Muskie cradles are not necessarily "unsafe" at all. (Although handling muskies is technically a little dangerous in general considering sharp teeth and hooks). Actually, what is very good about cradles is that they lend full support to a fish, horizontally (which is natural), and they can be kept in the water while hooks are cut out.
The only downside to cradles is that they are a little harder to get fish into, as compared to a big landing net or net/cradle hybrid. Also, because they require two hands to use, they're not practical for the lone angler. So, it's really personal preference ... but for those new to muskie fishing, I suggest a large landing net with knotless, treated mesh because most anglers will be able to land the fish quicker and easier with a good net. Leave the fish in the water in the net over the side of the boat for release.