Tom Coughlin concerned by Victor Cruz’s absence, Jerry Reese isn’t

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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.

17 responses to “Tom Coughlin concerned by Victor Cruz’s absence, Jerry Reese isn’t

  1. I’ll be happy to see restricted free agency die out, which it will due to the way that rookie contracts are now structured. Restricted free agency is basically a team’s way of letting a player know that it’s time for them to be selfish. Quite simply, a restricted free agent needs to put their health and safety ahead of the team. Why? Because their future is far from guaranteed, and it’s not like they’re making enough money for them to retire on if a horrible injury should end or seriously limit their career.

    Personally, I never understood how restricted free agency was allowed to exist. Think about it: they signed a contract as a rookie. They entirely fulfilled the terms of that contract. They owed nothing more to the team. They should be able to go anywhere they want, and work for whomever they want. Instead, since their rookie contract was only for 3 years instead of 4, they have no freedom, and a team that has no contractual ties to the player still controls their fate.

    Here’s an idea: if the team wanted to have control over the player for 4 years, they should have signed them to a 4 year contract. They didn’t because they were unwilling to commit themselves to that extra little bit of money. With restricted free agency, however, they can force the player to stick with them for another year at a salary based largely on their initial contract (which, odds are they clearly outplayed if the team is that eager to hold onto their rights). In other words, teams didn’t want to take on the risk of signing these players to a longer contract, yet they still expected to reap all the rewards if the player proved their worth.

    In Economics, they teach that when you divorce risk and reward, you encourage bad (or in business terms, inefficient) behavior. When you allow someone to make poor decisions and force someone else to pay the cost of those decisions, you only encourage people to make even more poor decisions. That’s also why I believe Mathieu should refuse to cave in to some of the Cardinals contract terms. If the Cardinals feel they can’t trust their new player, they should have drafted him later…if at all. If a precedent is set that allows teams to make risky draft picks without facing the real cost of those decisions if the pick does not pan out, more teams will waste draft picks on prospects with a bunch of red flags. That means more players who don’t truly value the opportunity they’ve been given will get a chance to play in the NFL (and the higher the pick, the more time and chances they’ll get), and more deserving players will not. In trying to shield themselves from having to pay the price for their own poor decisions, they will simply compromise the quality of the product that we all pay for in one way or another. So, for me, this isn’t an issue of the player(s) deserving more money. It’s about making sure that teams are forced to internalize the cost of their poor decisions so that they’ll do their best to make the most rational decisions they can.

  2. John Mara believes that it is fundamentally unfair that the Redskins have all of their players participating in off-season programs but the Giants do not. Therefore, in the interest of competitive balance the Redskins shall forfeit another $36 million in salary cap.

  3. Much ado about nothing.

    But at least it wasn’t a post about how the Giants aren’t interested in Tim Tebow.

  4. @gonavy wah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you and unlogicalvoice still crying about the cap penalty. move on with your life.. GO ARMY….

  5. this needs to get done. its crazy nfl is a billion dollar a year sport and the hangup with a top 10 wr in the nfl is what 2 million dollars? end the BS get something done

  6. “When you allow someone to make poor decisions and force someone else to pay the cost of those decisions, you only encourage people to make even more poor decisions.”

    That’s the way our financial, multinational corporate institutions, and our government have been run for decades. Why would the NFL be any different? At least the players pick up the tab in the NFL instead of me.

  7. Three words for Cruz: undrafted free agent. The Gmen just picked up another UDFA receiver out of Virginia Tech with lots of potential. Put Marcus Davis on the field opposite Hakeen Nicks with Eli throwing to him, and we’ll see Cruz replaced by week 3.

  8. east96st says: Apr 30, 2013 11:06 AM

    “When you allow someone to make poor decisions and force someone else to pay the cost of those decisions, you only encourage people to make even more poor decisions.”

    That’s the way our financial, multinational corporate institutions, and our government have been run for decades. Why would the NFL be any different? At least the players pick up the tab in the NFL instead of me.
    Yeah, because that’s worked out so well for us in those other areas. You have banks colluding amongst themselves to fix interest rates, which affects everyone who borrows money for anything. You have the global economic issues created by people making as many bad loans as they could so that they could bundle them and sell them to others. Yeah, let’s just keep doing that over and over again. What could go wrong?

    As for who pays, it’s not just the players. If they pick more and more players who aren’t willing to put in the work, the product that WE pay for is diminished. If they’re going to keep charging us more for the product, I’d really prefer not to get less in return. That’s just me.

    One final note: when did so many working class people decide they should side with billionaires against millionaires? Have we really become so jealous of people who have similar backgrounds as us becoming more successful than we are that we’d rather side with people looking to take advantage of both them and us? I’ve been an Eagles fan all my life. I’ve seen players come and players go, and I’ve never abandoned my team because I didn’t like that they either acquired or released any particular player. The team is more than any one player. Having said that, my loyalty is not so blind that I can’t see when they’re doing something I don’t agree with.

  9. It’s not like he’s a rookie. He knows the offense and has played enough with Eli to know what to do when and how. I agree with cantgetenough though, slot guys seem to come out of nowhere. Take the money and run Victor. Welker got all of $12 million, and he’s probably the best slot guy in the NFL today.

  10. Cruz has the shake and bake and is virtually uncoverable from the slot. He’s also a threat to score on any play and has a nose for the endzone. Throw in that he’s homegrown, a team player and not a diva, and he’s more than just another replaceable part.

    If Aaron Rodgers can compromise, these two should be able to split the $2 difference and get a deal done.

  11. There’s very few teams where a star player is also a national name. The Giants are one of the few who provide this added benefit.

    I say, take the $7 million or whatever along with with that lifetime supply of Campbell soup in your basement.

  12. Victor is now starting to have the fanbase turn ever so slowly on him ????
    “The New York Football Giants” gave you a chance now give the team and the fans a chance to move forward!!
    GO!! TEAM GO!!
    GO!! GIANTS GO!!

    GO!! VICTOR GO!!

  13. I will say though, I wish the Giants had taken a chance on Ryan Swope out of A&M in the 5th. He seems like a guy who can get 80-90 catches a year

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