Texans DE: Te’o will be ‘clowned’ in NFL

Well, somebody had to say it and Antonio Smith tends to be that somebody whenever something needs to be said.

Yep, Manti Te’o is going to get clowned in a NFL locker room.

“Our locker room is full of clowns and, oh, man people would kill him,” the Houston Texans defensive end told Pro Football Talk. “I mean he would be the butt of every joke for at least two, three years.”

Smith, of course, is referring to Te’o’s having been fooled into entering a romantic, Internet-based relationship with a woman who did not exist, and turned out to be a man.

That Smith was asked about this isn’t totally random. The Texans could use some depth at middle linebacker and depending how far Te’o slips in the NFL Draft (Houston selects No. 27 in first round), he could be an attractive option as a backup to Brian Cushing, who is returning from ACL surgery, or even a starter alongside him in Houston’s 3-4 defense.

Injuries to Cushing, Darryl Sharpton and Tim Dobbins put the Texans in quite a bind at the position last season. They signed Barrett Ruud off the street to play alongside Bradie James, who at age 32 is not the player he once was in Dallas. The Texans are expected to address the position one way or another this offseason, and Te’o’s poor performance at the Scouting Combine could end up turning him into a value.

If he does end up in Houston, Smith assured everyone his catfishing episode will not be off limits in the locker room.

“You just got to be a good sport, man, it is what it is and you know it is out now, it’s out in the papers and on TV, so all you can do now, you can’t worry about it, you can’t change it, all you can do now is laugh — laugh with us while we’re laughing at you,” Smith told PFT.

Te’o was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and led Notre Dame to the national championship game this season.