Subway. Although his endorsement earnings were modest compared to other NFL players, they still contributed to his overall net worth. In 2015, Te’o’s endorsement earnings amounted to approximately $150,000.

How Manti Te'o invests

Manti Te’o has diversified his investments, including tech startups, real estate, and the stock market, which he accumulated during his NFL career. Let’s look closer at the different asset classes in which Te’o has invested.


Manti Te’o has invested in various tech startups, including a ride-sharing app, food delivery app GrubMarket, virtual reality company Jaunt, and a mobile gaming platform. These investments in emerging technologies have the potential to significantly increase his net worth if any of the ventures prove to be successful.

Investing in tech startups is risky, but Te’o is confident that his investments will pay off in the long run. He has done extensive research into each company he has invested in and believes that they have.

Real estate

Real estate is another area where Manti Te'o has invested his earnings. He owns a residence in San Diego and a property in Hawaii, contributing to his overall net worth.

Both properties are valuable investments that can continue to appreciate in value over time, providing Manti Te'o with a steady income stream. The good news is that you can invest in real estate without much capital.

Manti Te'o invested in lucrative properties in Hawaii and San Diego.


Manti Te’o has also invested in the stock market, further diversifying his investment portfolio. By spreading his investments across different asset classes, he increases the chances of maintaining and growing his net worth.

Investing in the stock market is a great way to diversify one’s portfolio and increase the chances of maintaining and growing one’s net worth, but you'll also need to know how to protect yourself from a market crash when looking to invest.

The catfishing scandal and Netflix documentary

Te’o’s catfishing scandal in 2013 significantly impacted his public image and personal life, ultimately leading to a Netflix documentary about the incident. The scandal, in which Te’o was deceived into believing he had a romantic partner who turned out to be non-existent, garnered widespread attention, and may have even influenced his NFL career and earnings.

That year, he was poised to become a millionaire endorser and a top 10 pick in the NFL draft, with projections estimating a four-year contract worth up to $20 million. However, after being exposed as a victim of a fake-girlfriend hoax and failing to impress at the scouting combine, Te'o's stock plummeted. 

All 32 NFL teams passed on him in the first round, costing him millions. Instead of a potential $20 million contract with half the amount guaranteed, he was signed for a far lesser amount, potentially costing Te'o at least $8 million from his rookie contract.

Public perception

Manti's catfishing scandal sparked public debate and controversy, potentially affecting his NFL career and earnings. Some believe that the scandal's repercussions led to Manti being drafted in the second round of the NFL draft instead of the first, resulting in a financial loss of millions of dollars.

However, the public also commended Te’o for his bravery and demeanor following the catfishing incident. While the catfishing scandal certainly impacted Te’o’s public image, it also brought attention to the issue of online deception and the importance of vigilance in the digital age. 

As a result, Te’o’s story serves as a cautionary tale for others who may find themselves in similar situations.

Netflix documentary

The Netflix documentary, Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist, delves into the 2013 catfishing scandal involving Manti Te'o. The documentary highlights Te’o’s courage and attitude in dealing with the situation, painting a sympathetic portrait of the former NFL player and his experience during the scandal.

While the scandal undoubtedly left a mark on his public image, the documentary is a testament to his resilience and growth in the face of adversity.

Despite facing setbacks, such as injuries and the infamous catfishing scandal, Te’o managed to amass a net worth of $3.5 million through his NFL salary, endorsement deals, and learning how to diversify investments.

Manti Te’o investing quotes

1. Prioritize others over yourself

2. Recognize the power of positivity

3. Focus on what you can control

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