The New England Patriots are having a terrible season -- just not quite terrible enough to get some wide receiver help.
Waiver priority is given to the team with the worst record, meaning the 2-5 Patriots would have landed Pettis instead of the 3-5 Browns -- if it wasn't for the 1-7 Giants, who own the NFL's second-worst record.
Pettis was targeted once in five games for the 49ers this season before San Francisco released him on Tuesday and has 38 receptions for 576 yards through two-plus NFL seasons.
But New England desperately needs help at wide receiver with Julian Edelman sidelined for several weeks and N'Keal Harry out with a concussion. Newcomer Isaiah Ford joins a skeleton crew that includes Damiere Byrd, Jakobi Meyers and practice squad call-up Isaiah Zuber.
Pettis wouldn't have moved the needle much, but losing out on the 25-year-old wideout -- to Joe Judge's New York Giants, no less -- has to rub salt in the Patriots' wounds amid their worst campaign in 20 years.