With the Rams up against the salary cap this offseason, Gerald Everett wasn't staying in Los Angeles past 2020.
Why not follow his old team's assistant coach to a rival franchise featuring a superstar quarterback?
The former Rams tight end moved north in March, signing a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks in what amounts to an opportunity to prove his ability to the rest of the league. After playing alongside a cast of weapons in Los Angeles for most of his first four years, Everett joins a similarly talented offense in Seattle that might just have the perfect role ready for him.
It certainly has the best passer he's ever called a teammate.
"I haven't (been) able to play with a quarterback like (Russell Wilson) up to this point in my career," Everett said, via the team's official site. "I've had a different quarterback each place I've been, so to be able to play with a guy of Russ' caliber is really exciting to me."
Any sane pass-catcher would want to play with a quarterback like Wilson, an eight-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion who elevates his offense's potential on a weekly basis. But another significant reason for Everett's move to the Pacific Northwest wears a headset and will be coordinating Seattle's offense.
Shane Waldron got the offensive coordinator job under Pete Carroll in the latest step of what has been a steady rise up the coaching ranks. He knows Everett well, having served as the tight end's position coach during Everett's rookie season with the Rams and expanding his responsibilities to include passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach since 2017. There's no doubt that familiarity made Everett's decision easier.
"Shane is a mastermind," Everett said. "He's very creative, and I can't wait to see what he's going to do in Seattle ... When Shane went to Seattle, obviously the idea was there, it lingered in my head, but you also have to understand it's a business. Shane has definitely been pivotal in my career, been a mentor and a coach. He's definitely showed me the ropes, and of course we've had that tight-knit relationship since I've got in (the NFL) and it still remains. And yes, he was a factor in my decision to come to Seattle. But also, Seattle having a great organization and winning culture and great players like Russ and DK (Metcalf) and Bobby Wagner, and a bunch of other guys."
Everett leaves one franchise that has enjoyed success in the last four years for another that has been a perennial contender for most of the last decade. As the Rams rose to prominence, they could bank on the Seahawks standing in their way, ready to challenge them. Last year, it was the Seahawks who took home the division crown, only to fall to the Rams in the postseason.
That defeat likely won't be forgotten anytime soon in Seattle. With Everett moving over to what Rams fans see as the dark side, he's now an adversary. And with Waldron there with Everett, orchestrating an offense that helped propel Los Angeles to the Divisional Round, the Rams might be in line to receive a dose or two of their own medicine.
If you ask Everett, his best is yet to come -- and he's aiming for it to arrive with his new team in 2021.
"Today, no I don't think I've really reached my peak, and definitely think that Russell and Seattle can assist me in doing so, along with Pete and Shane," Everett said. "I definitely think I can take the next step in Seattle ... I'm allowed to do more and more things each year I'm in the league, whether that be jet sweeps or screens or running the ball. I really don't know what that looks like, me taking the next step, because I really don't think I have a ceiling, honestly."
Whatever his ceiling, Everett hopes to reach new heights in Seattle, where he'll prepare to take flight as a Seahawk in 2021.