Lions to release former top-10 pick Eric Ebron

GREEN BAY WI- DECEMBER 28 Eric Ebron #85 of the Detroit Lions tries to avoid the tackle of Micah Hyde #33 of the Green Bay Packers in the first quarter at Lambeau Field

GREEN BAY WI- DECEMBER 28 Eric Ebron #85 of the Detroit Lions tries to avoid the tackle of Micah Hyde #33 of the Green Bay Packers in the first quarter at Lambeau Field

In the last several days, the Detroit Lions have been edging toward moving on from veteran tight end Eric Ebron with the conversation centered on finding a suitable trade for him.

Unable to find a trade, the Lions released Ebron an hour before his $8.25 million fifth-year option salary would've become guaranteed. He tore his ACL in the 2016 postseason, which kept him out most of last season before returning for Seattle's final two contests. He'll hit the open market coming off a strong run to close out 2017, though even the hot streak wasn't enough to make his year-long stat line look good.

Ebron, who played for three seasons at North Carolina, was drafted by the Lions in the first round (10th overall) in 2014. "I think Eric really, the last seven, eight weeks of the season really, kind of turned it on", Lions general manager Bob Quinn told ESPN.com in January.

While Ebron failed to warrant his to-10 draft selection, he has flashed potential at times and finished the 2017 season with 53 receptions for 574 yards and four touchdowns. The Niners acquired fellow Mayhew first-rounder OG Laken Tomlinson a year ago and could kick the tires on Ebron without sacrificing any 2018 draft capital.

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