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New York Giants’ Victor Cruz May Consider Holdout If New Deal Isn’t Reached

February 2nd, 2013 at 8:30 AM
By Dan Benton

Once upon a time, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz said a holdout would "never happen." Unfortunately, times change, and as he and General Manager Jerry Reese continue to do battle over terms to a new contract, the young Pro Bowl wideout is beginning to alter his tune a bit.

'Victor Cruz makes the catch' photo (c) 2011, Kathy Vitulano - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Shortly after Giants co-owner John Mara said the team "would not break the bank" for their star wide receiver, Cruz loosened his stance on a potential holdout, insinuating that it's now becoming a possibility.

"I have no answer to that," Cruz said when asked if he'd now consider a holdout.

A soon-to-be restricted free agent, the Giants will likely tender him if the two sides are unable to come to an agreement. Given his talent and rapid rise to fame, it's safe to assume that any tender would be of the first-round variety. Still, that doesn't protect the Giants from potentially losing Cruz, as a number of teams might be willing part with a high draft pick in order to sign the youngster long-term.

In the event they do make it to training camp and Cruz does decide to holdout, it will likely be short-lived. The fines for missing each day of camp add up quickly, and most athletes, even those with massive contracts, tend to get back on the field rather quickly, as opposed to paying large sums of money to sit at home and do nothing.

Still, it's too early to panic. The two sides are likely to come to a long-term, mutually beneficial agreement before any of this becomes a serious issue.

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Tags: Football, Jerry Reese, John Mara, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Victor Cruz

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14 Responses to “New York Giants’ Victor Cruz May Consider Holdout If New Deal Isn’t Reached”

  1.  Dirt says:

    I think a tender would be a mistake.

    • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

      The beat writers seem to think it’d be no big deal. I tend to disagree. Someone will pay up.

      •  Samardzija says:

        Whats the price of the highest tender again?

        •  Krow says:

          I believe it’s $2.87 mil … at the top … or first-round-pick level.

        • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

          Have they released the numbers for 2013 yet? I honestly don’t know if they have.

          •  Krow says:

            Here’s what I dug out …

            2013 Restricted Free Agent tenders:

            Level 1: 1,323,000 $ (ROFR)
            Level 2: 1,323,000 $ or 110% of 2012 salary (Original Round Pick)
            Level 3: 2,023,088 $ or 110% of 2012 salary (Second Round Pick)
            Level 4: 2,878,628 $ or 110% of 2012 salary (First Round Pick)

            Exclusive Rights Free Agents are players whose contract expired with less than three accrued seasons. If tendered a qualifying new contract they may only negotiate with their old team.

            2013 Exclusive Rights Free Agent tender:

            405,000 $ (0 accrued season)
            480,000 $ (1 accrued season)
            555,000 $ (2 accrued seasons)

      •  Dirt says:

        I’m with you Dan. Hell I think even a team like New England would do that deal in a second and say so long to Welker.

  2.  Krow says:

    In the final analysis all players follow pretty much the same script. The teams use their leverage … forcing the players to use theirs. This is the only card Cruz has to play.

  3.  G-MenFan says:

    The problem here is simple, but probably too complicated for Goodell to fathom.

    The league needs to do the right thing and modify the salary cap by allowing teams that develop unheralded players successfully to be rewarded with extra spending money beyond the cap when their rookie contracts are up. Something like this: You get no extra money for players you drafted in the first 5 rounds. Any 6th or 7th round picks or UDFAs that develop to become first or second round-valued players you get $X beyond the cap for each such player per year to give the team that found them and developed them a fair chance to sign them.

    It will never happen of course, because it rewards excellence and does not reward stupidity, and this league is all about rewarding stupidity and futility.

    •  Krow says:

      They’d have to modify the CBA. That means DeMaurice ‘Fugly” Smith time. It’d lead to a full negotiating session … and more drama then any of the owners want to contemplate.

