When Austin Collie impressed in a June workout with the San Francisco 49ers, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported that no contract offer was forthcoming because the team's brass was going away on vacation.
Nearly two months later, Collie finally will sign with the 49ers, Rapoport reported. The Niners later officially announced that Collie signed a one-year contract. The team also announced the signing of former Tennessee Titans wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins to a one-year deal.
There appears to be more than just the vacation factor at play here. Collie's surgically repaired knee likely was in better shape during Thursday's workout than it was in June. More importantly, the 49ers are hurting for depth with A.J. Jenkins, Kyle Williams, Quinton Patton, Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree either banged up or on the reserve/physically unable to perform list.
It's been nearly three years since Collie was one of the NFL's premier slot receivers, showcasing excellent hands and refined route running. He was available for the 49ers to take a flier due to major concussion concerns as well as last year's patellar tendon surgery.
We suspect Collie is signing for precious little in guaranteed money, in which case he's well worth a roll of the dice for the 49ers. If his knee cooperates, it's conceivable that Collie will take advantage of the opportunity to open the season as a starter in three-wide sets.
Hawkins, on the other hand, will face an uphill battle for a roster spot.The Around The League Podcast is now available on iTunes! Click here to listen and subscribe.