Eric Ebron eyes TE TD record entering contract year

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How do you follow up a career season in which you double up your previous touchdown total? Well, score some more.

That's the mentality that Eric Ebron is taking into his second year with the Indianapolis Colts after tallying 13 receiving TDs in 2018, which was good for second-most in the league and most among tight ends. Thirteen scores is apparently not enough for Ebron, who wants to chase the recently retired Rob Gronkowski's tight-end record of 17 touchdowns.

"I believe Gronk still holds the record for most touchdowns, which is 17. So, if I want to do anything that is gonna be real spectacular or really good, I gotta go get 17," Ebron told reporters Tuesday. "And if I go and get 17, I help my team win games. I did that, proved that and I feel like if I'm at my best, then I feel like this team will be at their best."

Adding to the urgency and significance of Ebron's 2019 season is the fact that it doubles a contract year for the 26-year-old tight end. Ebron is slated to make $7 million in 2019, the final season of a two-year deal signed with Indy in 2018.

The tight end did not sound concerned regarding his future in Indianapolis.

"I know if I duplicate what I did last year we're gonna be all right, you know? Might send my kids to private school and I want to," Ebron added. "I know we will be all right but it's not necessarily what I think about, I just know that if I go out there and produce, everything handles itself."

Ebron enjoyed a career resurgence after being cut by the Detroit Lions in March 2018, but the tight end is out to prove his end-zone dominance and strong run of play last year was no one-year fluke.

"I was in a place where I didn't even know if I was going to get picked up or anything like that," Ebron said of his free agency last season. "I thought I had tarnished my interest coming out of college. I thought a lot of things. Now it's a different story for me, so now I have to continue to elevate that."

Ebron will continue to share the receiving spotlight in 2019 with fellow tight ends Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox and star receiver T.Y. Hilton. But the tight end could see his share of targets drop, in and out of the red zone, due to the Colts' acquisition of Devin Funchess in free agency, the selection of Parris Campbell in the draft and the return of Deon Cain, who missed all of 2018 with an ACL injury after a promising camp.

That's a lot of mouths for Andrew Luck to feed, and there are worse problems for NFL quarterbacks to have. According to Ebron, sharing the spotlight won't be a problem for him.

"I just feel like as long as I'm out there on the field doing what I do, then everybody gravitates towards that and everybody becomes a part of that," the tight end said. "I've always told myself I'm not a leader, I'm just a playmaker, and I just feel like, me going out there and making plays -- they can all thrive off that."

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