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NFL free agency 2018: Carolina Panthers to meet with tight end Eric Ebron tomorrow, per report

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The Panthers are in the market for a backup tight end, and they could find exactly what they need in Eric Ebron.

According to a tweet from ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the Carolina Panthers plan to meet with free agent tight end Eric Ebron tomorrow.

And according to Bill Voth, the two teams have discussed potential trades involving Ebron over the past few months.

The Lions released Ebron yesterday to avoid having an $8.25 million cap hit tied to him.

Ebron has struggled to produce value worthy of the No. 10 overall pick that Detroit used to select him in the 2014 NFL Draft, but started to show signs of improvement in the second half of the 2017 season.

Ebron also struggled to produce early in his career with 25 catches for 248 yards and one touchdown as a rookie, with an 8.3 percent drop rate. Drops have been an issue for him his entire career; he has a career drop rate of 7.3 percent, although he’s improved on it over the past two seasons as he’s worked into Detroit’s offense more.

In 2016, Ebron posted career highs in receptions (61) and yards (711). It was thought that 2017 would finally be a breakout year, but that didn’t turn out to be the case in the first half.

Ebron had 18 catches for 195 yards over the first eight games, leading to him being thought of as a potential trade candidate around the deadline. The nadir for him came in Week 8 against Pittsburgh, when fans booed Ebron every time Matthew Stafford threw him the ball or his picture was shown on the Ford Field big screen during a nationally televised night game.

Ebron started to have a turnaround in that game, though, catching a 44-yard pass in the fourth quarter that gave Detroit a shot to win the game in an eventual 20-15 loss. Afterward, Ebron talked openly about not knowing what would happen with his future.

The Lions didn’t move Ebron then, and he responded with the best stretch of his career. Over the final eight games, Ebron had 35 catches for 379 yards and three touchdowns, including a 10-catch, 94-yard game in a win over Tampa Bay that Detroit needed to stay in the playoff race.

~Michael Rothstein, ESPN

Does he fit with the Panthers?

Yes, he does. The Panthers are in the market for a backup tight end since Ed Dickson is currently a free agent. If Carolina can get Ebron to sign for a team-friendly deal, he would be a good choice to fill the void caused by Dickson’s departure. The best part for Carolina is that he wouldn’t affect the compensatory pick formula since he was released by the Lions.

My take

I would like to see Ebron in Carolina. I think a change of scenery would be good for him, and I think the Panthers would be a good fit for his services. We need an affordable option to back up Greg Olsen, and Ebron could be just what the Panthers need to fill that role.

But what do you think, Panthers fans? Would you like to see Eric Ebron in Carolina? Share your thoughts with us!

Poll

Should the Panthers sign Eric Ebron?

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    Yes - he’s exactly what we need
    (1058 votes)
  • 5%
    No - we can find someone better
    (110 votes)
  • 42%
    Maybe - depends on the money
    (878 votes)
2046 votes total Vote Now