It’s been speculated about for awhile now, but the New England Patriots have finally pulled the trigger on signing a free agent wide receiver. Austin Collie has agreed to a deal with the first place Patriots, as he looks to get back on the football field following a ruptured patellar tendon injury in 2012.
Collie only had one reception last season and he hasn’t been relevant in the NFL for basically two years. His battles with concussions have been well documented, as he’s suffered at least four during his young career. The San Francisco 49ers gave him a chance to make their roster this past summer, but they weren’t convinced he was fully recovered from his patellar tendon injury.
Now, he’ll join a Patriots team that’s still looking to establish a new group of wide receivers. Julian Edelman and Kenbrell Thompkins have been solid for Tom Brady for most of 2013, but there’s no doubt they could use a little more depth.
The good news is that Collie is still only 27 and his legs should be fairly fresh (assuming his knee is now close to 100 percent). It’s never been a question of skill with the WR, it’s been a matter of heath. He’s always struggled to stay on the field and it just seems unlikely that his health trends will change all of a sudden in 2013.
I’m rooting for him, but I’m also a realist. Even if Collie doesn’t get cut, the odds are against him making a real impact on the field. However, the Pats must have seen enough in the WR to offer him a contract. If there’s any place he can resurrect his career, New England seems like a good spot.