Lions met with TE Eric Ebron, whose status is still undecided
Since the conclusion of the 2017 season, there has been a cloud of uncertainty surrounding tight end Eric Ebron’s future with the Detroit Lions. In fact, there had been reports that the team was looking into possibly moving on from him by placing him on the trade block last week.
However, the chatter on that front has quieted down over the last few days in the days leading into the free agency period. According to Dianna Russini of ESPN, the Lions have reportedly met with the 24-year-old on Thursday to discuss his long-term future with the franchise that still includes being traded remaining on the table.
The Detroit Lions met with tight end Eric Ebron yesterday to discuss his future. Team officials are open to dealing him, let him know, and didn't supply any guarantees he will stay in Detroit per sources
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 9, 2018
Ebron is set to enter the fifth year option of his four-year, $12.2 million deal that will pay him $8.2 million for the 2018 season. This recent trade talk shows that the organization doesn’t believe his performance on the field is meeting the uptick in pay he will receive next season.
Ebron is coming off a season where he experienced a significant drop in production making 53 catches for 574 receiving yards and four touchdowns.This is a notable step down from his breakout 2016 season where he had career highs across the board with 61 catches for 711 receiving yards and a touchdown. His drop in production is concerning given that he is one of the primary fixtures in the passing game throughout much of his first few years in the league.
Ebron has struggled to break through and become the high-impact receiving threat alongside both wide receiver Golden Tate and Marvin Jones. He has recorded fewer than 600 receiving yards in two out of the last three seasons. With that in mind, it makes it hard to believe that the Lions will be fine with paying Ebron like the eighth highest-paid tight end in the league next season. There could be some finality to this situation in the coming days that may be ahead of the free agency period.