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Five underrated free-agent signings

Golden Tate going to Detroit among quieter deals that should pay off

Updated: March 16, 2014, 7:21 PM ET
By Steve Palazzolo | Pro Football Focus

Rarely in NFL history have we gone back and lauded the Super Bowl champion's big-ticket signings on the second Tuesday of March as the deciding factor in that team's title run. Typically, it's the under-the-radar moves that receive the greatest praise in hindsight.

So while Twitter is exploding with the news of every big name switching jerseys, it's often the bargains that will pay off most in the end for the diligent franchises that find them.

Here's a look at five signings that may not have gotten a ton of fanfare when they happened, but should pay dividends down the road.

(Note: Click here for further explanation of any of the stats included in this article.)

Tate

Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions
5 years, $31 million, $13.25 million guaranteed

This move certainly isn't going unnoticed in Detroit, but with bigger-name wide receivers on the market, Tate's signing may not be getting the publicity it truly deserves. It's almost an offseason rite of passage to discuss the Lions' search for a No. 2 wide receiver to complement Calvin Johnson, and this time it looks like they got it right. Tate should help Lions fans forget the Bryant Johnson, Titus Young and Nate Burleson experiments of the past.

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