The LA Rams extension for TE Gerald Everett has multiple impacts from Kelce/Kittle extensions
Today, the LA Rams witnessed San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle reset the NFL tight end market with a five-year $75 million deal. Moments later, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce announced a four-year extension for an average of under $15 million per year. Next up? LA Rams tight end Gerald Everett? Is this time to panic? Time to celebrate? Perhaps a bit of both.
While the consensus for responses will say Philadelphia Eagles tight end, Zach Ertz, keep in mind that Ertz has two years remaining on his deal. Rams’ Everett is in his contract year. and is looking for a breakout season similar to the one enjoyed by teammate Tyler Higbee in 2019.
Everett vs. Higbee
Right now, the NFL fanbase is waging the debate of Kittle versus Kelce, But the LA Rams have been locked in a similar debate over whether Tyler Higbee or Everett was the clear favorite at the position. Until 2019, the Rams tight end competition was clearly in Gerald Everett’s favor. That is, until December 2019.
In one month, Higbee rose from a 200-plus yard receiver to a 734-yard receiver. That is good enough for the seventh-best tight end in the NFL in 2019. And it is all thanks to one month’s production. Of course, with that kind of production, and from a seldom-used two-tight-end offensive formation, the LA Rams have reason to believe that they can boast either one or two of the Top-5 tight ends in the NFL in 2020
How does this all help the Rams and Everett?
A rising tide buoys all boats. So the fact that the market value of tight ends has increased would lead you to believe that the Rams will need to pay more for Gerald Everett. Perhaps. And perhaps not. You see, from the moment that the Rams signed up Tyler Higbee to his new contract, the team set their market price. Now all that remains for the Rams is to determine how well Everett does in 2019, and how that will fit into the team’s budget?
If the Rams cannot find a way to bring back Everett, then his market value has already increased thanks to the new financial arrangements for Kelce and Kittle. And that elevated market value will play a big role if Everett signs with another NFL Team in 2021. Whatever his new salary comes in at will basically be part of the formula to determine if the Rams qualify for a 2022 NFL Draft compensatory pick?
So it’s a win-win for the Rams. The team has set their market, which means that unless Everett hits the upper echelons of production, he is looking at a contract structured very much like that used to re-sign his teammate. If he goes elsewhere, the market value of a tight end who can catch passes has gone up substantially. That means a better chance for a Comp pick in 22, and a better chance for a better round.