As anticipated, the New York Giants will tender restricted free agent (RFA) wide receiver Victor Cruz at a first-round level. However, co-owner John Mara anticipates Cruz getting a lot of attention around the league and says he "wouldn't be surprised" if another team signs the young wide receiver to an offer sheet.
"If he took our offer he'd be a very wealthy young man," Mara said on Monday. "[But] there's a limit … if someone is willing to pay more than we are, then we'll have to say goodbye."
Mara noted that the Giants made Cruz a "substantial offer," but his agent turned it down. Luckily, because the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) prevents the poison pill, the Giants have "a little more comfort" in regards to Cruz's future.
But true to previous reports, the team anticipates Cruz will generate quite a buzz on the restricted free agent market, and the St. Louis Rams have been mentioned as a team that is prepared to make a very serious play for him. The Minnesota Vikings are another team that may take a stab at Cruz, and having just traded Percy Harvin in exchange for a first-round pick (and more), they have the ammo necessary to acquire him if they opt to go that route.
"I also think I'll say one other thing" Mara added. "I think Victor is smart enough to realize that he belongs in this area. I think he’s done very well for himself off the field. He’s a very popular player here. He’s had a lot of off the field opportunities. So hopefully all those other things will enter into his consideration."
In addition to tendering Cruz at a first-round level, Mara says the Giants will tender safety Stevie Brown and running back Andre Brown at second-round levels. Running back Ryan Torain will not be tendered, but the team "would like him back."
Coming into the day, the Giants had an estimated $8.5 million in cap room, but with the tender amounts for Cruz ($2.8M), S. Brown ($2M) and A. Brown ($2M), they are now down to approximately $1.7 million in cap space.
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