The Pittsburgh Steelers had a lot of team needs heading into this offseason, and slowly they are addressing those needs. After Ramon Foster retired, and B.J. Finney left via free agency, the team was desperately needing offensive line depth. The team adding Stefen Wisniewski to the roster Thursday night gave a huge boost to a position of need.
The tight end position was certainly one which required attention. The team decided to retain Vance McDonald for the 2020 season, but knew McDonald and Zach Gentry wasn’t enough to be competent at the position moving forward.
This per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network:
Source: The #Steelers are signing TE Eric Ebron to a 2-year deal worth $12M. Another target for Big Ben.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 20, 2020
The move likely means Nick Vannett, who was acquired via trade from the Seahawks in 2019, will be left to fend for himself via free agency. The team will most likely head into the training camp with McDonald, Ebron and Gentry as their top three tight ends.
Ebron was the 10th overall draft pick in 2014 by the Detroit Lions. After 4 years in Detroit in which he totaled 11 touchdowns on 186 receptions, Ebron spent the last two years playing for the Indianapolis Colts. In his first season in Indianapolis, Ebron earned a Pro Bowl selection after scoring 13 touchdowns on 66 receptions. With the return of Pro Bowl tight end Jack Doyle from injury, Ebron‘s numbers decreased in 2019 to 3 touchdowns on 31 receptions in 11 games played.
The biggest knock on Ebron throughout his career has been his injury history, which becomes a problem when pairing him with McDonald, another player who has had his share of injuries during his time in the black-and-gold.
There is a lot of people who won’t like the signing, especially for the price, but Ebron did show when he was with a competent quarterback he was capable of putting up good numbers. He just needs to stay healthy...
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they prepare for the rest of Free Agency, and the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft.