In June, Niner Noise reported the San Francisco 49ers worked out wide receiver Austin Collie. Despite having a good workout with the team, Collie was not offered a contract. The Sacramento Bee has reported the 49ers are still interested in signing the receiver, but want to wait until after training camp starts.
Even though the 49ers are in need of a more experienced wide receiver with Michael Crabtree out at least until December, the team wants to wait to see if one of the young wideouts on the roster emerges. That group includes A.J. Jenkins, Quinton Patton, Kyle Williams, Ricardo Lockette and Marlon Moore.
If none of the young receiver’s steps up to fill the void, Collie will likely get a call from the Niners to be signed. Mario Manningham will hopefully be in the mix as well, but he is still working his way back after tearing the ACL and MCL in his left knee last season. It is unlikely Manningham will be healthy enough to practice by the start of training camp later this month.
Collie is a receiver with great experience, but he is a risk because of the concussions he has suffered during his career. Since 2009, he has had three concussions. He was with the Indianapolis Colts last season, but played in only one game. The receiver suffered a torn patella tendon that caused him to miss most of the 2012 season. Collie has since fully recovered from the injury.
My money is on Jenkins stepping up for the 49ers to fill-in until Crabtree returns. Even so, it would be wise for the 49ers to sign Collie as insurance. Plus, it would give him more time to learn the offense in case another injury occurs to a wide receiver.
With the Niners interest in Collie known, another team who also needs a wide receiver could snatch him up before San Francisco inks him to a deal.