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Where Are They Now? Former Rams QB Jim Everett

When a player is chosen in an NFL Draft, he typically negotiates a contract, reports to the team, and begins his career.

In Jim Everett's case – yeah, not so fast.

The Purdue quarterback was selected with the third overall pick of the 1986 Draft by the then-Houston Oilers. But with Warren Moon already on their roster, the surprising move was reportedly to be used as trade bait.

It took a little longer than the Oilers or Everett would have preferred since he missed training camp and the first two games of the season, but it worked.

The Rams traded Pro Bowl guard Kent Hill, defensive end William Fuller, their first-round picks in the next two Drafts, and a fifth-round pick in 1987, to Houston for the rights to Everett.

"I learned a lot about the NFL being drafted by the Houston Oilers," Everett said. "You look at No. 1 picks and they don't want to be at that particular place, and you think they're just greedy. I learned a little bit about how you need to represent yourself.

"I was almost a Packer. I was almost a 49er. And then I became a Ram, and it just felt good to be someplace that wanted you. And needed you.

"Coach (John) Robinson was going to give me eight weeks to understand the terminology and the whole deal. I felt like I was ready to go a couple weeks earlier, and I was begging for him to put me in. And yeah, it was a long road (before I got to play in) Week 11, but once we got in there, it was really fun."

From his first start as a rookie against New England, Everett was as L.A. as the Hollywood Sign, and would help lead the Rams to the playoffs three times, and to the 1989 NFC Championship Game.

"The key to the team's success was having a lot of good parts," Everett said. "When you talk about team, it's never just one guy. I mean, Michael Jordan doesn't win all those championships without (Scottie) Pippen and the support team. You've got to have parts. It helps to have the main player, or a guy that can pull the trigger and do the right things, but if you don't have some people around you…

"It certainly makes a difference when you have star-studded players around you. And I see the modern-day Rams, they've got pieces. Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, Matthew Stafford, receivers, a good runner, and a good offensive line. Just a good, sound team. It doesn't mean they're going to win every one of them, but they're certainly going to have a chance."

As did Everett and his Ram teams. What are among the fondest memories from his playing days?

"I've got so many great memories. Even off the field. The first day, signing the contract, I got lost on the freeway trying to go to my own damn press conference," Everett laughed. "It was like hello, L.A. traffic.

"Some of the memories on the field, probably my first game, throwing three touchdowns and sparking that offense. And I know New England ended up winning on a Hail Mary, fluke play, but I'll always remember that.

"Or when the crowd was chanting my name. They really just wanted some good quarterback play. It was kind of nice bringing some stability to the position. The fans appreciated that, and I always appreciated the fans. The love affair goes on to this day.

"Or you can talk about playoff wins. Flipper's [Anderson] record of 336 yards when we played in New Orleans (in 1989) that still holds up today. That was a Sunday night game, and we were down, 14-3, with 4:01 left. You could hear the TVs clicking off. People writing us off. And then we come back and win that game (20-17)."

With the team coming back to Los Angeles five years ago, Everett and other Rams Legends have had the opportunity to step back into the spotlight and witness other memorable victories at SoFi stadium.

"We went 21 years in Los Angeles without a football team. Every time you heard the words Los Angeles, it usually was for leverage for another team trying to get a new stadium, and they threatened to move here," Everett said.

"Having the Rams back is absolutely fabulous. I thought it would be an expansion team. But for the heritage to come back, and I feel for St. Louis. I know the fans go between each one of them. The fans in St. Louis are fabulous and the fans in Los Angeles are fabulous.

"When the Rams came back, if it wasn't for Stan Kroenke putting $5 billion into that project and building a stadium with his own money, it wasn't going to happen in California. So I think we're blessed with Mr. Kroenke, for sure."

In the league for 12 seasons with the Rams, Saints and Chargers, Everett passed for 34,837 yards, or nearly 20 miles, and 203 touchdowns. Leading the NFL with 31 scoring passes in 1988 and with 29 in '89, he was named to the Pro Bowl in 1990. What makes him most proud of his career?

"Someone asked me when I was five years old, what do I want to do? And I wanted to play professional football. I got a chance to live my dream," Everett said. "And it didn't come easy. It wasn't one of those things that I was like the best guy coming out of high school. I mean, I was a good athlete, but maybe not a true quarterback like a Jeff George or Andrew Luck.

"When I went to Purdue, I wasn't ready for that pro-style offense. But I had to learn it just to get on the field. They wanted me to be a tight end. And I said, 'No, I want to be a quarterback.' So it was a little bit of being hard-nosed about it, but a little dedication. And I finally did it.

"And when I got to the pros, I had to learn (Rams coordinator) Ernie Zampese's offense, which really took us to a whole different level. So I would say, collectively, I'm most proud that I had the guts, determination, to live out a dream."

Following his playing days, Everett earned an MBA from Pepperdine, and in 2000, founded an asset management firm – The Jim Everett Company. He felt that, especially in Los Angeles, name recognition had its advantages and disadvantages.

"I don't think I had clients that just picked me for my name or popularity," said Everett, a registered investment advisor. "When you talk about finances, they wanted somebody that's legit, do a good job, and that was my primary role and that's what I did. Everything I did with my clients I did with my own account.

"There were some events that I went to and they wanted me to pitch my company, and I think they just wanted an athlete to show up and talk to their group. So there was some pluses and minuses over that."

Choosing to go in another direction in 2014, Everett has been a football analyst for different television outlets in Los Angeles. And… "I'm a fan of crypto assets and what they could possibly bring to our future and our transactions. So I'm kind of an athletic geek," he said.

"I guess that's why I went to Purdue. I had a computer science minor and was Academic All-Big Ten. My parents were both teachers. In fact, my dad was a professor. So I've always enjoyed the mental side as much as the physical side."

Making his home in L.A., Everett and his fiancé, Laura, each have three children from previous marriages, and will soon, sans Alice and Sam the butcher, become the Everett Bunch. Also a grandfather of two, what's the best thing about being Jim Everett today?

"I have the freedom to do things that I choose to do. And I've got some experience to appreciate the things I can do," he said. "I've had three joint replacements, so it's a struggle a little bit. People look at the glory on the field, but after you're done, man, I just want my parts to work.

"So I wouldn't say that would be the most glorious part as far as the physical part of everything, but the mental part of being a little bit older, a little bit more mature, knowing what I like and having the time and appreciation and humility to enjoy it all."

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