SF 49ers unable to trade Dante Pettis, waive him instead
By Peter Panacy
After a promising rookie season, the SF 49ers finally elected to part ways with their 2018 second-round pick, Dante Pettis.
Wide receiver Dante Pettis‘ time with the SF 49ers has finally come to a close.
This, according to a Tuesday report from The Athletic’s Matt Barrows, who reported the Niners were waiving their former second-round pick from the 2018 NFL Draft, a player whom they moved up to grab out of the University of Washington that year.
Pettis flashed some promise his rookie season, finishing that year with 467 yards on 27 receptions with five touchdowns, mostly garnered over the final five games of the season while the SF 49ers were in spoiler mode. But things quickly fell apart for Pettis the following year, where he was undergoing a serious regression in training camp and ultimately landed in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s proverbial “doghouse.”
Pettis’ sophomore campaign resulted in a mere 11 receptions for 109 yards and two touchdowns, including being inactive for San Francisco’s appearance in Super Bowl LIV.
During training camp, there were signs Pettis was bouncing back from an otherwise forgettable 2019 campaign. Shanahan noted he was impressed with the receiver’s focus and determination — two elements largely lacking from the previous year.
But any indication Pettis would be a plus factor in San Francisco’s follow-up campaign to the Super Bowl quickly dissipated, and Pettis once again found himself a regular member of the weekly inactive list, finishing out his team totals on the year with just one target over five games played.
A fumble on a kickoff return in Week 8 against the Seattle Seahawks was surely the last straw.
Shanahan previously admitted the team was looking to trade Pettis prior to Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline, yet obviously, no takers arose.
San Francisco will save the remainder of the $1.745 million Pettis was scheduled to make over the rest of 2020 with an additional $1.35 million next season, per Over the Cap.
SF 49ers also part ways with DL Jullian Taylor
In addition to Pettis being waived, the Niners also announced they were waiving third-year defensive lineman Jullian Taylor, whom they selected in Round 7 of the 2018 NFL Draft.
A cog in San Francisco’s defensive line depth the previous two seasons, Taylor registered 16 total tackles, four of which were for a loss, and two quarterback hits before an ACL tear in December of last year prematurely ended his second season.
Taylor wasn’t able to return to the SF 49ers this season while still recovering from the injury, although the move prompts the idea San Francisco wasn’t envisioning him being a key part of the D-line’s rotation in the coming seasons.
The Niners also didn’t make any other trades at Tuesday’s deadline.