“The New York Giants are shockingly thin at tight end,” notes Anthony Rivardo of Empire Sports Media, which helps explain why former Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Eric Ebron was one of 10 players the Giants worked out on Monday, as per the NFL’s daily transaction wire. Ebron’s tryout comes in the wake of Giants rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger having been placed on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list with a quad injury.
In fact, Ebron was one of two tight ends New York had in for a look-see, though the former Pro Bowler is the more accomplished of the two, as the other option is Kahale Warring, a former 3rd-round pick of the Houston Texans who was selected No. 86 overall out of San Diego State in 2019. Warring has nine games of regular-season experience spread across three different clubs, including the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars. According to Pro Football Reference, he has three career catches for 35 yards, and has also spent time with the New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints.
That said, it’s easy to see why Rivardo labels Ebron — the No. 10 overall pick in the 2014 draft — as “one of the strongest options for the Giants to consider.” The North Carolina product has one Pro Bowl to his credit and 351 career catches with 33 touchdown receptions, much of which came with the Indianapolis Colts in 2018, when he achieved career highs in receptions (66), yards (750) and touchdowns (13).
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But his two-year stint in Pittsburgh (2020-21) a disappointment, especially in light of his $12 million contract. Ebron produced 56 receptions for 558 yards and five touchdowns in 2020, but took a backseat to rookie second-round pick Pat Freiermuth in 2021, responsible for just 12 receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown before a knee injury cut short his season. But despite having produced a reputation as something of a malcontent at his two prior NFL stops — in Detroit and Indianapolis — Ebron was a good citizen during his time in Pittsburgh, going so far as to say he would not complain about a lack of targets.
Ebron Remains a Cap Liability for Steelers
Notably, Eric Ebron isn’t yet off Pittsburgh’s books, as the Steelers added voidable years to his contract when they re-worked his deal in March 2021. That’s why he will count $3.904 million against the salary cap in 2022, the team’s fourth-highest dead money cap charge this year, behind Ben Roethlisberger, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Stephon Tuitt, the latter of whom retired in June at the age of 29.
But it’s probably safe to say that the Steelers are pretty happy with their current tight end group, as Freiermuth looks like a rising star in the wake of a rookie season in which he caught 60 passes and scored seven touchdowns. Meanwhile, fourth-year veteran Zach Gentry is a solid backup, while Kevin Rader figures to battle rookie sixth-round pick Connor Heyward for the role of No. 3 tight end, with Heyward having been named the “surprise” standout of minicamp.
And if it turns out Ebron doesn’t sign with the Giants, there are other seemingly good situations for him, with the Cincinnati Bengals another team that has been seen as a “best fit” for his services.
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Steelers Release FB Trey Edmunds
In other news from Monday July 25, the Steelers released veteran fullback Trey Edmunds — the older brother of Steelers strong safety Terrell Edmunds, who is back with the club for at least one more year on a $2.537 million contract. The roster move suggests that the Steelers will be signing a free agent within the next 24 hours or so.
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