Giants co-owner John Mara is confident a deal with receiver Victor Cruz eventually will get done. That’s fine, but when will it happen?
A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that talks are ongoing, and that the next 7-10 days are regarded as important to the objective of getting Cruz signed to a long-term deal with the Giants.
It’s unclear why the next week or so is regarded as important, since there are no deadlines or other milestones that compel an agreement by May 17. Presumably, the Giants and Cruz would like to have the player on the field for the bulk of the Organized Team Activities that cap the offseason program.
Absent a long-term deal with which each side is happy, Cruz will have to decide whether (or, more accurately, when) to sign his one-year, $2.89 million restricted free agency tender offer. He’s not under contract, so he can hold out without a fine or other penalty.
Technically, he can stay away until Week 10 of the regular season, sign the tender offer for a reduced amount of $1.19 million (which is still much more than he has made in any of his three full NFL seasons), finish out the year as a Giant, and become an unrestricted free agent in 2014.
As of June 17, the Giants can rescind the $2.89 million tender and replace it with a 10-percent raise over his 2012 salary. The Steelers opted last year not to play that specific brand of hardball with receiver Mike Wallace, fearing it would inflame an already tense situation.
There’s been no indication that Cruz intends to push it that far. He may not be able to get what he wants from the Giants without persuading the team (and, specifically, coach Tom Coughlin) that it’s a possibility.