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Jasen Vinlove/Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jasen Vinlove/Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN identifies 49ers-Texans trade that would be a win-win for both teams

Jun 25, 2020 at 10:11 AM--

ESPN's Field Yates named five win-win NFL trades on Thursday morning, all while noting that such deals are unlikely. NFL trades, in general, are rare compared to other leagues, but the ESPN insider went ahead with the task anyway.

The San Francisco 49ers were involved in one of the hypothetical trades, and it involved shipping off the team's second-round pick from 2018 — wide receiver Dante Pettis. Who would the Niners get in return? The Houston Texans' fourth-round selection from the same year, wide receiver Keke Coutee.

"Coutee -- taken in the 2018 draft, like Pettis -- provides San Francisco with a shifty slot option who would resume learning under wide receivers coach Wes Welker, a fan of his from their time together in Houston in 2018," wrote Yates. "Pettis couldn't find consistent playing time in 2019 with San Francisco, despite a relatively thin receiver depth chart. He played fewer than 30% of the total offensive snaps. He's a dynamic and electric player with the football in his hands (he's one of the greatest returners in NCAA history), but patience appears to be running thin with the 49ers."

Pettis didn't have a catch after Week 9 last season and wasn't targeted after Week 10. He was inactive during Super Bowl LIV. Perhaps a change in scenery might spark something in Pettis.

Maybe the same could happen for Coutee, too. He, like Pettis in San Francisco, remains buried on the Texans' depth chart.

"The 49ers relied on a committee approach at the slot position last season (Kendrick Bourne led them with 180 total slot snaps), but Coutee, who has 50 catches in just 15 career games, would handle that role adeptly."

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