The Los Angeles Rams’ tight ends have had a spectacular two seasons in 2018 and 2019. Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett have been a tandem dynamic duo, running routes and making blocks. They have made incredible plays at crucial times for quarterback Jared Goff. They were a huge part of his success this past season, even with the Rams’ offensive struggles in 2019. Everett’s injury toward the end of the season led to Higbee becoming Goff’s favorite target.
Higbee was consistent and reliable throughout December. Everett will be in the final year of his contract in 2020. He also did not perform to expectations compared to 2018. The Rams then must decide how they want to mix him into the offense. Johnny Mundt had a strong season and proved to be a strong blocker on the line. He also saw some action in passing plays this season. He is currently a free agent. Kendall Blanton and Ethan Wolf are both in their first year and are also reliable younger backups. They are also free agents.
Tyler Higbee, 4-year Pro, 4-Year/$29,000,000 Contract
Higbee had a record-breaking year in 2019 and many expect more from him in 2020. He had 69 catches for 734 yards and three touchdowns. His receptions set a new single-season franchise record for a tight end and his three touchdowns were a career high. Most of his receptions, yardage and touchdowns were made in December. He has a ton of yardage after the catch as well. At 6’6”, 255-pounds, Higbee is also a solid blocker. Offers aid to the offensive line by helping to contain edge rushers. After his stellar performance toward the end of the season, Higbee’s expensive contract extension appears favorable. He should also have a strong future with the Rams. Look for him to be the starting tight end next season.
Higbee signed a 4-year, $29 million contract extension through 2024 right before the start of the 2019 regular season. Initially, the contract seemed too high for a tight end like Higbee. While Higbee did show some progression in 2018, it seemed the Rams still overpaid. That may not be the case if he can continue to play on a high note in 2020.
Gerald Everett, 3-Year Pro, 1-Year/$1,511,117 Contract (Remaining)
Everett has been a reliable target at times in the past two seasons for the Rams. In 2019, he had 37 catches for 408 yards and two touchdowns. His best performance this season was against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 5. Everett had seven receptions for 136 yards with a long of 32. Everett was targeted more in the middle of the season. He had some big catches but was inconsistent throughout the entire season. His injuries didn’t help matters, but fortunately, Higbee made up the difference. Mundt also took over the number two tight end spot during his injury recovery. Because of this, Everett may find it hard to get more snaps next season.
Everett signed a 4-year, $6,044,469 through 2021. He is constantly anticipated to becoming a breakout candidate every year. The Rams may also use him as trade leverage in the offseason or could be a mid-season trade target too.
Johnny Mundt, 3-Year Pro, ERFA
Mundt has been a solid special teams contributor, but he has also been a versatile tight end. Mundt’s blocking ability is strong and he proved it during the end of the 2019 season. He was on 12 personnel plays with Higbee and had 148 snaps on offense in the last five weeks of the season. Mundt had four catches for 26 yards this year with a long of 9.
Mundt is an exclusive rights free agent and the Rams would benefit to pick him up again for next season. Mundt’s contribution with blocking particularly helped an inexperienced offensive line.
Kendall Blanton, 1-Year Pro, ERFA
Blanton signed a 1-year, $495,000 contract this year as undrafted free agent. Blanton did not see any snaps this season but did have a touchdown in the preseason against the Houston Texans. He was activated from the practice squad and brought up to the 53-man roster in December. At 6’6”, 262 pounds, the Rams may want to re-sign him for next season and keep him as a younger backup.
Ethan Wolf, 1-Year Pro, ERFA
Wolf was recently acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad. The Rams may find a good use for the 6’6”, 252-pound tight end as a strong backup to Everett. Having Wolf, Blanton and some 2020 undrafted free agents could create some interesting competition for the practice squad.
Where Do the Rams Go from Here?
Overall, the Rams have had great success at the tight end position. They enjoyed a good run with a duo like Higbee and Everett. Everett’s injury leaves the question of what will happen next season. Will the Rams let him finish out his contract in Los Angeles or will they shop him around? Mundt was a reliable replacement for the final five weeks of the season. He showed how he can step up if needed.