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Raiders signing of receiver James Jones headlines 'Best of the Rest' in NFL free agency

Shutdown Corner
Green Bay Packers' James Jones breaks away from Detroit Lions' Chris Houston (23) for an 83-yard touchdown catch during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, in Green Bay, Wis
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Green Bay Packers' James Jones breaks away from Detroit Lions' Chris Houston (23) for an 83-yard touchdown catch during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Every NFL signing during free agency is important, but not every acquistion grabs headlines. Bidding wars are usually more interesting than a team re-signing a key special teams player. Darrelle Revis signing with New England will garner more attention than Jerome Simpson re-signing with the Vikings.

Most of the major free agents have been snagged, and there are only a few major names remaining. It is unclear when Jared Allen, Henry Melton and Michael Vick will find a home in 2014. NFL observers often enjoy pontificating the possibilities more than recognizing the non-marquee names who have signed.

Here are a few recent signings you may have missed:

Raiders: James Jones, WR; Kevin Boothe, LB

Jones, a former Packers receiver, signed a three-year deal with Oakland. He had 59 receptions and a career-high 817 yards last season despite missing three games because of a knee injury. Jones spent seven years in Green Bay, and life without Aaron Rodgers will be an eye-opener – just ask Vikings receiver Greg Jennings, who became nonexistent after leaving Green Bay.

Boothe signed a two-year deal worth $3.4 million. He is a guard, but played six games at center with the New York Giants. Boothe played on two Super Bowl championship teams in New York, and he strengthens a weak offensive line.

Packers: James Starks, RB

Re-signed for two years. Starks will backup Eddie Lacy, who excelled as a rookie starter last season. He finished with 89 carries (5.5 average), 493 yards and three touchdowns last season.

Saints: Zach Strief, RT

He reportedly signed a five-year deal worth up to $20.5 million, with $8.4 million guaranteed and a $5.5 million signing bonus. Strief has been a Saints captain since the 2012 season. He allowed three sacks and four quarterback hits last season.

Redskins: Brandon Meriweather, S

The veteran re-signed and will receive a one-year deal worth $1 million. He played in 13 games, recording 69 tackles, a sack, two interceptions, and a forced fumble. Meriweather played most of his career at strong safety, but was used mostly as a free safety last season.

Bengals: Taylor Mays, S

Mays is a former second-round pick by San Francisco who was traded to Cincinnati after one season. He entered the league as a safety, but played linebacker on passing downs, plus was a special team contributor last season. He signed a one-year deal to remain with the Bengals.

Seahawks: Steven Hauschka, K

Last season, Hauschka made 33 of 35 field goals, including a 53-yarder He also kicked two overtime winners. He was rewarded with a three-year deal worth $9.15 million. Who said kickers are not important?

Giants: Trindon Holliday, WR

Former Broncos receiver will compete against Quintin Demps to return kicks this season. He scored on a punt and kickoff return last season. Holliday signed a one-year deal.

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Anwar S Richardson is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at NFLAnwar@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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