With the Giants and receiver Victor Cruz continuing to stare each other down, months after the two sides reportedly were close to a new contract, Gary Myers of the New York Daily News offers a team-friendly admonition to Cruz.
If you don’t take the money that’s on the table, you could lose it all by tearing an ACL during the 2013 season.
But Cruz doesn’t need to be reminded of the reality that signing the one-year restricted free agent tender and playing for $2.89 million in 2013 keeps the injury risk squarely on his shoulders for one more year. He has borne that risk for far less money during the last two season.
There’s risk for the Giants, too. By not getting Cruz signed over the long term now, they could find themselves having to choose between Cruz and receiver Hakeem Nicks in 2014 — with only one franchise tag available.
And with Cruz arguably being the most popular player currently on the roster, a failure to fairly reward him for two seasons of consistently strong production could cause problems, both outside and inside the locker room.
Besides, Cruz has a way to minimize his risk. He can hold out until Week 10, sign the restricted free agency tender then, make $1.19 million for the balance of the year (which is much more than he has made in any one season during his career), and then become an unrestricted free agent in 2014 — or get more than $10 million under the franchise tag.
Cruz didn’t make it this far in his career by running from risk. So to balance out Myers’ advice that Smith should take the money and the security that comes with it, we say this: Hold out until you get what you deserve, even if that means playing only seven-regular season games for $1.19 million.