This is a low-profile move ahead of the Nov. 3 deadline. The 49ers will send the Jets a 2022 sixth-round pick and get back a 2021 seventh in this swap, per Pelissero (on Twitter). Willis’ profile has lowered considerably over the past two seasons, but he will have another chance at raising it soon.
The former Bengals third-round pick has worked as a backup with the Jets. He has played 46 defensive snaps this season and was a nine-game backup in 2019, after the Jets claimed him off waivers from the Bengals. Willis, who was a regular rotational cog in 2017 and ’18 in Cincinnati, has not played since Week 3.
The 49ers have seen injuries deplete their once-vaunted defensive line this season. Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas are out for the season, and Dee Ford has no return date in sight. Willis has just three career sacks, but the 49ers will have some extra depth after Willis clears the lengthy COVID-19 protocols.