5 Underrated NFL Offseason Additions That Will Make or Break Teams in 2023

Mike Gesicki

Getty Mike Gesicki of the Miami Dolphins celebrates after a catch.

As the dust settles on the 2023 NFL offseason, it’s time to take a closer look at some of the underrated free-agent signings that could make a significant impact on their respective teams.

Some of the players listed below might have signed big-money deals, but their impact on their respective teams might not have generated the headlines that match the impact they stand to make in 2023. Meanwhile, others have flown completely under the radar, so far.

Here’s a look at the five most underrated NFL offseason additions, and the impact those players will make with their new teams.

1. Chicago Bears Sign LB T.J. Edwards

The Chicago Bears desperately needed consistency in the middle of the defense, after allowing an average of 157.3 yards rushing per game during the 2022 campaign. Enter, T.J. Edwards, who executive Ian Cunningham had significant familiarity with from his time in the Philadelphia Eagles front office. Edwards, 26, had the most consistent season of his career in 2022, producing 160 tackles with 51 run stops.

Pro Football Focus gave Edwards a career-best 83.4 run-stopping grade last season, and in a division that houses the likes of Dalvin Cook, Aaron Jones and Lions first-round rookie Jahmyr Gibbs, Edwards is a worthy counterpunch and centerpiece to the rebuilt Monsters of The Midway.

2. Philadelphia Eagles Sign S Terrell Edmunds

For the Eagles, losing Chauncey Gardner-Johnson has the potential to disrupt one of the league’s more dominant secondaries from last season, which powered a run to the Super Bowl. But, general manager Howie Roseman may have found an upgrade.

Terrell Edmunds finished the 2022 season with a 69.1 overall grade from Pro Football Focus, including a 68 coverage grade, nearly four points higher than Gardner-Johnson’s. Don’t be surprised if the Philadelphia Eagles weaponize Edmunds in the box consistently, as well as dropping into coverage in a loaded secondary that includes dynamic cornerbacks Darius Slay and James Bradberry.

3. New England Patriots Sign TE Mike Gesicki

New England has tried the past couple of seasons to upgrade the tight end position via free agency, with little success, but just might have landed a pass-catcher at the position with elite upside in the red zone, in Mike Gesicki.

“Gesicki’s going to be a great help in their passing game,” an NFL tight ends coach told Heavy, on the condition of anonymity to speak freely about another team. “He’s going to really help Mac Jones, and could easily become his security blanket.”

Playing last season on the franchise tag, Gesicki was rarely targeted in the Dolphins’ offense but is one year removed from catching 73 of his 106 targets for 780 yards with a pair of touchdowns, during the 2021 campaign. If the Patriots use Gesicki as a high-target weapon, he has the chance to be a matchup nightmare over the middle in the AFC East.

4. Tennessee Titans Sign EDGE Arden Key

In a signing that may be the best situation for both parties involved, Arden Key signed with the Tennessee Titans this offseason, meaning he’ll get two shots annually at revenge against his former team, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“Arden is a really good third down guy who can really rush the passer,” an NFC Personnel Executive told Heavy, just before free agency began.

The Titans desperately needed help in that regard, after logging only 39 sacks as a team last season, and ultimately losing veteran Bud Dupree in free agency. Key arrives in the Music City after producing 5.0 sacks and 44 total quarterback pressures in 2022.

5. Arizona Cardinals Sign LB Kyzir White

When Jonathan Gannon arrived as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, the former Eagles defensive coordinator needed a captain of the defense. Kyzir White fits the mold perfectly.

In 2022, White was constantly around the football, finishing the season with 106 tackles and 2.0 sacks, while holding opposing quarterbacks to an 89.9 passer rating when targeting him. The Cardinals have a long way to go in terms of building a competitive roster, but not only does White have the potential to be a tackles machine in the middle of the defense, but a coach on the field for the unit, as well.

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