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Cruz, Giants getting nowhere fast

Cruz Getty Images

At various points during the 2012 season, it was believed that the Giants were close to working out a long-term deal with receiver Victor Cruz, an undrafted free agent who has salsaed into the hearts of Giants fans everywhere.  Indeed, at one point it seemed that Cruz may have been allowing the potential consequences of a significant injury on his contract situation to creep into his head, DeSean Jackson style.

Once the season ended, it was presumed that a long-term deal rewarding Cruz for his two years of bargain-basement performances would happen soon.

Nearly two months after the season ended, it still hasn’t.

Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News recently took a comprehensive look at the situation.  The problem seems to be, as it usually is, that the player wants more than the team is willing to pay for the undrafted free agent who has become one of the best young wideouts in the game.

With the Giants holding the ability to squat on Cruz for one more year via the rules of restricted free agency, Cruz has two choices:  (1) play for the inevitable one-year first-round tender he’ll be receiving (at roughly $2.9 million); or (2) not accept the offer and stay away from offseason workouts and preseason and training camp and possibly up to 10 weeks of the regular season.

There’s a third option, if any other team is willing to fashion an offer sheet and part with a first-round pick if the Giants opt not to match.  In recent years, however, the RFA market has dried up like a raisin on a mirror at high noon in Ecuador.

Whether or not the lack of interest in restricted free agents amounts to collusion, Cruz can’t count on other teams chasing him.

As Vacchiano points out, however, Cruz over the weekend played the “somewhere else” card when talking about his situation.  Whether “somewhere else” would be next year as a free agent or this year as a restricted free agent for which a team drafting late in round one gives up its first-round pick is something about which we’ll know plenty more in the coming weeks.

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20 Responses to “Cruz, Giants getting nowhere fast”
  1. logicalvoicesays says: Feb 27, 2013 8:18 AM

    The headline became reality to the NYG franchise the moment RGIII was drafted. John Mara, eat your heart out.

  2. mikea311 says: Feb 27, 2013 8:24 AM

    actually a raisin wouldn’t dry up so fast on a mirror…

  3. pixelito says: Feb 27, 2013 8:33 AM

    Too bad RGIII’s career ended so fast.

  4. nflofficeadmin says: Feb 27, 2013 8:42 AM

    I remember Cruz dropping a number of balls last season, Mara probably has a couple balls of his own that he’d like to drop right about now…

  5. hooks024 says: Feb 27, 2013 8:46 AM

    Hate to say it, but he’s a younger, cheaper option to replace Welker. A new long term security blanket would be a great way to thank Brady for taking a pay “cut,” and Cruz is worth a first round pick.

  6. cowpiesnotcowboys says: Feb 27, 2013 8:48 AM

    With the new rookie wage scale, draft picks are more valuable than they once were. The RFA rules have failed to keep pace. This, not collusion, is why we see so few offers for RFAs.

  7. rhamrhoddy says: Feb 27, 2013 8:49 AM

    The raisin on the mirror thing sidetracked me big time.

  8. gmfw7 says: Feb 27, 2013 9:06 AM

    @hooks…hate to say it but wes welker has never and will never be on cruz’s level…welker is a system WR who never would’ve had a real career without brady and bill…i hate cruz, as an eagles fan, but he’s not just a slot guy, he’s as explosive a receiver there is in the game right now, and he’s a game changer…i know people like to act like welker is a great talent, but he isn’t…i like the guy as a human being, but had he stayed in san diego he’d probably be out of football today

  9. zaggs says: Feb 27, 2013 9:26 AM

    Problem really seems to be that Cruz whats them to focus on the stats and ignore the big drops he has had over his career. Giants remember though.

  10. thrillomania says: Feb 27, 2013 9:36 AM

    so when does Eli-te pull a Brady and do the right thing for his teamates by restructuring his deal so they can fit some of his weapons under the cap? your boys Cruz & Nicks are waiting Eli.

  11. nananatman says: Feb 27, 2013 10:15 AM

    Paying him would be the honorable thing to do. Catching the ball more when it is thrown to you would be awesome to.

  12. maximusprime107 says: Feb 27, 2013 11:13 AM

    I can think of two teams in the NFC East who would give Cruz an offer sheet

  13. iccm88 says: Feb 27, 2013 11:17 AM

    The problem is that Cruz just loves to hear the sound of his own voice. It was only presumed and commented on by Cruz himself that a long-term deal “rewarding Cruz for his two years of bargain-basement performances would happen soon.” And the reason it was leaked that Nicks was the priority is because I think the Giants organization was tired of Cruz manipulating the press and the fans. Because we saw as soon as the Nicks story hit the press, Victor Cruz stopped running his mouth. The Giants organization outsmarted Cruz. Because this contract situation is a negotiation, but it is also a game to be played by the two parties involved.
    Cruz and his agent may think he is worth WR1 money, but he ain’t. Too many drive killing drops this season and sorry, but without a healthy Nicks, Cruz’s production dropped drastically as the season wore on and Nicks’ health waned. A true WR1 steps up his game in these situations, Cruz’s game actually declined.

  14. weaponx73 says: Feb 27, 2013 11:20 AM

    Eli needs to wait a year since his last restructure per league rules. So that means he got to wait till march 10 th

  15. micknangold says: Feb 27, 2013 11:43 AM

    They’re probably getting nowhere fast because they know Cruz’s fifteen minutes are just about up and that Nicks is the real deal (when healthy).

  16. suite34 says: Feb 27, 2013 12:39 PM

    There is no reason other than collusion for a team picking at the tail end of the draft to not make an offer to a RFA.

    If you are the 49ers and you can pair up Cruz with Crabtree and Vernon Davis, and all you give up is a tail-end first rounder (which you wasted last year on a WR who never played) how do you not do that? Would you rather have Randy Moss or Mario Manningham as your 2nd WR or Victor Cruz? The answer to that could determine the Super Bowl. In fact, it probably already has.

  17. kev86 says: Feb 27, 2013 1:41 PM

    The Giants have the leverage and are in no rush. This article is just weakly stirring the pot.

  18. ukgiants91 says: Feb 27, 2013 5:39 PM

    For those saying Eli needs to redo his contract are being unreasonable since he already done that last season to help us get under the salary cap.

  19. justintuckrule says: Feb 27, 2013 6:31 PM

    Cruz has kept his mouth shut for 2 years while working for slave wages. If the Giants don’t reward him they are sending a terrible message to others similarly situated. If I’m Cruz, I holdout without thinking twice. The Giants’ season will be shot if they have to play 10 games without Cruz. Big money gets your family out of that hole Paterson for life. This coming from a Giants’ fan.

  20. DonRSD says: Feb 28, 2013 7:50 PM

    Cruz is a fantastic #2 wr, but this has Houshmanzadeh written all over it.
    Remeber we Housh wanted #1 wr money after playing next to Chad Johnson?

    Nicks is a top 3 wr and is a candidate for #1 wr in the nfl, when he can stay healthy.

    Whatever Cruz gets this offseason, Nicks will be worth that much more next off season.

    Eli needs to restructure and get Nicks signed for about 10m/year. Cruz deserves about 7m/year.

    Lost in all of this is how Eli has managed to develop ANY wr around him. Dude is an absolute stud!

    GO BIG BLUE!!!

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