Eric Ebron is a first round pick of the Detroit Lions, selected 10th overall this past May. He has yet to play a single down in the NFL but he isn’t letting that stop his opinions about the league and what they should do regarding the Jimmy Graham situation.
Speaking to the Dallas Morning News, Ebron suggests the NFL adopt a new designation for tight end’s such as himself and Graham.
Ebron came into the draft as the top rated tight end talent and many compared him to the New Orleans Saints Graham. Graham has refused to sign his franchise tender due to the designation as a tight end. Graham maintains that he lines up more as a slot receiver and that he should be paid as a wide-receiver and the case is currently in arbitration. For Graham the designation is a difference of almost $5 million.
The outcome of the Graham hearing will have no bearing on Ebron this season or for the next five seasons. He has signed his rookie contract and the team will have an option for a fifth year. However, as Ebron has pointed out before, the decision on Grahams case will have a lasting and somewhat historic outcome, should it go Graham’s way of course.
Ebron isn’t the only player watching the Graham situation. Rob Gronkowski in New England and other TE’s around the league who often split wide from the traditional outside tackle spot are watching closely and monitoring their own playing time in different locations on the field.
While the NFL isn’t likely to create a hybrid position for tight ends, the Detroit Lions are hoping to use Ebron as a hybrid tight end, much in the same way Graham is used in New Orleans.