Recently released wide receiver Dante Pettis was claimed by the New York Giants shortly after being cut by the San Francisco 49ers. The move comes after the 49ers were unable to find a suitor after publicly putting Pettis on the trade block.
49ers general manager John Lynch is sure to face criticism for failing to land even a day three draft pick as multiple teams appeared to have an interest in Pettis. ESPN’s Field Yates reported the Patriots and Browns also attempted to claim the wide receiver.
“If Dante Pettis had not been claimed by the Giants, he would have become a Patriot, per source,” Yates noted on Twitter. “The Patriots (2-5) and Browns (5-3) also attempted to claim the 2018 second-round pick, with the Giants (1-7) having higher waiver priority.”
The Giants were able to add Pettis to their roster as they had a higher waiver priority. For 49ers fans, the bigger question is how the Niners were unable to land anything for a player only three years removed from being a second-round pick, especially given at least three teams wanted to add the receiver to their squad.
The Giants Are Expected to Utilize Pettis on Special Teams
Pettis is expected to be involved in New York’s return game, and Giants special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey discussed how the team plans to utilize the receiver’s versatility. McGaughey is hoping the Giants can recapture some of the magic Pettis displayed in college at the University of Washington.
“Dante Pettis was one of the best punt returners in the history of college football,” McGaughey explained in his Week 9 press conference. “He had, I think it’s nine punt returns for touchdowns. So, obviously, he’s had some success in the past. Hopefully, once he gets here we’ll find out what his skill set is, what he can do. Find his strengths and try to play to that.”
Shanahan Discussed Pettis’ Trade Availability Multiple Times
Pettis never lived up to being a second-round pick by the 49ers in the 2018 NFL Draft. Publicly, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan expressed confidence in the receiver, but clearly, the team lost any sort of faith in Pettis as they released him after the trade deadline with no compensation. Despite the 49ers being decimated by injuries, Shanahan emphasized the team wanted to trade Pettis.
“I don’t think it was real likely before,” Shanahan noted prior to the NFL trade deadline, 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.”
However blame is divided, Pettis deserves his fair share for failing to take advantage of the opportunities he had with the 49ers. Yet, the Niners also failed to develop a receiver who was one of the top prospects at his position. It will be worth watching how Pettis performs with the Giants given their lack of depth at receiver.
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