Potential trade trade targets for the Lions

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Rumors about that the Lions have been listening to trade offers for Eric Ebron. What might other teams be offering?

Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron

Eric Ebron #85 of the Detroit Lions makes a catch against Andrew Adams #33 of the New York Giants in the first half at MetLife Stadium on December 18, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Eric Ebron went to the Detroit Lions at pick number ten in a draft where a couple of the players that went shortly after he did became immediate superstars. Though drafting either Odell Beckham Jr. or Aaron Donald would have been universally mocked at the time, their success has led to a rocky relationship between Ebron and the Detroit fanbase. This has led to speculation that Ebron has little or no interest in remaining with the team for the long term. It leaked yesterday that the Detroit Lions received a few trade offers for Eric Ebron. Those two things lead to the obvious question of who their trade targets might be.

The first and most obvious answer is a draft pick. Where Ebron was taken doesn’t matter when calculating his worth here. What he is as a player, on the other hand, is key. He is a poor blocker, which will eliminate some teams. He has a tendency to drop catchable balls on occasion, which will turn off others. The remaining teams see a smooth athlete who excels in getting open underneath. Ebron is going to be bigger than the man covering him every time he runs a pattern. Modern NFL linebackers rarely match his blend of size and speed. However, Ebron has not turned that advantage into elite production.

Ebron’s contract is also a problem. The cap hit is high, and the length is only one year. He will make $8.25 million for a single season. He will then be an unrestricted free agent. The team that acquires this asset will need to negotiate a longer contract to keep his services. Ebron has a limited market and a bad contract. The most likely haul for this player in the draft is a fourth-round pick or later.

The other option for the Lions is to take someone else’s player off their hands. There are quite a few teams with players they would like to move on from. Those players usually come in two groups: players that were drafted by a previous regime and do not fit with the new one, and players on their last legs in the league. If the team believes that they have only one year of Ebron’s services before he wants out, either of these is a better choice. In some cases the Lions may need to add draft capital, in others they may receive some coming back.

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