Lions' Eric Ebron: Released before new league year

The Lions released Ebron on Wednesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

After failing to find a trade partner for Ebron, the Lions released the tight end shortly before his $8.25 million salary for 2018 would have become guaranteed. He'll hit the open market coming off a strong run to close out 2017, though even the hot streak wasn't enough to make Ebron's season-long stat line look all that exciting. He caught 53 of 86 targets for 574 yards (6.7 yards per target) and four touchdowns, failing to build on a 2016 campaign in which he had 711 receiving yards in 13 games. The 10th overall pick from the 2014 draft should draw interest from a slew of franchises, though a few have already filled their openings at tight end. Ebron, Tyler Eifert and Austin Seferian-Jenkins appear to be the top fall-back options for teams that missed out on Jimmy Graham (Packers) and Trey Burton (Bears). Ebron turns 25 in April and is one of the more athletically gifted tight ends in the league, albeit with a well-established track record of inconsistency, nagging injuries and dropped passes.

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