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Giants apply first-round tender to Cruz

Cruz Getty Images

The Giants and receiver Victor Cruz still haven’t worked out a new contract.  As a result, the Giants need to restrict the restricted free agent from hitting the open market.

Co-owner John Mara said Monday that the team will apply a highest possible tender, which would give the Giants a first-round pick as compensation if the Giants can’t or won’t match any offer Cruz corrals elsewhere.  In turn, Cruz will be eligible to sign a one-year, $2.879 million contract.

In three NFL seasons, Cruz’s total salary has been $1.31 million.

Via Mike Garafolo of USA Today, Mara said that the removal of the poison pill device from the current labor deal gives the Giants “a little more comfort” in this regard.

Still, the new CBA also took away the ability to obtain a first-round and third-round pick as compensation, which would have given the Giants even more comfort.

The absence of the poison-pill provision means only that another team can’t use a device that would, for example, make the full amount of a six-year, $72 million deal fully guaranteed if Cruz plays six or more games at MetLife Stadium or some other characteristic that would be satisfied easily if the Giants are the team on the other side of the deal.  Another team with plenty of 2013 cap space could still put together a heavily front-loaded deal that keeps the Giants from matching.

Then, the Giants would have to scramble to restructure contracts — or gladly accept the first-round pick as compensation.

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57 Responses to “Giants apply first-round tender to Cruz”
  1. doomsdaydefensetx says: Mar 11, 2013 2:32 PM

    Good for Cruz.

  2. ampats says: Mar 11, 2013 2:33 PM

    Wouldn’t mind seeing Cruz in Foxboro joining his former team mate Ballard

  3. vikesfan320 says: Mar 11, 2013 2:34 PM

    I know a team with receiver help that earlier today got a first round pick in a trade…. hard to imagine you’re going to find a receiver late in the first round with more ability to make an impact right now than Cruz, as well as having tremendous upside (being only 26-years old)…

  4. coldtundra says: Mar 11, 2013 2:34 PM

    Go get him Vikes with your new first rounder from Seattle.

  5. justintuckrule says: Mar 11, 2013 2:36 PM

    Closeted Giants’ fan Ziggy Wilf just got an extra 1st rder trading a malcontent, injury prone, overrated WR to the sucker Seahawks. Wake up Mara! He’s gonna make a huge offer to Cruz.

  6. m1000be says: Mar 11, 2013 2:36 PM

    Just pay the man. Damn.

  7. sidhu1149 says: Mar 11, 2013 2:37 PM

    Vikings can use the Seattle Seahawks pick for him….

  8. Giantspunk213 says: Mar 11, 2013 2:38 PM

    It would make a lot of sense for the vikings to give up one of their 1st rd picks for him.

  9. bowhunter8355 says: Mar 11, 2013 2:38 PM

    Now that the Vikings have another 1st rounder use it on a known commodity and go after Cruz!

  10. blacktoothgrinn says: Mar 11, 2013 2:38 PM

    I’d rather have Cruz for a 1st round pick than Harvin

  11. justintuckrule says: Mar 11, 2013 2:39 PM

    @vikesfan – I’ve been saying this all morning. Plus, Cruz is one of the few WRs on the market who isn’t a selfish, me-first, complaining diva. Ponder isn’t a deep threat QB. He’ll dink and dunk Cruz for 120 catches. Wake up Mara!

  12. multiplemiggs says: Mar 11, 2013 2:40 PM

    cant wait to see him sign with the Cowboys HAH!

  13. bigpappagreek says: Mar 11, 2013 2:41 PM

    CRRRUUZZZ

    Big Blue needs to tie this guy up, and pay him, hes was just a substantial part of the last super bowl team as Eli and the front 7 were, pay the man so I can continue watching him doing the salsa in the endzone

  14. diabetic1010 says: Mar 11, 2013 2:41 PM

    It’s surprising that they don’t make this guy more of a priority….Yeah Nicks is an awesome talent, when he is healthy (which has proven to be very rare in his young career). Cruz produces and deserves a payday….hopefully he gets what he is looking for from somebody.

  15. aheezybaby says: Mar 11, 2013 2:42 PM

    bears…play da slot

  16. antalicus says: Mar 11, 2013 2:43 PM

    Vikings better take a shot at him.

  17. kaeperdicking says: Mar 11, 2013 2:44 PM

    This is the WR I’d want to see my team give up a first rounder for. The Giants got a good one and will probably keep him for another year, but I’d love to see the 9ers go for him. I prefer him to Wallace, Harvin, and Jennings.

