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August 31, 2013
And then there were five: 49ers WR corps takes shape after team cuts Collie, others

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The 49ers' wide-receiving corps is taking shape after the 49ers said goodbye today to a host of pass catchers, including the Sacramento Area's Austin Collie and preseason favorite Lavelle Hawkins. Also cut today were Chad Hall and Kassim Osgood.

That likely means the top five receivers entering the season are: Anquan Boldin, Marlon Moore (Natomas High), Kyle Williams, Quinton Patton and Jon Baldwin.

The team has two more wide receivers, Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree, who are currently on the physically unable to perform list but who may be added to the 53-man roster during the season. Baldwin's $1.061 million salary this season is guaranteed whether he makes the team or not.

Austin (Oak Ridge High) proved he was back from a torn patella tendon that cost him the 2012 season in Indianapolis. But after being signed Aug. 2, neither he nor Hawkins, were given practice repetitions with the top offense and they typically entered preseason games late in the second half. Both acts signaled that the 49ers already had made up their minds about which receivers would make the squad.

Hawkins had a 105-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in Sunday's preseason game. On Thursday, he made a juggling catch, then bounced off three Chargers tacklers for a touchdown.

Hall, meanwhile, was perhaps the most consistent receiver when the entire offseason is considered. Defensive backs could not keep up with the undersized but cat-quick Hall in practice, and he reported in tip-top shape, never missing a practice. Hall even played some snaps at cornerback in Thursday's preseason finale.

None of the receivers cut today is eligible for the practice squad. The only eligible receiver is undrafted rookie Chuck Jacobs. His fate has not yet been reported.

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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