The San Francisco 49ers have released wide receiver Dante Pettis and defensive lineman Julian Taylor. The moves come after the Niners publicly put the underachieving wide receiver on the trade block, but it looks like they were unable to find a suitor. Unfortunately, many fans final memory of Pettis in a 49ers uniform will be his costly fumble against the Seahawks in Week 8.
“It’s two weeks before the trade deadline,” Shanahan explained, via 49ersWebZone.com. “I know (general manager) John (Lynch) has taken a number of calls on it. I know he’s made some. That’s stuff that we do right now. We’ll see if it can help us, and if it does, we won’t hesitate to do it. …But nothing is imminent. Dante’s a part of our team, and there’s a good chance he could still stay a part of our team. If he does, when his number’s needed, and he gets his opportunity, I plan on him being ready.”
Pettis was a highly-touted prospect coming out of the University of Washington, and the Niners selected the receiver with the No. 44 overall pick in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The receiver’s best season came in his rookie year with 27 receptions for 467 yards and five touchdowns. Pettis was unable to crack the rotation this season despite a number of injuries and was limited to mostly special teams work.
The 49ers Publicly Put Pettis on the Trade Block
After Deebo Samuel was sidelined again, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan reiterated that Pettis remained on the trade block despite the injury. Shanahan added that a deal was not “real likely” for Pettis which turned out to be true.
“I don’t think it was real likely before,” Shanahan noted after the 49ers win over the Patriots, per Yahoo Sports. “I don’t think anything changes. That’s stuff everyone talks about, especially with the deadline coming up. I’m not sure — I think it’s one week or 10 days or something. That’s always a big time around now. I know Dante got mentioned a few days ago. We’ll see if anything comes up that can help our team, but if it doesn’t, I know Dante can help our team being on it too. So, we’ll look into those injuries tomorrow and keep laying out all trade possibilities until the deadline’s over.”
Shanahan on Kwon Alexander Trade: ‘It Broke My Heart’
The 49ers did make a significant move on the eve of the trade deadline by sending linebacker Kwon Alexander to the Saints. As expected, the 49ers did not make any additional moves on the actual trade deadline. Shanahan admitted trading Alexander “broke my heart” but implied the decision was made for salary cap reasons.
“I love Kwon Alexander,” Shanahan noted, per Mercury News. “It broke my heart to have to tell him what we had to do yesterday. But you have to understand what factors into those decisions. … When you look ahead, keeping him here eight more weeks, that will cost us two more players (on salary cap).”
San Francisco was clearly not going to be buyers at the trade deadline given the number of injuries on the 49ers roster. The Niners signaled their eyes may be on the future with the Alexander trade along with the significant injuries to both George Kittle and Jimmy Garoppolo. Shanahan indicated the team is still focused on winning against the Packers, but the 49ers face an uphill battle to make the playoffs in an especially strong NFC West.
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