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49ers bring in WR Tavon Austin for a workout

With eight wide receivers healthy, adding a wideout makes sense.

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams

Kyle’s update, 10:33 a.m.: I went through all of Austin’s touches in 2019:

Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the San Francisco 49ers are bringing in wide receiver Tavon Austin for a workout with hopes to sign him. The Niners were down to eight healthy receivers after Travis Benjamin opted out. We went over five free-agent wide receivers who could replace Benjamin last week, and Austin was one:

When you get to Austin, you know there’s slim-pickings. I almost went with former Falcon Justin Hardy, but he’s not a deep threat. While Austin was known for being a “gadget” player for most of his career, Dallas tried to use Austin down the field last season. Austin caught one of his six targets over 20 yards. According to Football Outsiders, Austin had a 13.9-yard average depth of target on seven first down targets last season that produced a -29.3% DVOA. Yikes.

Austin has return value, but he also struggled on punts last year.

The obvious counterpoint here is that Kyle Shanahan would know what to do with a player like Austin compared to Jason Garrett. Austin will be a complementary piece if he is involved in the Niners offense.

The 49ers would also get the speed element back with Austin after Benjamin opted out. Austin didn’t return any punts last year, but he does have 185 returns during his career. Perhaps the 49ers would like Austin to fill that role.

How would you feel about the Austin signing?