The Pittsburgh Steelers gave Ben Roethlisberger one other pass-catching weapon for 2020, saying the signing of tight finish Eric Ebron to a two-year deal on Monday. The deal is now official. Ebron, a former first-round choose of the Detroit Lions, has three,195 yards and 27 touchdowns in six NFL seasons.

Ebron had his greatest season in 2018, catching 66 passes for 750 yards and 13 touchdowns with the Indianapolis Colts and incomes a Professional Bowl nod. Sharing tight finish duties with Jack Doyle, Ebron was a pressure within the pink zone because the Colts gained the AFC South that yr. 

An ankle damage restricted Ebron in 2019, as he completed with simply 31 catches for 375 yards and two touchdowns in 11 video games. Inconsistency plagued Ebron, which is why he solely began two video games final season. Ebron fell out of favor with the Colts after shutting it down for the yr together with his ankle damage, weeks after assembly with Colts head coach Frank Reich concerning his position within the offense. 

Ebron will compete with Vance McDonald for the beginning job at tight finish, because the Steelers picked up the 2020 possibility ($5.5 million possibility) in his contract. McDonald caught simply 38 passes for 273 yards and three touchdowns final season (7.2 yards per catch), one yr after ending with 50 catches for 610 yards and 4 touchdowns (12.2 yards per catch).

McDonald’s numbers ought to enhance with Roethlisberger again at quarterback because the Steelers will profit with a “12” personnel of McDonald and Ebron. Pittsburgh can use Ebron’s power within the pink zone, trying to enhance a pink zone offense that ranked useless final within the NFL final season (35% landing conversion price). The Steelers by no means had a good finish that had double-dight touchdowns in a season (Heath Miller’s eight in 2012 is the franchise file). Ebron has a chance to be the primary if the Steelers use him properly.

Together with Ebron, Pittsburgh has additionally signed former Eagles/Chiefs OL Stefen Wisniewski, a starter on Kansas Metropolis’s 2019 Tremendous Bowl championship workforce, to a two-year dea. Pittsburgh despatched a 2021 fifth-round choose to the Ravens in alternate for veteran DT Chris Wormley and a 2021 seventh-round choose. Pittsburgh has additionally signed veteran fullback Derek Watt — the youthful brother of T.J. Watt — two a two-year contract. 

The Steelers had been in a position to make these strikes after QB Ben Roethlisberger, kicker Chris Boswell, cornerbacks Joe Haden and Steven Nelson, and TE Vance McDonald cleared about $35 million in cap house after they restructured their contracts simply earlier than the beginning of the brand new league yr. 

Whereas they presently have about $10 million in cap house, Steelers basic supervisor Colbert would not anticipate the workforce making any extra free agent signings anytime quickly. And whereas the Steelers had been in a position to tackle a few of their wants on the skin linebacker, line of defense and at tight finish, they nonetheless have a number of positions to replenish this low season through the draft, particularly at inside linebacker after releasing Mark Barron (a cap casualty) and dropping Tyler Matakevich (who signed a two-year cope with the Payments) in free company. 

“I assume we’re up towards it fairly good,” Colbert mentioned of the Steelers’ wage cap state of affairs, through the workforce’s web site. “We have made lots of anticipated strikes that we needed to make. Sadly, we have needed to make some subtractions from the roster. Can we nonetheless do some issues additional down the highway? Positive. However within the quick time period, I might say that we’re quickly … I do not need to say out of enterprise, however we’re happy with the place we’re at this level. We’ll proceed to deal with it as this continues to unwind.”