49ers add depth, sign Collie, Hawkins

By Gabe Schapiro

August 2, 2013

On Friday the San Francisco 49ers signed wide receivers Austin Collie and Lavelle Hawkins to one-year contracts. Both players impressed during a tryout Friday, as the 49ers continue to try and address their ailing receiving corp. Center Sherman Carter and punter Colton Schmidt were released to make room for the duo on the 90-man roster.

Collie, a former fourth round pick, has spent his four-year career with the Indianapolis Colts. In 42 career games he has hauled in 173 receptions, 1,845 receiving yards, and 16 touchdowns. He has been a productive slot receiver when healthy, however he has dealt with significant injury problems. He has sustained multiple concussions, and last season played only one game before rupturing his patellar tendon. San Francisco had previously brought in Collie for a tryout in June.

Hawkins, a 27-year old Cal product, has seen limited action during his five-year career with the Tennessee Titans. In 52 games he has 71 receptions, 771 receiving yards, and one touchdown, with his most productive year coming in 2011.

The two join a thinning group of wide receivers at training camp. Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham are on the
physically-unable-to-perform list; AJ Jenkins, Kyle Williams, and Kassim Osgood have missed several practices with hamstring strains; and finally rookie Quinton Patton has an injured middle finger and is unable to catch passes.

The defending NFC Champions continue to prepare for the upcoming season as the team’s first preseason game approaches next Thursday. How they will handle their depleted depth at wide receiver will be a major factor to keep an eye on.

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