Could 49ers trade Dante Pettis to Vikings this summer?
By Peter Panacy
Would the 49ers entertain a trade possibility of sending Dante Pettis to the Vikings? Our sister site thinks it’s possible.
Our friends over at The Viking Age proposed an interesting scenario: The San Francisco 49ers consider making a trade with the Minnesota Vikings by sending away third-year pro wide receiver Dante Pettis.
Here was the rationale from TVA’s Luke Parrish:
"With Justin Jefferson set to emerge as the new star in the offense, and Adam Thielen returning to his role as mentor, the Vikings have a solid base to build on. Beyond those two, however, there are plenty of question marks at wide receiver. Tajae Sharpe and Bisi Johnson can provide quality depth, but neither has shown that they are capable of carrying a heavy workload just yet.Bringing in more competition will only encourage everyone to get better. The Vikings should be looking for ways to get better and add talent on the cheap, which Pettis provides."
Head coach Kyle Shanahan has made a habit out of jettisoning players who fall into his proverbial “doghouse.” During the offseason, the Niners parted ways with one such player, running back Matt Breida, sending him to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a fifth-round NFL Draft pick, which was subsequently used on offensive lineman Colton McKivitz.
Pettis, San Francisco’s second-round pick from the 2018 draft, flashed a lot of promise late his rookie season and seemed primed for a breakout 2019 campaign. But controversy emerged in training camp last year, resulting in Pettis’ scant use and eventual placement on Shanahan’s inactive list in Super Bowl LIV.
It’s anyone’s guess what the 49ers could get in return from Pettis. Most likely, they’d take a hit on their draft investment from two drafts ago, possibly netting no more than an early day-three pick. But Pettis is young and promising enough still to at least command a bit more value on the open market. We’re not talking about some journeyman receiver who has flamed out a bit over the past couple of years.
That said, Minnesota could easily drive the price down by pointing out Pettis’ relatively low value to Shanahan last season, combined with the Niners’ offseason additions at the position, Travis Benjamin, and rookies Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings.
Why 49ers consider the trade for Dante Pettis
Barring a huge bounce back, it’s going to be tough for Pettis to shake the reputation he received from Shanahan last year. As Parrish also pointed out, San Francisco’s receiver room is awfully crowded, including the aforementioned names, while the team is also looking at fellow wideouts Deebo Samuel, Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor and Jalen Hurd, among others.
Getting something, anything in exchange for Pettis would be better than merely waiving him, which would be the only other option if he fails to make the 53-man cut out of training camp.
And Shanahan already has this reputation, so it wouldn’t be the biggest shocker to see the Niners go that route.
Why 49ers don’t trade Dante Pettis
Samuel and fellow wide receiver Richie James both suffered offseason injuries, which could put their availability for Week 1 in doubt.
Samuel’s potential absence hurts a lot in particular, as he was expected to be the 49ers’ No. 1 option at the position with Aiyuk developing right alongside him. Aside from Bourne and, to a lesser extent, Taylor and Benjamin, Shanahan doesn’t exactly have a lot of proven options at the position.
Would parting ways with Pettis strengthen San Francisco’s immediate needs at wide receiver? Likely not.
It’s possible the Niners would entertain something like this well after the regular season begins, particularly with regards to Samuel’s recovery and Aiyuk’s maturation process. If both players are contributing handsomely, it’s reasonable to assume Shanahan has little reason to keep Pettis around on the roster.
So a pre-trade deadline move could be in the cards.
As far as a would-be trade with the Vikings between now and Week 1, however, it doesn’t seem overly likely unless the offer was far too good to pass up.