The deadline for other teams to make an offer to Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz has come and gone without anyone stepping up with a bid to add a little salsa dancing to their offense.
That hasn’t led Cruz to join his teammates for offseason work, however. He’s still staying away from the team in hopes of landing a long-term contract instead of settling for the $2.879 million tender offer for the 2013 season and the possibility of a franchise tag after the year. General Manager Jerry Reese doesn’t seem the least bit concerned about that choice.
“Victor has options. He is weighing all of his options and he is allowed to do that. And he should do that,” Reese said, via ESPN 98.7 in New York City. “We are not mad at Victor. Victor is not upset with us. It’s just business. And we are hoping things work out.”
It’s a pretty reasonable point of view. Cruz isn’t the first player to avail himself of the limited amount of negotiating leverage provided by staying away from the team’s offseason workouts and his years with the team make it a bit less vital than it might be for a player coming into a new situation.
As you might expect from someone whose face turns shades of red not usually seen in nature when he’s on the sideline, Giants coach Tom Coughlin is less blasé about Cruz’s absence.
“It has to be a concern because when the restricted free agency period is over, you would hope that things would move fast. What we want is exactly what I said the other day. We want a win-win. We want Victor to be proud to be a New York Giant, proud of his contract,” Coughlin said, via the New York Post. “The New York Giants want him back as badly as we’ve ever wanted anybody.”
Cruz might answer that last point with a request that the Giants make that clear financially as well as verbally, but it’s really just a reminder that Coughlin just takes care of the coaching end of things. Neither Reese nor owner John Mara has put up a front that fits with Coughlin’s assertion as they’ve dealt with Cruz’s restricted free agency in a cool and calm manner that isn’t likely to change at this point in the proceedings.