NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday morning that teams have been calling Detroit about a potential trade for the enigmatic tight end ahead of Tuesday's deadline.
Lions general manager Bob Quinn picked up the fifth-year option on Ebron in May, which keeps the former first-round pick under contract for 2018, paying roughly $8.25 million. The club option is guaranteed for injury only. Detroit or any team trading for Ebron could get out of the hefty pay raise if the tight end can pass a physical before the next league year opens.
A top-10 pick by ex-Lions general manager Martin Mayhew, Ebron has been a disappointment through four seasons, failing to live up to the draft status. It's not the tight end's fault he was selected ahead of the likes of Odell Beckham Jr. or Aaron Donald. A propensity for drops and inconsistencies on routes, however, are on the 24-year-old.
A change of scenery could be beneficial for Ebron, who has admitted to being "in the dumps" this season after early-season struggles continued in what he believed would be a breakout campaign.
Ebron is averaging a career-low 7.8 yards per catch and just 17 yards per game on 2.1 catches per contest. He has one touchdown in his last 19 games, including playoffs. The first-round pick is being badly outplayed by low-cost veteran Darren Fells, who has three touchdowns on 10 receptions and 101 yards. Ebron also didn't start for the first time since 2015 in the Lions' last game.
Given Ebron's struggles this year, and potential big pay raise next season, a trade would not likely net a significant return. Like we've seen in Buffalo this season, Quinn could decide to cut bait on a top-10 pick he didn't choose for any compensation rather than cut him for nothing this offseason.
Here are some other players who might be on the trade block:
- Teams have contacted the Pittsburgh Steelers about potentially trading for wide receiver Martavis Bryant, Rapoport reported.
- To make a move for a blindside blocker, the Seattle Seahawks would be willing to part ways with tight end Jimmy Graham for salary-cap purposes, per Rapoport. The team has had trade talks centered around the tight end, Rapoport said on NFL Network's NFL GameDay Kickoff. Seattle has less than $2 million in cap space. Graham, in the final year of his contract, has a $10 million cap hit for this season.