49ers post-NFL Draft roster: 5 veterans who may be gone in 2020
By Peter Panacy
No. 1: Wide Receiver Dante Pettis
If you’re a 49ers player and get into Kyle Shanahan’s proverbial “doghouse,” it’s extremely difficult to get out of it.
San Francisco 49ers
Third-year wide receiver Dante Pettis has an advantage over a number of other players in this category in that Shanahan has vocally pointed out bounce-back efforts from the receiver who all but disappeared from the team’s plans in 2019. This wasn’t the case with Matt Breida or Marquise Goodwin, and both of those two players found themselves traded.
At the same time, one could argue Shanahan’s comments were in response to the pressure Pettis faces from being a second-round NFL Draft pick.
Again, however, there’s a numbers game to watch here, and that could ultimately decide whether or not the 49ers want to invest any more time in Pettis. Deebo Samuel, Kendrick Bourne and Brandon Aiyuk are all but guaranteed to make the 53-man roster. NFL teams rarely keep more than six wideouts during the regular season, leaving players like Pettis to compete with others like Trent Taylor, Richie James, Jauan Jennings, Travis Benjamin and Jalen Hurd.
Six better-known options to compete for essentially three positions. That’ll be tough for Pettis.
Waiving Pettis would save just over $378,000 against the cap with just under $1.4 million in dead money, so it’s likely San Francisco would explore a trade first before simply cutting the proverbial bait. That said, the dead-cap hit isn’t exorbitant, and the extra roster spot could be worth far more than the dead money incurred.
Either way, Pettis has an uphill struggle ahead of him if he wants to make the roster.