LA Chargers’ backup options for Hunter Henry: 1. Gerald Everett
I do not think it is very likely that the LA Chargers would end up paying for a free-agent tight end if Henry walked as they would instead use that cap space elsewhere. However, I could also see the logic in getting Justin Herbert as many weapons as possible, and the best way to bring in an established weapon is free agency.
Out of all the potential tight end options that the Chargers could sign in the offseason I think the best fit is Gerald Everett. Everett is not the second-best free-agent tight end, that is Jonnu Smith, but he is the best fit outside of Henry.
Smith would get a similar contract to Henry and at that point I really do not think it is worth it. If the Chargers are going to pay that much for a free-agent tight end they might as well not get outbid by another team for Henry.
Everett, meanwhile, may not get as large of a contract. Pro Football Focus predicts that he will get a three-year, $15 million contract and Over the Cap values him at $6.1 million. Now that is doable.
There is very little threat of the Rams re-signing Everett because they are already paying Tyler Higbee and do not have much financial flexibility and perhaps coach Brandon Staley would want to bring in someone he has worked with from the Rams.
Everett certainly has potential, he has just never gotten a chance to be the tight end in an offense.