The Giants and receiver Victor Cruz have been talking for months about a long-term deal, but getting nowhere.
Gary Myers of the New York Daily News reports that the Giants’ offer is somewhere in the range of $7 million per year.
Specifically, the deal exceeds $7 million annually, with a “sizable” amount of guaranteed money in the multi-year deal.
That’s significantly more than Cruz will receive as a restricted free agent in 2013, with a first-round tender offer of $2.879 million. But the question becomes whether it’s less than what someone else will pay, either on an offer sheet now or as an unrestricted free agent in 2014.
Clear lines have been drawn between slot receivers and speed receivers who stretch the field and draw extra attention — it’s currently a difference of roughly $6 million per year. With Cruz’s pending offer far closer to the top of the market for slot receivers, he may choose to wait.
If the Giants use the franchise tag on Cruz in 2013, he’ll get more than $10 million for one season. If the Giants don’t, Cruz will hit the market on the first day of free agency, possibly pocketing far more than the Giants are offering now.
Of course, Cruz would have to get through 2013 healthy. At times in 2012, it appeared he was conscious of the possibility of what a big hit could do to his earning potential. In fact, some think that the crushing blow Cruz absorbed from Steelers safety Ryan Clark has made Cruz a bit leery about going across the middle — with or without a huge payday.
Regardless, Cruz ultimately will have to decide whether to take what he can get now, or to roll the dice on getting more next year. And teams will have to roll the dice on whether he can keep doing what he has done the last two years.