New York Giants co-owner John Mara recently said the team had offered restricted free agent (RFA) wide receiver Victor Cruz a "substantial" deal – a deal, mind you, that Cruz allegedly turned down. As it turns out, Mara wasn't blowing typical offseason PR smoke. Gary Myers of the New York Daily News reports that Big Blue has, in fact, offered Cruz a long-term deal that would exceed $7 million annually and include a "sizable amount of guaranteed money."
"If he took our offer he'd be a very wealthy young man," Mara said last week. "[But] there's a limit … if someone is willing to pay more than we are, then we'll have to say goodbye."
Although everyone in the Giants' camp has said publicly they expect Cruz to receive an offer sheet from another team, it is growing increasingly less likely that will happen. And if it doesn't, Cruz is faced with accepting this offer, which is upwards of $3 million less annually than he wants, signing his first-round tender worth $2.879 million in 2013 or holding out.
Holding out also seems like an unlikely scenario, however. Even at the one-year tender price, if Cruz were to refuse to sign it and holdout, he could only financially support that standoff for two and a half weeks. If he were to power through and miss the Giants' first six games, he would also lose one "accrued season" ultimately resulting in him being a restricted free agent again in 2014.
At this point the Giants have all the possible leverage. They have a generous offer on the table, a one-year tender/RFA scenario to fall back on in the event of a holdout and the unlikely chances another team will not only sign Cruz to an offer sheet, but pay more than the $7 million+ annually the Giants have reportedly offered.
This is about as good as it's going to get for Cruz.
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