The Steelers have signed tight end Eric Ebron, and here’s our grade with analysis and reactions.
After a down campaign, Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard made it pretty clear after last season they would not be looking to bring back tight end Eric Ebron in free agency. On Friday, according to multiple reports, Ebron agreed to a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Ebron had a big first season with the Colts in 2018, as he set career highs across the board with 66 receptions for 750 yards and 13 touchdowns. Andrew Luck’s sudden retirement just before last season was another point in the corner of anyone who expected regression, and Ebron finished with just 31 catches for 375 yards and three touchdowns in 11 games.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Ebron’s two-year deal with Pittsburgh is worth $12 million. How much of that money is guaranteed is unclear right now.
Since being drafted 10th overall by the Detroit Lions in 2014, Ebron has had a mostly disappointing career as a drop-prone tight end. But the Steelers got a bargain, especially in light of the two-year, $16 million deal the Chicago Bears gave the shell of what used to be Jimmy Graham, and Ebron is still just 26 years (he’ll turn 27 on April 10). He and Vance McDonald, who will also be looking to rebound from a disappointing season in 2019, should form a very nice tight end duo for the Steelers.
Pittsburgh is surely trying to add pieces for another run at a Super Bowl while 38-year old Ben Roethlisberger is still the quarterback. They were aggressive in creating some cap space with contract restructures as the new league year approached, and Ebron is a big (6-foot-4, 253 pounds) red zone threat who can sneakily line up all over the field.