Victor Cruz — for probably the first time — raised the possibility over the weekend that his future could with a team other than the the New York Giants. Cruz, of course, is the popular and productive wide receiver who has risen to elite status after coming to the Giants as an undrafted free agent from UMass.
Here is what Cruz said over the weekend while appearing at a UMass basketball game:
“Hopefully we can end that talk soon, man,” Cruz said. “Hopefully we can get a deal done, if not with the Giants than unfortunately somewhere else, but I want to be a Giant for a long time, so we’ll see how it goes.”
My reaction? Ho-hum. Big deal.
This is how the contract negotiation game is played. The Giants won’t make a big offer, at least not now. Cruz is a restricted free agent and has little to no leverage, and talking vaguely about playing elsewhere is one of the few cards he has to play. He isn’t going anywhere in 2013. If he and the Giants don’t reach a long-term agreement the Giants will tender him, probably at a first-round level. If any team actually made Cruz an offer the Giants would almost certainly match. If they don’t match they would receive a draft choice at the level of the tender.
Do you really think an NFL team is going to surrender a first-round pick for Cruz, if that’s what the Giants were to tender him at? Unlikely.
Cruz and the Giants will make a deal. Eventually. Until then, lots of things will be said or rumored. Settle in folks, this will probably take a while.