3-Wide is a weekly feature in which theScore’s NFL editors debate the hot topics around the league. Grab a cold towel and brace for hot takes.
Which remaining unsigned player can make the biggest on-field impact?
Dan Wilkins: Anquan Boldin once again sitting unsigned in the weeks leading up to training camp is particularly surprising. Though his yardage numbers continued to dwindle last season in Detroit, falling to a career-low mark of 584, the eight touchdowns he posted was his highest since 2008. Boldin is still the perfect big-slot type who can work the middle of the field, make things happen in the red zone, and contribute as a run-blocker. He’ll turn 37 in October, but there are plenty of offenses who could use a savvy veteran with that kind of ability on a short-term deal.
Michael McClymont: DeAngelo Williams has proven he can still get the job done even into his 30s. He started in place of Le’Veon Bell to begin last season and opened the year with a 143-yard, two-touchdown performance. In the season prior, he started 10 times and finished the campaign with 11 touchdowns. There are far too many teams getting poor production at the running back position for Williams to remain jobless.
Arun Srinivasan: It’s hard to believe that Sen’Derrick Marks remains on the open market, as the former Jaguars defensive lineman represents a low-risk, high-reward opportunity for a team in need of help on the interior. Marks may have lost some explosiveness, but he would be an asset in rotational pass-rush duties. It wasn’t long ago that Marks was among the NFL’s best defensive tackles, and a title contender ought to offer him a one-year deal.
Should the NFL put speakers in every player’s helmet?
Srinivasan: Former Indianapolis Colts tackle Tarik Glenn revealed that his team installed a de facto hearing aid in helmets to circumvent crowd noise on the road. While it’d be illegal under current NFL rules, the league should adopt an amendment for teams to implement speakers in player’s helmets. The on-field product would be positively affected by greater communication, and if there are no safety risks involved in installing speakers, the NFL ought to seriously consider it.
Wilkins: If we’re already using speakers for one designated player on each side of the ball, why not do it for all? Speed up the play-calling process and allow players to get the message delivered directly to them rather than relayed by someone else in a huddle. It could certainly help eliminate on-field miscommunication issues.
McClymont: Speakers in every player’s helmet would eliminate the need for a huddle. While that would do much for the pace of the game, it also eliminates one of its staples. It would also all but dull the impact of crowd noise and make stadiums little more than cookie-cutter mausoleums. There’s no immediate need to have a speaker in every helmet.
Which NFL player should write a tell-all memoir?
McClymont: Colin Kaepernick. From his upbringing as an adopted child and his relationship with both his biological and adopted parents, to his sudden rise to fame after being thrust into the starting position for the 49ers, to his decision to kneel for the national anthem and the backlash he incurred, Kaepernick’s story is a compelling one. And it’s still being written. He recently made a trip to Ghana to learn more about his heritage. This is a man of many layers, and at 29, he’s still discovering himself.
Srinivasan: Terrelle Pryor was once the nation’s top-ranked recruit, then rendered college football analysts aghast by signing with Ohio State more than a month after national signing day. Pryor was implicated in a scandal that led to Jim Tressel’s dismissal at Ohio State and bounced around the NFL as a fringe-level quarterback before emerging as a 1,000-yard plus receiver last season. Entering his latest chapter with Washington, Pryor’s turbulent career would make for an excellent memoir.
Wilkins: Marshawn Lynch is far and away one of the most entertaining players this league has even seen. The few candid moments we have gotten from the star running back, when he isn’t avoiding the media at all costs, have been great. What NFL fan wouldn’t want more of that? Lynch’s story would be a must-read.
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