Dec 9, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) eludes a trio of New Orleans Saints defenders as he makes a 35-yard catch in the second half at Metlife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Mills/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

Why The 49ers Should Consider Victor Cruz

Oct 7, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) celebrates after he scores a touchdown in the second half against the Cleveland Browns. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Mills/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers desperately need to find a deep-threat compliment to WR Michael Crabtree and WR Victor Cruz would provide the perfect fit. The New York Giants have restricted Cruz to a first-round compensation should he pursue greener pastures with another team. The 49ers holding the 31st pick in this year’s draft have the ammo to strike a deal, especially since they also hold the 34th overall selection as part of the Alex Smith trade with the Kansas City Chiefs. So with all the pieces in place, what is holding back the 49ers from pursuing the deal? Money. Cruz will likely command top dollar and it remains unclear if the 49ers will cough up the dough, considering they are willing to let FS Dashon Goldson walk. In addition, they need to re-sign Crabtree next year, and will most likely need to be compensated the same, if not more than Cruz. So with so many barriers affecting this deal, should they do it? I would say a definite yes.

Feb 3, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) catches a pass over Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis (52) in the first quarter in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There are no guarantees that Crabtree will re-sign with the 49ers. We all remember he was labeled a “diva” coming out of college due to his infamous rookie hold-out. In addition, his roots has always been tied to Texas and you can never count out Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones from possibly making a run at the soon to be free-agent. Although Crabtree has transitioned well in the Bay Area, it remains unclear if he sees himself in a 49ers uniform long-term.

Also, by adding Cruz into the mix it will make the 49ers wide receivers unit a strength rather than a weakness. Besides Crabtree, no other 49ers receiver provides much of a threat. Defenses such as the Seattle Seahawks can turn their focus primarily on Crabtree forcing others to make plays. Not anymore. With the addition of Cruz it will undoubtedly change the way defenses game-plan for the 49ers. No longer can safeties play up in run support while their cornerbacks maintain man coverage on the outside. Because if they do, Cruz will make them pay dearly for it, with six points on the scoreboard.

Finally, by acquiring Cruz’s services it will kill two birds with one stone. Not only will the 49ers get their Pro Bowl wide receiver but they will cripple the New York Giants passing attack in the process. Cruz is by far QB Eli Manning’s favorite target and if he is no longer on the team, then oft-injured WR Hakeem Nicks will need to assume that role. It will also provide a great 1-2 punch should Crabtree leave via free-agency, as Cruz and Manningham both played with each other during their Super Bowl run in 2011. I’m not saying that Crabtree will not be re-signed, all I’m trying to emphasize is nothing is guaranteed and the Niners better have a plan B in case things go sour.

With free-agency set to begin on Tuesday, it is highly unlikely that Cruz will be targeted by San Francisco. But with GM Trent Baalke at the helm, anything is possible.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Michael Crabtree San Francisco 49ers Victor Cruz

  • Davey

    Interesting thought. As my fantasy stud I want him to be the guy wherever he goes lol

    • Ryan Sakamoto

      Haha! Cruz is a beast both in reality and fantasy! He will def flourish in the WCO if the 49ers do make a play for him. Thank you for the feedback Davey.

      • Davey

        True. As a Falcons fan I would not like the move though!

  • Keeping_It_Heel

    Cruz would be a great addition but no way we could make it work with the cap

    • Ryan Sakamoto

      The cap definitely makes it tough.

  • Mark Gretz

    yes it would be awesome to have Cruz doing the salsa at the Bay. Better choice than Revis. Y is it sooooo hard to find someone to take the top off that D?

    • Ryan Sakamoto

      Thank you for your feedback Mark. Victor Cruz would be nice doing the salsa in San Francisco and would be a legitimate deep threat for years to come.

  • Russ Button

    Look at the guys that Trent Balke signs. He doesn’t get the Big Names that everyone else is talking about. 2 years ago he signed Carlos Rogers instead of Nnamdi Asomugha. Last year he signed Mario Manningham instead of Mike Wallace.

    If Manningham and Kyle Williams hadn’t gotten hurt, nobody would be talking about the Niners have a weak wide receiver corps. Cruz is going to get another team to overpay him. The secret to the Niners strength is that they don’t overpay for talent.

    If Balke does sign a veteran free agent, it’ll be some #2 or #3 guy with #1 potential like he did with Manningham.

    I expect the Niners to trade away a lot of their lower round picks for future picks. There are always teams like the Raiders who are badly deficient in talent and need a lot of bodies. No way the Niners can absorb 15 new draftees. Chances are they’ll also do some trading up. Perhaps package 3rd, 6th and 7th round picks to get a 2nd round pick for next year.

    The one thing Balke won’t do is overpay for a free agent. Especially when he has more draft picks than the Niners can possibly use.

    • Ryan Sakamoto

      Thank you for the feedback Russ. Typically Baalke doesn’t make a splash in free-agency, however with the 49ers window of opportunity quickly closing something needs to be done. I don’t believe that Kyle Williams and Mario Manningham are good enough to stretch the field on a consistent basis, making Cruz an attractive option.

      I agree they do not overpay for talent, but if they do not sign a player that can take the top off the defense than it will be quite difficult for them to get back to the Super Bowl. That is why I have nabbed Josh Cribbs in my previous articles as a player of interest for Baalke to pursue.

      And as far as the draft picks are concerned, I agree with you there as well as I had said in my previous article that the 49ers should trade up and trade quantity for quality.

      Thank you again for the feedback Russ and GO NINERS!