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Breaking Wide Receiver News: Braylon Edwards Traded and Michael Crabtree Signed

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Although neither of news tid-bits directly effect the Arizona Cardinals, both of them could be of interest to the Red Birds. First of all, the Cleveland Browns have traded Braylon Edwards to the New York Jets for two players (wide receiver Chansi Stuckey and linebacker Jason Trusnik) and two picks (reported to be a third and fifth rounder). As if that's not enough news, the San Francisco 49ers have finally signed their first round pick, Michael Crabtree (terms haven't been released). Considering that the Niners accused the Jets of tampering with Crabtree it's at least interesting that both of these stories broke within hours of each other.

Cardinals' spin on Edwards Trade: Call it the nature of the beast that we have to at least analyze the trade of a big-name wide receiver considering the uncertainty of Anquan Boldin's future. While I don't think anyone would argue that Boldin is a much more accomplished wide receiver, the fact remains that both players were linked to similar teams during this past off season. Ok, so on to the trade itself. Chansi Stuckey is former seventh round pick in 2007 but has worked his way into the starting lineup for the Jets. He's a smaller wide out (6-0, 196) who doesn't seem to have a high ceiling but can contribute and will likely get better. Jason Trusnik is a bit of an unknown and so far has been basically a special teams contributor. He's in his third season after being undrafted out of Ohio Northern, but he's got decent size (6-4, 250). The thing that makes this trade so interesting is the Eric Mangini factor. Obviously Mangini knows the guys he's trading for since he spent the previous three seasons with the Jets. So the question, I pose to Cardinals' fans: Would you be satisfied with a similar return for Anquan Boldin (ie. two role players and two mid round picks)? (Also just to be clear, I'm not campaigning for Boldin to ever be traded. Just think of this an a conversation starter.)

Cardinals' spin on Crabtree signing: It clearly doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that a rookie who misses all of training camp and the first four weeks of the season won't simply step into the starting lineup and become a star. The question that Crabtree and the Niners will have to answer is how quickly can Crabtree come in, learn the offense and develop some kind of timing/rhythm with Shaun Hill. Through four games, Isaac Bruce is the only 49ers' wide out who has more than nine receptions so there is certainly a need at that position. The 49ers play the Falcons this weekend, and you'd have to expect that Crabtree will be inactive for that game, but then have a bye the following week. With a week and half it's possible that Crabtree could be ready to at least come into the game in certain packages even if he doesn't know the full playbook. By December 14th, when the Cards travel to San Fran, Crabtree should be fully acclimated and might even be pushing for some significant playing time.  One of the most interesting aspects to watch in this story is how Mike Singletary treats Crabtree after his extended hold out. Singletary wasn't exactly singing his praises towards the end of training camp and his "old school" mentality might make Crabtree's return the field more difficult than he thinks.