Diehl willing to “restructure” for Cruz, too

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It’s not quite the “jersey” scene from Rudy, but there’s a two-man line of Giants who are willing to reduce their cap numbers to help keep receiver Victor Cruz around.

The parade began with quarterback Eli Manning, who said Wednesday that he’s willing to trim a cap number that currently resides north of the $20 million border.

Next in line comes offensive lineman David Diehl, who told NFL Network on Thursday that he would be willing to “restructure” his contract.

“I’d be willing to do some things to restructure and help other guys out, and to keep a great teammate along like Victor Cruz,” Diehl said, via NFL.com.  “I have restructured before in my 10 seasons of being a New York Giant.  It’s not something that I’m unfamiliar with.  I mean, that’s part of the business of the NFL.”

But there’s a big difference between Manning and Diehl.  If Manning restructures, he’ll get every penny he already was due to earn in 2013 — and possibly a few more.  For Diehl, who is in the final year of his, um, deal, the Giants have only two ways to reduce his cap number:  (1) cut his salary from its current level of $4.475 million; or (2) extend his contract.  A cap-shifting, cash-preserving, no-harm-no-foul restructuring simply isn’t an option for Diehl.

Given that Diehl acknowledged less than a month ago that the bell could soon be tolling for his career in New York, he’s tempting fate by volunteering for a cap-creation strategy that could soon visit him involuntarily, via a restructuring that would entail freeing up $4.475 million in cap space by reducing his salary to zero dollars and zero cents.