The New England Patriots acquired free agent wide receiver Austin Collie, who’s been without an NFL home since being cut by the 49ers at the end of the preseason. Collie, a 27 year old veteran, had a couple workouts with the Chargers and Titans, but remained unsigned for 2013.
However, the banged up Patriots are on the lookout for healthy targets for Tom Brady to throw to while they wait for Rob Gronkowski to return. Head coach Bill Belichick says that Collie is a “pretty smart guy” and could be ready for action as early as Sunday.
Collie suffered a series of concussions in 2012 and only ended up catching one pass. However, he averaged 57 catches and 613 yards for the Indianapolis Colts from 2009-2011. The Patriots are in need of a temporary target while they recover from an onslaught of offensive injuries. Meanwhile, Collie has been chomping at the bit for a chance to prove himself as a serviceable NFL receiver.
Collie’s troubled past with concussions put up a red flag for most NFL clubs as they worry about his health and durability. Nevertheless, Collie has assured teams he is good to go, even offering to sign a waiver to protect teams from legal action if he gets concussed again. The Patriots are obviously desperate for weapons, and this could be Collie’s last chance to show that he can still play and succeed in the NFL.