The Detroit Lions Picked Up Eric Ebron’s Fifth-Year Option On May 2nd To Keep Him Through 2018.
One of the biggest question going into the 2017 NFL draft for Lions fans was, “will Detroit draft a tight end to replace Eric Ebron?” Before the draft, some players who were drafted the same year as Ebron were getting their fifth-year option picked up.
During draft week Ebron’s was still on the table.
When it came time to draft, Detroit focused on defense with the first two picks being Jarrad Davis and Teez Tabor. In the third round, many expected a tight end, but Detroit went with Kenny Golladay, a wide receiver from NIU.
A tight end wouldn’t be taken by Detroit until the fourth round, where Detroit took red zone threat Michael Roberts to bring in depth to the position. Roberts wasn’t the tight end fans were hoping for. It isn’t to say Roberts is a bad tight end, he can play ball well, but he isn’t going to start in the NFL his rookie year. That is what fans were hoping for.
How Are The Lions In A Good Position For Eric Ebron’s Contract?
Ebron hasn’t been the perfect tight end the Lions were looking for in the 2014 NFL draft, and sure Odell Beckham Jr. and Aaron Donald look like the better picks now, but Ebron is still a good tight end in the league. He was just unlucky in that the team that wanted a starting tight end was at pick number 10, as Ebron wasn’t the 10th best player in the draft, he was a first round talent, just not that high and Detroit had no choice but to take him as he wouldn’t be there in the second round.
During his three years in Detroit, Ebron has put up some numbers, nothing to over the top, but nothing underwhelming. He currently sits at 133 catches for 1,496 yards and seven touchdowns.
There are two big things people gripe about Ebron and that is his injury history and his drops. In three seasons, Ebron has had 16 drops, something that fans always bring up when wanting to get rid of Ebron. His injury history hasn’t had anything major pop up, but three injuries in three years aren’t the best thing to happen to a player. He missed three games his rookie year as he pulled his hamstring. 2016 he missed a game with a knee and ankle injury, then he suffered a high ankle sprain that forced him to miss two other games.
Ebron hasn’t had a fantastic career so far, hence why many fans didn’t want his fifth-year option to get picked up, but with the average career so far, his contract after 2018 shouldn’t be as high as many are expecting.
How Much Will Ebron Cost?
Well in 2017, Ebron will cost $3.8 million against the cap, and with picking up his fifth-year option, Ebron will cost $5.1 million, and up to $8.2 million if an injury occurs that knocks Ebron out. Now when it comes to money and contracts, how much a player will cost, I am not the best guy to answer that question. Ash Thompson is your man for that, as he does a great job at giving good estimates on players costs in free agency.
But overall, Ebron is on a prove-it two-year deal. He hasn’t played like a top 10 draft pick or even a first rounder. Now that Detroit picked up his fifth-year option, Ebron will need time to prove he is worth more money. He could ask for a good amount of money, but not many teams would bite after his performance so far.
If Ebron can have a solid two more seasons in Detroit, that will be hard for the Lions to bring him back as he could be a top tight end in the 2019 free agency class, as Julius Thomas, Greg Olsen and Delanie Walker also join him unless they sign an extension and with Ebron being younger than all three of those players, he could make the most money and get the longest contract.
Now if Ebron has a poor or average two seasons for the Lions, his price will go down, but a team might be willing to throw more money at Ebron than he is worth, and that would be a trap you don’t want to fall into. Now there are rumors that Detroit is already in contract talks with Ebron, but there is nothing official yet. The 2017 season will have to play out for a better outlook on how Ebron’s contract situation plays out, but for now, things are good for Bob Quinn and company.