  18. dtm1088 says: Mar 11, 2013 2:46 PM

    The giants want the first rounder for Cruz. They can not pay him and Nicks and they LOVE Reuben Randle. They’ll move forward with two first round picks and build where they really have needs. Like most teams they can not afford to pay 2 receivers top dollar. It was a good investment grabbing an undrafted guy and parlaying him into a first round pick. And if no teams make an offer I’m sure they’ll happily move forward this year with 2 great receivers and an emerging Randle.

  19. nflofficeadmin says: Mar 11, 2013 2:50 PM

    The Chiefs need another WR…. just sayin’.

  20. thraiderskin says: Mar 11, 2013 2:51 PM

    Cruz is flat out good… I won’t call him great, that takes more time, but he deserves WAY more than 2 million. I hope someone comes along and pays this young man. Giants fans would have to be stupid to want a scenario where he isn’t on their team.

  21. nflsucker says: Mar 11, 2013 2:51 PM

    Giants could let him walk and take, say, Tavon Austin with one of their first round picks. Betcha it would work out pretty well for the G-men.

  22. whoknowsnothing says: Mar 11, 2013 2:52 PM

    Even Miami would be dumb to pass him up, it’ll only cost them a first round pick for a proven WR!

    But I expect any team with a late first round pick to try to pick Cruz up. Vikings now have the floor…..

  23. beavertonsteve says: Mar 11, 2013 2:53 PM

    If the Giants do lose him to the Vikings it will be the Vikings pick, not the Seahawks pick, that changes hands. In this case they are pretty close though.

  24. beavertonsteve says: Mar 11, 2013 2:53 PM

    If the Giants do lose him to the Vikings it will be the Vikings pick, not the Seahawks pick, that changes hands. In this case they are pretty close though.

  25. dvdman123 says: Mar 11, 2013 2:53 PM

    Why is it everytime a FA hits the market everyone thinks they are going to the Patriots?

  26. pillowporkers says: Mar 11, 2013 2:55 PM

    For whoever posted the post on how Percy hates his name. That’s his nickname off his middle name “Percival”. His actual name is William. Don’t hate. Vikings still got a nice steal for a guy who wouldn’t play for them anymore anyways. Can’t have two Michael Jordans. Seattle will figure it out soon enough when Percy will be upset about not getting the ball enough, even though seattle needs that offense going through Beast Mode to me the most effective.

  27. luckyarmpit says: Mar 11, 2013 2:55 PM

    Am I missing something? Why can’t the Giants and Cruz strike a deal? Is it as simple as that they haven’t been able to agree on numbers, or is there something deeper and/or more sinister?

  28. ctgiant says: Mar 11, 2013 3:01 PM

    Steve Smith was an all time “slot wr” with 106 catches, Cruz follows, and dtm1088 has it right!
    Nicks, no matter what is “the man” Eli goes to , he’s a bonafide #1 pick and needs to be paid, because unlike the slot, he comes down with the ball with 5 defenders {see niners hail mary catch} No question, if Cruz is stupid enough to leave home, with Hartline at 35M, and Bowe at 56M, imagine him in 2014, better then both, see stats, they never lie.
    CT GIANT

  29. forty9asty says: Mar 11, 2013 3:01 PM

    Hmm. It’d be interesting for the 9ers to make a play for him. Their original first round pick is at the bottom (31), he could rejoin Manningham, he could mesh with Crabtree, who catches short passes then breaks them for long gains, while Cruz stretches the field, and lastly, this would be a nice counter-move to Seattle signing Harvin…

  30. justintuckrule says: Mar 11, 2013 3:01 PM

    @dtm – I would agree with your premise in any other circumstance but this one. Cruz can be Eli’s Welker for the next 6 years. That’s a ton of production from a quiet, humble, talented guy that is not easily replaceable with another pick. You saw what happened when Manningham left. If Cruz leaves, teams will totally take Nicks out of the game.

    Name of the game is QB, WR and DEs. Pay these dudes and fill in the rest with whatever Cullen Jenkins, Orlando Scandrick, Sean Locklear types that fall from the branches.

  31. Mr. Wright 212 says: Mar 11, 2013 3:02 PM

    Giants will come off looking good from this regardless of what happens. No Jeremy Lin nonsense, thankfully.

  32. shayward says: Mar 11, 2013 3:03 PM

    Huge Giants Fan, and Cruz is an amazing player that’d I’d love to continue to see in Blue. BUT, to turn an undrafted free-agent and use him to gain a superbowl win, and a first round pick. Paying him next to nothing along the way seems like a dream scenario 99% of the time.

