With the signing of veteran receiver Austin Collie, the Patriots could be dangerous through the air the rest of the season.
Collie, 27, was cut from San Francisco after training camp in a surprising move. He worked out for several other teams before landing in New England Wednesday. He does have an injury history of concussions, as well as dealing with a knee injury last season.
This is a low risk move for the Patriots with a chance for high reward. But that comes with a lot of “ifs.” If he can stay healthy and learn the playbook he will be extremely hard to cover in the slot. If you add in the high production from Julian Edelman and the possible return of Danny Amendola, the Patriots passing attack could be a nightmare for defensive coordinators to plan for. Not to mention the addition of Rob Gronkowski at tight end.
When the 6-foot-1, 204-pounder has been healthy, Collie has shown solid production on the field. In three full seasons with the Colts, Collie had 172 catches for 1,845 yards and 16 touchdowns. He is a smart slot receiver who can play on the outside. He could be tough on defenses during a favorable match up. Expect Josh McDaniels and Tom Brady to look to exploit those mismatches against linebackers and nickel defensive backs.
At the end of the season, if this signing works out, this could be one of the best receiving corps Brady has had in a long time. It all depends on those big “ifs.”
Bryan Souza is a new contributor to Patriots Insider. He has extensive scouting knowledge of several college and pro teams throughout the country.