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They didn't steal headlines, but these signings are the unsung steals of 2023 National Football League Free Agency. 

Each of the four AFC East teams, including the New York Jets, made at least one low-key free-agent pick-up that seems sure to pay dividends at some point in 2023. 

A Super Bowl champion safety, a former 1,000-yard receiver, a special teams ace and a Swiss Army knife of an offensive lineman comprise the quartet. 

Here are the sneaky, good free-agent signings by the Jets and their three division rivals:

Buffalo Bills

S Taylor Rapp (Rams)

Bills' GM Brandon Beane pulled off a low-key heist by signing the Los Angeles Rams' former second-round pick. Buffalo had already committed to re-uniting its All-Pro safety tandem, welcoming Micah Hyde back from injury and re-signing free agent Jordan Poyer. Then, the Bills added a third starting caliber safety to Sean McDermott's defense by inking the 25-year old Rapp. 

Effective as a box safety and while patrolling centerfield, the 6-foot-tall defensive back totaled 33 starts for the Rams over the past two years.

Rapp started all 17 regular season contests during Los Angeles' 2021 Super Bowl run. He made seven stops while logging 27 defensive snaps in Super Bowl LVI, helping the Rams to a 23-20 win over Cincinnati. In 2022, the former second-round draft pick recorded 92 tackles, six passes defensed and two interceptions over 16 starts.

In addition to providing insurance for the aging Hyde-Poyer duo, Rapp will likely see time as a third safety on the field. The Bills use five defensive backs in their base alignment and never directly replaced linebacker Tremaine Edmunds who went to Chicago in free agency.

Miami Dolphins

WR Chosen Anderson (Cardinals)

The Jets' former starter, who was then known as Robby Anderson, may be an afterthought for most fans at this point, but don't be surprised if he's able to resurrect his career in South Florida. 

Anderson, a former 1,000-yard performer, brings more speed to a receivers' room headlined by track stars Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Since Trent Sherfield went to the Bills in free agency, the Fins have an opening at the WR3 spot and they may have found their guy with this low-risk, high-reward signing. 

In addition to carrying excess baggage, Anderson possesses an ability that should excite the offensive-minded Mike McDaniel. After signing as an undrafted free agent out of Temple in 2016, the 6-foot-3 receiver logged at least 587 yards in each of his four seasons with the Jets. The New Jersey-born Anderson caught 207 passes for 3,059 yards and 20 touchdowns in 62 games with Gang Green.

He enjoyed a career year with Carolina in 2020, making 95 grabs for 1,096 yards over 16 starts.

WR Robby Anderson matches a key catch in a 2018 win in Buffalo

WR Chosen Anderson as a Jet

New England Patriots

LB Chris Board (Lions)

Every NFL 53-man roster needs a Chris Board type or two. The signing of Board was never going to steal the headlines or send Pats' fans into a frenzy, but it was a sneaky, good move that stresses the importance of special teams. 

Bill Belichick and Co. have won a number of notable games due to superior special teams play over the years, and the 6-foot-2 Board instantly strengthens that unit. Set for his sixth pro season, the undrafted linebacker out of North Dakota State has played in 80 career games with nearly 70 percent of his snaps coming on specials. 

After spending his first four NFL seasons playing under special teams guru John Harbaugh in Baltimore, Board spent the 2022 campaign with the Detroit Lions and did not miss a game. He made 17 solo stops last year, running his career total up to 115 combined tackles. With perennial Pro Bowler Matthew Slater heading into his 16th, and likely final, season, Board can become acclimated in New England alongside an ST legend. 

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New York Jets

OL Wes Schweitzer (Commanders)

The Jets' earth-shattering offseason move was trading for quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but what good is a four-time NFL MVP to a team that can't protect him from the pass rush?

Long before the Rodgers deal was done, Gang Green plucked free agent offensive lineman Wes Schweitzer off the market at a bargain price. The 6-foot-4 Schweitzer is highly valued for his versatility. Listed as a guard on his Player Profile, he has taken snaps at all five offensive line positions as a pro.

With Laken Tomlinson and Alijah Vera-Tucker the presumed first-string guards, Schweitzer may not even be a starter when the season kicks off. Even so, his signing was a smart move by general manager Joe Douglas. There's a high injury rate at all o-line positions and every team usually needs a fill-in at some point. That's where Schweitzer, the Swiss Army knife, can be of great use, providing quality starter performance off the bench. 

The 29-year old Schweitzer, a sixth-round draft pick by the Atlanta Falcons in 2016, played in 34 games (24 starts) during his three-year tenure with the Commanders. He made seven appearances (6 starts) at center in 2022, but lost the bulk of the season due to a concussion.


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