The Giants and receiver Victor Cruz still haven’t worked out a new contract. As a result, the Giants need to restrict the restricted free agent from hitting the open market.
Co-owner John Mara said Monday that the team will apply a highest possible tender, which would give the Giants a first-round pick as compensation if the Giants can’t or won’t match any offer Cruz corrals elsewhere. In turn, Cruz will be eligible to sign a one-year, $2.879 million contract.
In three NFL seasons, Cruz’s total salary has been $1.31 million.
Via Mike Garafolo of USA Today, Mara said that the removal of the poison pill device from the current labor deal gives the Giants “a little more comfort” in this regard.
Still, the new CBA also took away the ability to obtain a first-round and third-round pick as compensation, which would have given the Giants even more comfort.
The absence of the poison-pill provision means only that another team can’t use a device that would, for example, make the full amount of a six-year, $72 million deal fully guaranteed if Cruz plays six or more games at MetLife Stadium or some other characteristic that would be satisfied easily if the Giants are the team on the other side of the deal. Another team with plenty of 2013 cap space could still put together a heavily front-loaded deal that keeps the Giants from matching.
Then, the Giants would have to scramble to restructure contracts — or gladly accept the first-round pick as compensation.