There are different ways to view the Seahawks signing Gerald Everett. On one hand, he provides another athletic playmaker with a 6-3 build and much-needed yards after the catch ability. On the other, he’s a former 2017 second-round pick, and his production is yet to match that investment.
During Everett’s first few seasons in Los Angeles, the Rams operated almost entirely out of 11 personnel. Everett was never able to overtake Tyler Higbee for the top spot on the depth chart, which resulted in a cap on his playing time.
“That created a ‘two men is a crowd’ type situation between Higbee and Everett,” Rams play-by-play man J.B. Long said on the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast. “I think the more playing time he got, the more he produced. He became a more willing blocker as well.”
Toward the end of the 2019 season and into 2020, the Rams utilized two tight end sets more frequently. Everett set a career-high with 707 snaps last season. He lined up as an in-line tight end, in the slot, split wide, and he even saw 39 snaps in the backfield. By comparison, Will Dissly led Seattle with 589 snaps. Greg Olsen and Jacob Hollister each topped 400 as well so there’s plenty of playing time to go around for Seahawks tight ends.
Still, Everett’s production has been modest at best. His 417 receiving yards in 2020 were a career-high, and Everett scored just eight touchdowns in 61 games with the Rams over four seasons. Compare that to what George Kittle has accomplished in San Francisco as a fifth-round draft pick in that same 2017 draft, and Everett’s numbers are even more underwhelming.
That’s why the tight end’s one-year, $6 million investment is significant – enough to acknowledge Everett’s upside without the long-term investment.
“I think we’d look at this differently if the Seahawks gave him four years and $40 million, but that’s not the arrangement here,” Long said. “A one-year prove-it deal, what do you look like outside of the Rams system, makes a lot of sense.”
Seahawks fans should gain confidence from the fact that new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron surely vouched for Everett at the very least, if not urged the organization to go get him. The two worked together for four years in Los Angeles, and both are likely to benefit from that familiarity.
“You know that your play caller probably already has a segment of his playbook that’s probably just for Gerald Everett or gives Gerald Everett some optionality within that section,” Long said.
In addition, while Everett should get his first chance to be TE1, he won’t be asked to carry the offense. That should allow him to thrive in a complementary role alongside Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Chris Carson.
“I think there’s a lot going in Gerald’s favor here, including the quarterback that he’s working with and the other skill position players that he walks into,” Long said. “Might there be some more pockets for him to exploit with someone like DK Metcalf or Tyler Lockett taking the top off of a defense.”
There is very little risk in this for Seattle other than not getting a strong enough return on their investment a la Olsen from a year ago. Everett is a proven enough player (he set a career-high with 136 yards against the Seahawks in 2019) to feel confident that he’ll be a competent contributor to a certain degree.
If Everett is able to showcase additional explosive playability, particularly as a seam-stretcher, then he would set himself up for a handsome payday next offseason.
“If that’s the next evolution of his game then I think he goes from good to great,” Long said.