SAN FRANCISCO—On Saturday, August 15, in a press release by the San Francisco 49ers, announced they signed WR Tavon Austin and WR J.J Nelson to one-year deals. In doing so they waived Tight End Daniel Helm and waived injured Wide Receiver Chris Thompson.
Austin (5 feet and 8 inches tall and weighing 185 pounds) began his career in St. Louis when the Rams drafted him eighth overall in the 2013 NFL Draft. He has played for the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams (2013-2017) for six years, and had a one year stint with the Dallas Cowboys (2018-19) which was 96 games and 50 starts.
Austin’s role with the Cowboys was used for decoys, and as a returner for the most part. His career numbers are 215 receptions for 2,006 yards, and 15 touchdowns. In addition, he had 196 rushing attempts for 1,340 yards and 10 touchdowns. In 2013, Austin was apart of the Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie team as a returner.
The 30-year old wide receiver, who is from Baltimore, Maryland broke out on the scene in at West Virginia University, where he had 88 receptions for 3,413 yards and 29 touchdowns on offense to go along with 97 kickoff returns for 2,407 yards and four touchdowns and 34 punt returns for 433 yards and one touchdown on special teams in four year career as a Mountaineer.
The head coach who drafted Austin, Jeff Fisher, had this to say about the 49ers and the potential transaction:
“Hats off the the @49ers, @JohnLynch49ers & Kyle for the moves they’ve made in the last several days…. #Kittle deal is awesome, *applause emoji 4 adding Coach Forester to the staff (life is all about second chances).. and to complete the trifecta… here’s 2 hoping they sign @Tayaustin01”. Austin responded to the tweet by saying “I appreciate you more than words can explain. Love for life coach!”
Nelson (5 feet and 10 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds) was originally drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the fifth round (159th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft. In Nelson’s five year career, he has played for the Cardinals (2015-2018) where he played in the NFC Championship in his rookie year and played for the 2019 Oakland Raiders which was the last team before the Raiders moved to Las Vegas. Nelson’s career numbers are 85 receptions for 1,475 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 12 rushing attempts for 120 yards and one touchdown. He started 15 games for the Cardinals, had one start with the Raiders, who ended up releasing Nelson on October 10, 2019.
Nelson played at a FBS school, University of Birmingham, which is a smaller school compared to a power five school. He was able to gain scouts attention after appearing in 46 games (22 starts) and finished with 20 touchdowns, 116 receptions for 2,273 yards, and 18 rushing attempts for 90 yards and one touchdown. Nelson also had 76 kickoff returns for 1,932 yards and five touchdowns and 35 punt returns for 375 yards and one touchdown.
Helm (who is 6 feet and 4 inches tall and weighs 225 pounds) was on the practice squad throughout the 2019 season before being promoted to the active roster on December 12, 2019. Thompson (who is 6 feet tall and weighs 175 pounds) signed late in the 2019 season after signing to the team’s practice squad on December 3, 2019, and he was never promoted to the active roster.