One of the biggest changes in the NFL is the frequency that trades are made in the league. In the past, teams would utilize free agency to upgrade their roster; draft picks were usually exchanged on draft day to move up and down the board. Now, teams trade picks for players and players for players more often. The league is more fluid than it has ever been before.
Field Yates, at ESPN Insider, published an article detailing five trade ideas. These include Yannick Ngakoue to the Browns, Riley Reiff to the Chargers, Sidney Jones to the Seahawks, Isaac Yiadom to the Packers, and even your Houston Texans trading Keke Coutee to the San Francisco 49ers for Dante Pettis. Here’s what Yates had to say about that final idea:
Why the 49ers do it: 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.
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. 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.
Why the Texans do it: Coutee is buried on the depth chart as things presently stand, with Houston just signing Randall Cobb to a major three-year, $27 million deal. The troika of Brandin Cooks, Will Fuller V and Cobb should make up the primary starters, and it’s hard to find a game-day role for Coutee without any return experience at the pro level.
In Pettis, Houston would add yet another speed receiver who could immediately impact the team on punt and kickoff returns. There has been speculation that Kenny Stills (due $6.975 million this year) could be a cap casualty (a Deshaun Watson contract impacts their cap outlook going forward), and Pettis would be a more affordable option (due just about $2.2 million over the next two seasons) to bring depth and playmaking upside. For both wideouts in this deal, a change of scenery might be just what the doctor ordered.
The Randall Cobb signing wasn’t made to replace DeAndre Hopkins; it was made to provide consistency at the slot position. Despite the occasional BIG game and the neverending potential, it does look like Coutee is one of the odd men out on Houston’s receiver depth chart this summer. It would be surprising if Coutee makes the final 55 for Week One, as much as it hurts to say that. Because of potential and talent, the Texans should still be able to get something for the Texas Tech speedster.
What do you think about this trade idea? Would you trade Coutee for Pettis?