Eric Ebron not worried if he plays for Detroit Lions or another team
Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron sent a strong message to the team Monday when he said he wasn’t sure if he’s part of its plans going forward, and wouldn’t say whether he wants to play in Detroit next season.
“I’m going to play somewhere in 2018, whether it’s here or somewhere else,” Ebron said on the day the team fired coach Jim Caldwell, one of his staunchest supporters. “But I’ll be playing football and that’s really all I care about.”
The Lions exercised Ebron’s $8.25 million fifth-year option last May, but they could cut him before the new league year starts in March.
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Ebron is aware a new head coach and possibly an entirely new coaching staff spells uncertainty for every player.
“I’m not confident upon what’s going to happen next,” he said. “Like I said, I’m about to just go back and just see what happens. And they have till March to fully understand, or for me to fully understand, what my plan is going forward. And we’ll just go from there.”
Ebron has been a lightning rod for criticism since he was drafted 10th overall in 2014 before Caldwell’s first season with the Lions. Ebron struggled with drops but he still displayed slow and steady progress each year. Ebron was the subject of trade speculation this season, but over the final 10 games played his best football in his time with the Lions.
“I feel like my successes came from the amount of targets that ended up changing for me,” Ebron said, “which allowed me to be a better person, the way they started to utilize me going into the end of the year, which allowed me to do what I do best.
“And I just feel like that was the best possible thing for me and it worked out. And hopefully we continue that so that my whole season goes the way it ended, instead of just the ending of the season.”
Ebron admitted playing in the right offensive scheme would matter to his success, and he has been happy with offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter and quarterback Matthew Stafford.
“It does because I am obviously a different style of tight end, so the scheme is what makes most players,” he said. “But whatever it is, I’ll adjust to it. Always have, always will and just go from there.”
But Ebron said he had no idea about what plans general manager Bob Quinn might have for him.
“I don’t know what Bob Quinn thinks,” he said. “I really don’t. I’ve known Bob Quinn for all of a year. It’s just — I don’t know. I just look forward to seeing what’s about to happen next. Whether it includes me or it doesn’t, we’ll just go from there.”
Quinn spoke later in the day and praised Ebron for having "a good year." When asked if planned on bringing Ebron back this season, Quinn said, "Yeah, he's under contract with a tender."
But the Lions could release Ebron or trade him after the league year starts.
Contact Carlos Monarrez: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.