Rams TE Gerald Everett focused on improvement, not contract status

Eric D. Williams

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Last season provided NFL observers glimpse of what athletic Los Angeles Rams tight end Gerald Everett produce on a week-to-week basis.

Everett finished with 37 receptions for 408 receiving yards and two touchdowns. However, most of those numbers came in the first half of 2019, as a lingering knee issue slowed Everett during the second half of the season.

"The NFL season is always going to be up and down,” Everett said. “You just have to remain even and just stay the course, and just continue to identify weaknesses in yourself and work on those weaknesses.

“Just keep coming to work with the same positive mentality. I want to get better and just be a complete pro -- that's what we do here every day and that's what I do. I don’t see that changing in the near future.”

Everett, 26, is in the final year of his rookie contract that will pay him a little over $1 million in total compensation for the 2020 season. He’s expected to be a big part of the Rams’ offense this years as Sean McVay has shown a willingness to use more tight end sets for the upcoming year.

However, with the Rams signing Tyler Higbee to a lucrative deal last year and selecting Purdue pass-catching tight end Brycen Hopkins in the fourth round of this year’s draft, it’s fair to wonder if Everett will be part of the Rams’ plan long-term.

Everett said he remains focused on getting ready for the 2020 season.

“I don't really worry about contract talks,” Everett said. “We started off as kids playing this game for free and as we’ve been blessed to keep playing over college and professionally now. Everything’s inevitable and everything will happen when it’s time.”

For now, Everett is part of a deep, talented position group that should create balance and opportunities on offense for the Rams.

“Everyone in our room knows what's expected of each individual and each person in our unit,” Everett said. “We all hold each other to a high standard each and every day, and it’s going to do nothing but continue to grow.

“We’re going to become closer with each other and with the offense and even with the team. … just being complete tight ends, being wherever we need to be and being able to do anything that’s asked.”

The Rams could use Everett and Higbee even more together on the field in 2020. According to Football Outsiders, from Week 10 on the Rams more than doubled their use of 12 (1 RB, 2TEs, 2 WRs) or 13 (1 RB, 3TEs, 1WR) personnel formations to 31.6 percent of plays -- up from 14.3 percent in the first eight games.

"In this business, every snap should be productive, or everyone should want to be productive on each and every snap,” Everett said. “It’s a blessing to be playing football professionally and it’s just putting your best foot forward for the team and yourself. Of course, we want to go out there and win each snap and each game.”