Ten days after it was initially reported Eric Ebron was signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers, all the parts of the contract process have come together for the Steelers to finally make the official announcement.
We have signed TE Eric Ebron to a two-year contract.@BordasLaw TRANSACTION: https://t.co/r6Q3Bf9FX7 pic.twitter.com/BJfvUXZq4C— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) March 30, 2020
The amount of time it was taking for the Steelers to make the announcement about the signing of Eric Ebron began to be a little concerning after the XFL signings became official. Missing the final five games of 2019 with an ankle injury which required surgery, the only concern was the Steelers getting an adequate physical with the constraints facing all of the NFL during the coronavirus pandemic. With the Steelers making the announcement today, it appears all is well and Ebron is officially a member of the black and gold.
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.
Almost a week after it was reported tight end Eric Ebron was signing with the Steelers on a two-year deal worth $12 million, the specific amount of the contract and how they implicate the salary cap were made available. Ebron will earn a $1 million salary in 2020 along with a $5 million signing bonus with a $5.5 million base salary in 2021 with a $550k roster bonus.
The exact number on the contract for Ebron is quite team friendly for the Steelers when it comes to how it is distributed. After the expected $1 million base salary, Ebron was given a $5 million signing bonus. When working this out for his salary for 2020, it is evenly split as he will earn $6 million for the 2020 season and the other $6 million in the form of $5.5 million base salary and a $500k roster bonus for 2021.
With the signing bonus being split up to count towards the salary cap over both seasons, Ebron will only count $3.5 million towards the 2020 salary cap and $8.5 million for 2021. The salary distribution is beneficial to the Steelers as it helps them keep their salary cap number down for the season. Additionally, should Ebron not work out after one season in Pittsburgh, the Steelers can free up $6 million towards the 2021 salary cap simply by releasing him. If Ebron performs as the Steelers anticipate, either he can play out the final year of his deal or the Steelers could look to give an extension beyond 2021 where more of the salary could be converted to a signing bonus and would be split up over the length of the contract.
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 Steel City.
Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for breaking news, player updates, and all things Pittsburgh Steelers.