Ian Rapoport of NFL Network set the rumormill on fire this morning when he indicated that the Chicago bears like linebacker Manti Te’o so much that the Vikings will have to leapfrog them in the first round if they really covet him, and then Rapoport said that’s what the Vikings plan on doing.

Now, we haven’t seen a whole ton of “smoke” coming out of Winter Park leading up to the Draft thus far, but I have a feeling that some games are being played here and Rapoport is simply a pawn.

We’ve been saying all offseason that Manti Te’o makes sense for the Vikings, and the Vikings make even more sense for Manti Te’o, but I am not sure this is the type of year the Vikings should be sacrificing multiple picks to trade upwards in the first round.  This wouldn’t be the first time these two teams have engaged in some gamesmanship this offseason, as evidenced by the inflated contract Phil Loadholt signed during the opening days of free agency.

We’re only a few hours from speculation becoming reality (or fiction), but the Manti Te’o situation is certainly the one to keep a close eye on as the evening progresses.