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:
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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