Before the Giants launched their offseason program, defensive end Justin Tuck said that it would be a show of “good faith” for unsigned restricted free agent receiver Victor Cruz to show up.
Tuck, who crossed a line by involving himself in a teammate’s pursuit of getting paid (as Tiki Barber once did with Michael Strahan), wisely has changed his tune.
“At the end of the day, I don’t care if he misses all the workout program,” Tuck said, via Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. “As long as he’s there on . . . what day do we open up? . . . That Sunday. Whatever day that is, if I see No. 80 with the New York Giants, then I’m cool with that. Because I know him and Eli [Manning] have great rapport, and it won’t take those guys long to figure things out.”
Per Vacchiano, some believe Cruz will show up next week, after the deadline passes for signing an offer with another team. To date, no team has shown any interest in signing Cruz — despite reports before the launch of free agency suggesting that teams where chomping/champing/whatever at the bit.
Whether Cruz wants too much money or he doesn’t want to leave New York or teams don’t want to give up a first-round pick or teams don’t want to go through the motions if the Giants will simply match the offer, Cruz has received no interest.
His choices moving forward will be to accept the one-year, $2.89 million offer from the Giants, take the team’s best offer on a long-term deal, or hold out until some point between next week and the 10th week of the regular season. Because he’s not under contract, Cruz is not subject to any fines or other sanctions.
The next pressure point comes on June 17, when the Giants can withdraw the $2.89 million tender and replace it with a 10-percent raise above his 2012 salary of $540,000. Last year, the Steelers opted not to do that with receiver Mike Wallace.