Gerald Everett is joining the Seattle Seahawks on a 1-year, $6 million deal, according to Ian Rapoport. The Seahawks have been on a quest to find a tight end for Russell Wilson ever since Jimmy Graham left. Everett has the potential to be that guy, which could make him a top-10 tight end in 2021.
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Seattle’s TE Need
The Seahawks used to target tight ends often. In the three years Graham was on the team, Seattle targeted tight ends 358 times. That has fallen to 271 in the three years since then.
Most recently, the Seahawks tried a three-tight-end committee with Will Dissly, Jacob Hollister and Greg Olsen. None of the three were fantasy relevant, with each playing only a small role in the offense. Olsen has retired, and Hollister is a free agent. The signing of Everett suggests that Hollister will need to find a home elsewhere.
Everett’s fantasy outlook has a wide range of possibilities. He was TE24 in 2020, but that’s partially because he shared time with Tyler Higbee. Everett played on third downs while Higbee played on early downs. This led to both tight ends seeing 59 targets, tying them for 20th among tight ends.
Everett has the 14th-best PFF receiving grade over the last three seasons among tight ends with at least 100 targets. He stands out at making players miss after the catch — his 27 avoided tackles over three seasons ranks third behind George Kittle and Travis Kelce.
If Everett can earn the every-down tight end role, he should have the right combination of opportunities and talent to be a top-10 fantasy tight end.
Dissly is the reason Everett might not have the every-down role. He has a higher receiving grade than Everett over the last three years but on a smaller sample size. Dissly was off to an incredible start to the 2019 season with 262 receiving yards and four touchdowns in his first five games before suffering a season-ending injury. He didn’t look the same in 2020.
If Dissly bounces back, there will be legitimate competition. If the two tight ends have to share time in 11 personnel, Everett's upside will be limited. Despite the risk, Everett is an intriguing late-round option at tight end in Seattle.
Tyler Higbee is Free
Higbee is now the top tight end on the Rams depth chart. Primary backup Johnny Mundt is mostly a run blocker. This should leave Higbee with the vast majority of the tight end targets. If you added the production of Higbee and Everett last season, it would come in as the TE3 with a 50-point gap between that player and the fourth-best. Even with some of that production going to Mundt or a different backup, Higbee has top-five potential.
The tight end situation in fantasy football was pretty bleak last season. Now Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith will be competing for targets in New England, and a number of other high-upside tight ends are on teams that have added a free agent wide receiver. This makes Higbee a clear top-10 fantasy tight end heading into 2021, with the potential to finish in the top-five.