The Detroit Lions have yet to make a decision on whether they will trade tight end Eric Ebron, who has been the source of rumors for the past week. However, whether or not they move Ebron, the Lions could be in the market to add a tight end this offseason, and according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, they may be targeting Eagles tight end Trey Burton:
I expected there to be a robust market for Eagles TE Trey Burton and it sounds like there is. About a half dozen serious suitors, sources say. One I've heard consistently for over a week now: Detroit Lions.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 12, 2018
As Garafolo points out, Burton is a highly-coveted free agent. Rated as the No. 13 tight end per Pro Football Focus, Burton’s statline is surprisingly underwhelming. In 2017, he pulled in just 23 catches for 248 yards... but for five touchdowns. Burton has a reliable hands and, perhaps more importantly, plenty of football to be played. Burton is just 26 years old and has just four years of NFL playing experience under his belt.
Burton would likely be a downgrade from Ebron, but if the Lions are looking, there’s probably a good chance they can get him for a bit cheaper than Ebron’s current fifth-year option, worth $8.25 million.
It’s worth noting, however, that the Buccaneers have just set the tight end market by reportedly re-signing Cameron Brate to a six-year (!!), $41 million deal. It’s quite possible that Burton will seek a similar deal. And with at least five other teams vying for his attention, the Lions may have to pay more than they want if they’re going to acquire the young tight end.