    Like I said Cruz is amazing but players come and go, if it happens, thanks for the memories, the wins, and stay classy Mr Cruz.

  33. deliveredbysherpa says: Mar 11, 2013 3:05 PM

    dvdman123, who is saying that he is likely to end up a Patriot? I see one post that mentions the Patriots and it starts with “I wouldn’t mind seeing him…” That is not a prediction.

    In fact no one predicts him winding up in Foxboro since the Pats only have 4 picks in the upcoming draft.

  34. kev86 says: Mar 11, 2013 3:05 PM

    As Gianst fans, we all want Cruz back. That is a no brainer. Many of us also realize the Giants set a bar and stick to it. They know exactly how high they are willing to go for their players like Cruz with the team as a whole also in mind.

    It’s very easy to say “pay the man” but at what cost? How many players is he worth losing in the immediate and long run becuase of the contract?

    Right now, he is worth the 2.8mil tender to the Giants. The Giants have the leverage.

    If you and your team loves Cruz so much, tell them to make the offer tomorrow at 4pm.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  35. giantsfanbuteaglesownussoimaeaglesfan says: Mar 11, 2013 3:06 PM

    Lost numerous games for us last season by dropping huge passes in huge spots. Just like we said bye to Steve Smith we will say goodbye to Cruz. Were stacked in the reciever position and we can use the pick to grab an LB or an OL. How many recievers were great for Eli during his Tenure? Toomer, Burress, Shockey, Boss, Ballard, Cruz, Manningham, Nicks…. get the point? Its Eli that makes these guys. Bye Bye Cruz. Eli will make another slot reciever next year.

  36. jbl429 says: Mar 11, 2013 3:07 PM

    Not that it’s a huge difference, but people need to realize the Vikings can’t use the pick they got from Seattle to sign Cruz. They’d have to give up their own first rounder, which is 23rd overall, instead of the 25th pick they are acquiring from the Seahawks.

  37. giantsfanbuteaglesownussoimaeaglesfan says: Mar 11, 2013 3:08 PM

    Last years dropped pass stats;

    Rank Player Team Stats
    1 Jimmy Graham NO 13
    2t Victor Cruz NYG 10

  38. chipwade says: Mar 11, 2013 3:12 PM

    Harvin > Cruz. Harvin is a uniquely dynamic player who returns KOs, catches pass, and breaks off big runs out of the backfield. Cruz is a great player, but you are only getting slot WR in the deal.

  39. edithpiaf51 says: Mar 11, 2013 3:24 PM

    I think John Mara needs to strike a deal with Cruz. He is very valuable to the Giants and he and Eli Manning work so well together. They read each other very well. Pay the guy and be done with it!!!!!

  40. pillowporkers says: Mar 11, 2013 3:24 PM

    Is it just me or did Cruz play on the outside a lot of the time? I don’t think he’s solely a slot guy. He’s bigger than welker by a wide margin. Whenever I watched the Giants he lined up in the slot sometimes but he played on the outside too a lot. Some die hard giants fan please clear this up for me from all the babbling bloggers that don’t know what they’re talking about.

  41. beavertonsteve says: Mar 11, 2013 3:26 PM

    Harvin is a uniquely dynamic player who returns KOs, catches pass, breaks off big runs out of the backfield, fakes migraines, refuses to condition, yells at coaches and fails drug tests.

    There. Fixed it for ya.

  42. claymath52 says: Mar 11, 2013 3:28 PM

    It would be laughable for the Vikings to give up their pick to get Cruz… Laughable… For a team that settles for a QB like Ponder, I wouldn’t be totally shocked by this though. GO PACK!

  43. ss376 says: Mar 11, 2013 3:29 PM

    Luckyarmpit:

    It’s a money issue. Cruz is an awesome guy, in terms of talent and character, but the Giants didn’t expect to have 2 WRs that could command top-dollar. Tendering Cruz is a serious risk since the Giants don’t have the money to match a big-time offer. There’s but so much money we can shuffle around.

    In the end, I think we will have to choose between Nicks and Cruz. I think we want to keep them but I think there is some logic in sort of hoping a team will wade in with a big offer so we can use the 1st rounder to address other holes we have. It’s not like WR is the only issue we have right now.

  44. kev86 says: Mar 11, 2013 3:31 PM

    Cruz is not just a slot guy. Catches Eli BOMBS.

