No. 3: Wide Receiver Dante Pettis
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell recently put together an interesting speculative piece on possible trades and free agency signings for a number of top players around the league, prompting some would-be massive shakeups.
While it was all educated guesswork, and that’s totally fine, part of his breakdown suggested the 49ers would move wide receiver Dante Pettis to the New England Patriots.
Let’s be real: The Niners probably owe the Patriots a favor after the Jimmy Garoppolo trade. Pettis has gotten buried on the depth chart, but New England could use the 2018 second-round pick as a Julian Edelman understudy and punt returner.
Barnwell suggests the compensation would be a fifth-round pick (New England currently doesn’t have one in the round), which is possible, although a bit on the unlikely side. But the thing working in Pettis and the 49ers’ collective favor is the fact the two-year pro flashed a ton of upside in the second half of his rookie season. While 2019 was a year to forget for Pettis, the potential to be an impact player hasn’t completely evaporated.
Perhaps the trade would merely be something like this:
The Pats have three sixth-round picks in this year’s draft, and tossing in a conditional 2021 Round 6 selection — which could turn into a fifth rounder if Pettis reaches certain triggers in New England in 2020 — would help sweeten the deal.
By executing the would-be transaction, San Francisco clears up a logjam at wide receiver while netting some day-three draft assets, all the while returning the favor for Garoppolo.
Pettis gets a fresh start, while the Patriots get some much-needed help at a position which was a glaring need last season.