Looking back at Free Agency ‘21, Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry were the biggest names on the tight end market, and of course each signed market-pacing deals with the New England Patriots. The Seattle Seahawks, meanwhile, sat out the initial wave as they typically do and parlayed their hand into signing veteran and familiar face Gerald Everett to a one-year deal. This of course had the double-benefit of adding a playmaker to the offense while subtracting one from the divisional rival Los Angeles Rams (even if this didn’t exactly end up making a huge difference in the end, but I digress...). And Everett responded by putting together a solid season. Or, more accurately, a career season.
Gerald Everett had a career season for the Seahawks.... and most likely just earned himself a decent raise. pic.twitter.com/5IByA1uqA1— Stan 'the boy' Taylor (@GoodGuyAtSports) January 8, 2022
So the good news about this is that the front office was able to pull a very Seahawk-y move and get similar production as the Foxborough squad at a micro-fraction of the cost; Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith both signed multi-year contracts with some consequently hefty guarantees. And how did this end up working out? Let’s just say that even though the difference hasn’t exactly been negligible, the disparity is far smaller than the respective salaries of these players should dictate.
A tale of two franchises. I can't imagine that New England is loving the Jonnu Smith contract right now, as Seattle got similar production from Dissly and Everett at a fraction of the cost.... in 2021. pic.twitter.com/Iig65Le22r— Stan 'the boy' Taylor (@GoodGuyAtSports) January 8, 2022
While Henry put together a solid season as a red zone threat for rookie QB Mac Jones, Jonnu Smith has largely been absent from the game plan and has failed to make much of an impact after signing a heavily guaranteed contract that is about to take a big cap hit jump in year two, according to Spotrac.com. The fact that Seattle is getting similar production from Will Dissly is pretty phenomenal, especially considering his injury history and role as a blocker. However, this isn’t great news for the team heading into Free Agency 2022.
Both Gerald Everett and Will Dissly are slated to be Unrestricted Free Agents this offseason. While neither has played absolutely out of their minds to the point where I expect Henry/Smith types of contracts to be heading their way, the market can be unpredictable. And with this team likely to have many needs and not a ton of draft picks, negotiating some tricky salary situations in ‘22 and beyond is a near certainty. Of course, this picture will get to be a bit clearer in the coming weeks as the season draws to a close. Either way, when the team takes the field against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, Gerald Everett is going to get another opportunity to add to keep building his resume and tack on a few more stats in this career season.