Lions tight end Eric Ebron made one thing clear on Tuesday when speaking to reporters: He will never buy the $495 basketball sneakers created by washed-up former collegiate basketball reserve, NFL practice squad player and over-active sports dad LaVar Ball despite amassing a massive collection of rare and expensive shoes.
However, he soon may have the money to make it work if he changes his mind.
The former first-round pick says he's already talked about an extension with the team's general manager (the Lions picked up his fifth-year option two weeks ago) and eyes a long-term future in Detroit.
"Let's just say (general manager) Bob (Quinn) is my guy, and we talk often, and, you know, we have things in place," Ebron said, via MLive.com. "We've had our own talks, and he's looking for some things from me, and hopefully I can just give him what he's looking for."
Ebron has never been lacking in confidence. Selected two spots ahead of 2014 rookie of the year Odell Beckham and three spots ahead of defensive rookie of the year Aaron Donald, the former North Carolina product has posted just 1,496 yards and seven touchdowns over three seasons. He has yet to make it through a full 16-game season and started just 15 games over his first two years.
Picking up the option, while largely a business decision, could potentially be interpreted as a vote of confidence. Ebron is clearly talented, and has the speed and strength to be a mid-range matchup nightmare.
But Quinn, while apparently being Ebron's guy, also told reporters in late April that the draft could possibly impact his decision to pick up the option or not.
Reading between the lines, it seems like Detroit is dangling the carrot out ahead of Ebron in the hopes that he can finally blossom in Jim Bob Cooter's offense. Last year was by far his best -- 61 catches off 85 targets, 711 yards and a 54.7 yards per game average -- but how much better does it need to get in order to earn that extension?