It has been taken longer than anyone expected it to, but Victor Cruz, a restricted free agent, has still not signed with the New York Giants on a long term deal, but it doesn’t seem like they’re worried about the wide receiver not playing for them next season.
Cruz, 26, has caught 168 passes fro 2628 yards and 19 touchdowns over the last couple of seasons. This makes him feel like he should be paid like a number one receiver, meaning over $10-11 million a season. His latest season, with 1092 yards has shows that while possibly being the best slot receiver in the NFL, getting physical with him early in a play takes him out of it most likely.
The Giants want Cruz to keep on playing for them, not having to rush things with a one-season offer because no one has given Cruz an offer sheet. Restricted free agents are rarely seen moving in the NFL, and no one is willing to give Cruz a blockbuster offer, because they know there’s a good chance the Giants won’t match.
For now, the Giants are offering Cruz about $7 million a season, and it doesn’t look like he’s going to get anything better than that for the next four years. There’s always the option of signing him on a RFA tender, meaning $2.8 million for a one-year deal, and then slap the franchise tag on him for the 2014 season if he still refuses to accept the offer the Giants are giving him.
When you calculate that into money, assuming the franchise tender will be around $11 million, Cruz will be making exactly the same money as the Giants are offering him right now, which means he isn’t gaining much by holding out on them. There’s always the chance of him choosing to hold out this summer’s mandatory veterans minicamp and training camp, but no one, including not Giants owner John Mara and quarterback Eli Manning, thinks it will come to that.