SF 49ers: 3 players who should be on the trade block

Dante Pettis #18 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
Dante Pettis #18 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /
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Dante Pettis, SF 49ers
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Dante Pettis (18). Mandatory Credit: San Francisco 49ers/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network /

No. 1: SF 49ers Wide Receiver Dante Pettis

Wide receiver Dante Pettis has been a bust in his three seasons with San Francisco.

That may be an understatement. The 2018 second-round NFL Draft pick has failed to live up to his expectations and high draft pedigree in nearly every way. He seems to constantly be in SF 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan’s doghouse due to what is often perceived as a lack of competitive drive.

Despite something of a minor resurgence in training camp, it’s looking to be more of the same over the first three weeks of 2020, too.

There is no doubt Pettis is a talented player. Yet that has largely not been seen on the field. Pettis has often been inactive or unused over the last two years with the Niners, perhaps most famously when he was inactive for last season’s Super Bowl.

It seems like every year, 49ers fans are told Pettis has finally made the leap, he has finally found the competitive drive to match his undeniable ability. But every year, that is not seen on the field. Pettis is rarely on the field, and when he is, he is almost never targeted.

It seems like Shanahan, as well as the Niners players, simply do not trust the receiver to be a part of the offense.

That is why it’s time for San Francisco to move on from him. At first glance, it seems like a trade does not make sense. After all, Pettis’ NFL career so far has undoubtedly been a failure, why would any team trade for him?

Well, Pettis was a very well regarded prospect coming out of college. The former University of Washington product holds the NCAA football record for most punts returned for a touchdown. Three abysmal seasons in the NFL will not make teams completely forget about his college career. Combine that with Pettis’ undeniable route-running prowess, and there are many teams that might be able to convince themselves his failures have more to do with Shanahan’s high standards than Pettis’ ability.

Now, it’s unlikely the SF 49ers will be able to get any high-value items in exchange for Pettis. But at this point, the Niners should take whatever they can get. Whether it’s a young prospect or a late-round draft pick, San Francisco should be able to get something in exchange for Pettis, and unless something drastically changes, it’s not like Pettis will be contributing any value on the field.

The 49ers should cut their losses, as Pettis has shown he doesn’t have what it takes to step up in this offense and see what team they can get to take him off their hands.