NFL Rumors: LA Rams rival 49ers want WR Austin. Is this sign of panic?

(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

LA Rams see NFL rumors linking rival 49ers to signing WR Tavon Austin. Is it a sign that their receiving corps is in complete disarray?

The LA Rams are set at wide receiver for 2020.  The team returns WR Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, arguably two of the most dangerous receivers in the NFL. The Rams also have WR Josh Reynolds, rookie WR Van Jefferson, and tight end Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett, and rookie Brycen Hopkins.

The Arizona Cardinals now boast WR DeAndre Hopkins. The Seattle Seahawks have DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.  The San Francisco 49ers? After TE George Kittle, that’s to be determined. And perhaps that is the incentive for the 49ers to so heavily engaged in the arms race that is waging among the other NFC West teams.

You see, the 49ers lost arguably their best wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders in free agency when he signed with the New Orleans Saints.  Their other wide-out, Deebo Samuel, suffered a fracture in his foot which required surgery. He will likely start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list. And there is no telling how quickly he will return.

Are the 49ers scrambling in a panic?

The 49ers traded away WR Marquise Goodwin and even Travis Benjamin has opted out. Suddenly their receiving corps is a room filled with “who are they, anyway?” players. In an offseason with little time to prepare, the 49ers are in a very bad place.  Without the threat of a passing attack, defenses can double up hard on Kittle and stack the rushing lanes.

That leaves the 49ers passing offense on TE George Kittle, rookie WR Brandon Aiyuk, and newly signed veteran tight end Jordan Reed.  The 49ers are currently rumored to be kicking the tires on free-agent receiver Tavon Austin.  Austin is a niche player who can threaten defenses deep. Despite only 21 receptions in 21 games over two seasons, he recorded three touchdowns.

LA Rams WRs Kupp Woods dangerously competitive. dark. Next

While he brings a nice skillset to the 49ers offense, can he synch up quickly enough with the 49ers to be an impact player? That’s the debate.  For now, the 49ers are looking to add to their badly depleted receivers. The question is whether it will make a difference.