      The Commish can’t just mess with the cap. There’s a process.

      •  G-MenFan says:

        Not sure DFS would have to get involved. I don’t see it as a CBA issue because you’re not changing the player’s status–he’s still a FA and he’s still going to get the same market value he would have. You’re just giving the team that found/developed him a reasonable chance to keep him without having to end up with an early-round draft pick. And that pick becomes the same damned problem 48 months later.
        A modification like this would give the Giants a fair chance to keep Victor Cruz a happy Giant during his prime instead of a miserable KC Chief making the same money.

        •  Krow says:

          I like the idea … I’m just pretty sure it would take negotiating. Unions don’t always operate for the benefit of the members. They’re an entity unto themselves, and only do what’s best for the players IF it’s also what’s best for the union. And this would be too tempting for them to just rubber stamp it.

  4.  fanfor55years says:

    Of course Cruz is threatening to hold out. What other leverage does he have? But the Giants aren’t going to cave. They still hold all the cards.

    The discussion about Cruz’s value is interesting, but I strongly believe the critical point is being missed. A lot of you have been beating the drum that Cruz deserves money ahead of Webster, Canty, Tuck and Bennett. Well, clearly he’s a better player than any of them at the moment, but that isn’t the point. You have to take a holistic POV. The Giants have to construct an entire team that can compete for championships. The following propositions are true:

    1) Hakeem Nicks is a better, more valuable, receiver than Victor Cruz (yes, Cruz is a game-breaker but so is Nicks and he plays a position that is critical on every NFL offense and more important than the slot receiver because the X-receiver will be matched against the #1 corners and the slot receiver will be matched against the #3 corners or even safeties and therefore a lesser player can still succeed in the slot);

    2) Teams cannot afford two $8-10MM “#1″ receivers and Nicks must be retained. Cruz has to play for $5-6MM or he cannot be retained in the long run;

    3) A top offense needs two “home run hitters” and in 2011 and 2012 Cruz was absolutely critical because he was the second, along with Nicks, in 2011 and the only one (in the absence of Nicks) in 2012 until Wilson started to get some snaps. In 2013 the Giants start with Nicks and Wilson, and may think they have two other possibilities in Randle and Jernigan (remember, Jernigan was drafted high with the expectation that HE would become the terrific slot receiver with great speed and quicks, and is only not playing because Cruz turned out to be so fabulous). Cruz is, while clearly a tremendous player they’d like to keep, and a game-breaker, a bit of a luxury;

    4) The money they’d have to pay Cruz could cover a top offensive lineman. The money Cruz wants, and that someone else may give him, would cover TWO offensive linemen. It makes no sense to talk about the tradeoff between Cruz and some older defensive players. That isn’t the issue. The issue is how good can the Giants’ offense be, and how best to use something between $5-10MM of cap space. If that’s my choice I’m taking a stud offensive lineman in the draft, resigning Bennett, and retaining Kenny Phillips to help keep down the number of points a Cruz-less offense would have to score (AND I get a #1 draft pick, which could get me a first round of a great young corner plus either a really promising defensive tackle, offensive lineman, or linebacker…if it’s the right #1 pick, say in the top 5-6 picks, I’m making out like a bandit because suddenly a bit of creativity may get me Joeckel or Milliner or Warmack or Fisher or Lotuleilei, all of whom would be cheap for the next 4-5 years);

    5) So you tell me. What’s more valuable: Victor Cruz in the slot for the next 4 years; or an extra #1 pick, retaining Kenny Phillips, retaining Bennett and probably retaining Boothe or being able to pick up a pretty decent offensive lineman in free agency? Nicks remains in any case. Randle, Jernigan, Wilson, and Robinson too. Brown probably. I don’t think it’s a tough decision, and I say that as a huge fan of Victor Cruz, a game-breaker and a very nice kid.

  5.  GmenMania says:

    UUT

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