    I’d take Cruz over Harvin and Welker ( I think Harvin is a great player but dont like his attitude or durability as much)

  45. audioflint says: Mar 11, 2013 3:35 PM

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see Washington snag him.

  46. time4complaints says: Mar 11, 2013 3:38 PM

    Patriots should sign this guy instead of Welker. I love Wes but Cruz is younger and hasn’t even entered his prime yet. Cruz is a rare proven commodity in his early 20′s and is worth the first round pick in addition to the free agent salary…. You don’t pay a guy for past performance. You pay for anticipated contributions going forward…

  47. andyreidsskinnyjeans says: Mar 11, 2013 3:43 PM

    Not sure if this is within the rules, but can’t the Vikings trade one of their first round picks to the ravens for their first and maybe a second or third, then use the 32nd pick on Cruz? This way they get Cruz but ALSO mid-round pick?

  48. vikesfansteve says: Mar 11, 2013 3:44 PM

    Wouldn’t be a surprise at all if Spielman signed him.

  49. zackattack006 says: Mar 11, 2013 3:46 PM

    Jeff Ireland will be calling you in a few…
    Bring your Salsa to South Florida!!!!

  50. Mr. Wright 212 says: Mar 11, 2013 3:55 PM

    Nevertheless, here are the facts:

    – The Giants have already offered him big money (same number of years plus about $10M what Steve Smith was offered, from what I have heard in leaks). And like Smith, he turned it down. He wants Calvin money, but the Giants are not budging from their stance, nor should they, as it would prevent them from re-signing Nicks next offseason, as well as maintaining the core that they want to keep together for the next 2-3 years.

    – His agent is pushing for his 10% just as much as Cruz was holding out for the most money, if not more so, the agent’s doing. Cruz has to realize that there is more off-the-field money to be made in the tri-state than there is most everywhere else. Since we do not have Los Angeles, let’s just safely say that he can stand to make more money here than anywhere else off the field. He’s already nationally known, and becoming global. That wouldn’t happen as quickly anywhere else in the NFL.

    – The teams that have the cap space to offer him that kind of money are bottom rung teams. I cannot see him making a foolish mistake of going to a team that will likely never win anything (Jacksonville, being one of the teams with the cap space), uproot his entire family here in the tri-state, and just become another also-ran who went for the money and didn’t maximize his earning potential on the field and off, and after his career as well. He’s already household here. If he wins another Super Bowl in a Giants uniform, he won’t ever pay for another meal, drink, concert ticket or Knicks game tickets for the rest of his life.

  51. nananatman says: Mar 11, 2013 4:08 PM

    This is a warped situation, the guy has well outplayed his compensation, he has even outplayed his first round counterpart Nicks. Clearly there must be something on board that people can’t see.

  52. filthymcnasty1 says: Mar 11, 2013 4:10 PM

    Does anyone really think Cruz is going to want to catch passes from Ponder after playing with Eli Manning?

  53. elimvp says: Mar 11, 2013 4:26 PM

    Someone wants to give the Giants a first round pick for him? I’ll take it!! When will we learn that these guys are a product of playing with Eli? Steve Smith, Kevin Boss, Mario Manningham…

  54. multiplemiggs says: Mar 11, 2013 4:48 PM

    Eli is a luck disgrace and your a clown

  55. Mr. Wright 212 says: Mar 11, 2013 5:00 PM

    And after I make my comment, he changes agents to Condon. Shows you that the agent part of my comment was the biggest issue. The guy was pushing for Calvin money (and Cruz obviously wasn’t going to stop him), but the Giants are not going to overpay, when they will have just as many big contributors to pay next offseason.

  56. mrpowers88 says: Mar 11, 2013 5:17 PM

    If the Vikings are able to sign Cruz, they would have pretty much done a 3-way trade with the Seahawks and Giants:

    SEA would get Percy Harvin

    NYG would get MIN’s 1st rd pick (23rd overall)

    MIN would get Victor Cruz and SEA’s 1st rd pick (25th overall), 7th rd pick, plus a 2014 mid-rd pick

    Get rid of a problem-child, replace his production at WR, only lose two draft slots, and get a couple of other picks? Seems like a pretty good haul

  57. bigbluecanuck says: Mar 11, 2013 9:48 PM

    Vikings are not going to spend money on Cruz. The owner committed a lot of cash to the new stadium. He hasn’t spent in a couple of years. Ziggy will use the other 1st rd puck to build team and save $$$ for the new stadium. Cruz will make more $$$ in NY with salary and a ton of endorsements. Hopefully this gets done fast over the next 48hrs. Go blue.

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