Saturday, April 20, 2013

Giants' Cruz gets no offers and midnight deadline passes

Don't throw out those salsa CD's and No. 80 jerseys just yet Giants fans. Victor Cruz is probably not going anywhere.

The clock struck midnight last night — meaning the deadline (11:59 on Friday) for him to sign an offer sheet during the restricted free agency period expired — and, as expected, Cruz got no offers because no team was willing to give the Giants a first-round draft pick or come up with a long-term, lucrative contract for Jay-Z's Roc Nation's new client.

This leaves Cruz holding the ball with only a couple of risky options. If Cruz is adamant about testing the open market after the 2013 season, he can sign the one-year tender of $2.879 million, which could allow him to play this season for the Giants and then become an unrestricted free agent — unless in 2014 the Giants opt to use their franchise tag on him. That scenario comes with a big what if.  Like in what if Cruz is injured leaving him with nothing to fall back on other than this year’s salary of less than $3 million.

He could also force the Giants' hand with a holdout which could force the Giants to trade their popular home-grown player or drive up his price.  Either way, those moves would damage his reputation and possibly alienate him from his large New York fan base.

Cruz was a no-show for the voluntary off season workouts but maybe now Giants and Cruz can get down to some serious negotiating.

He cannot be fined for missing workouts until the June 11-13 three-day veteran mini-camp, which is mandatory. General manager Jerry Reese admitted this week he cannot assume Cruz will be on the roster for the start of the season, although the likelihood remains high he will be.

"I don’t assume anything," Reese said. "We’ll see. I can tell you this — when we get ready to play — when the season starts, we will have some good players out there. I’m not sure if Victor will be there or not."

Eli Manning doesn't think Cruz will show up until his favorite target has a long-term contract — and rightfully so.

"He's got to do what is in the best interest of him," said the Giants quarterback. "And that’s usually staying away and putting pressure to try to get the deal done."

No comments:

Post a Comment