SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 23: Dante Pettis #18 of the San Francisco 49ers walks on the field after injuring his knee during their NFL game against the Chicago Bears at Levi's Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff,

The Patriots spent trade deadline week adding at the wide receiver position, trading for one and signing another to the practice squad. It turns out they nearly added a third via the waiver wire.

ESPN’s Field Yates reported Thursday that the Patriots would have claimed former 49ers wide receiver Dante Pettis off waivers if the New York Giants didn’t put in a claim. The latter are 1-7 on the season, so they had a higher waiver priority than the 2-5 Patriots. Active fantasy football GMs know Bill Belichick’s pain.

Pettis would have been the third new wide receiver to join the Patriots in the span of just a few days. The Pats made one of the only trades of the day on Tuesday when they sent a conditional 2022 sixth-round pick to the Miami Dolphins for Isaiah Ford. They also signed veteran wideout Donte Moncrief to the practice squad after bringing him in for a workout.

MORE: Patriots sign veteran WR to practice squad

Despite the close call with Pettis, the Patriots obviously valued and prioritized Ford more. The Niners waived Pettis after trying to trade him. Belichick easily could have sent that draft pick to San Fran if he wanted Pettis badly enough.

Pettis has more athletic upside than Ford as a former second-rounder who wasn’t part of the Niners’ long-term plans. But the Patriots ostensibly feel that Ford has a better chance of picking up the offense on the fly and contributing in the second half of this season.

Ford won’t be available for the Patriots this week due to COVID-19 guidelines. Expect him to be in the lineup for Week 10 against the Baltimore Ravens in Foxboro.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff or send him a nasty email at