After a couple relatively quiet weeks surrounding restricted free agent (RFA) wide receiver Victor Cruz and his status with the New York Giants, a web of new information has been released over the past 24 hours. Unfortunately for the fans, every report seems to conflict with the other reports and there's no clear indication as to what's true and what's not.
This new wave of reports began on Wednesday when Cruz joined teammates Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks and Louis Murphy at Duke University for the 2013 Manning passing camp. It then continued when defensive captain Justin Tuck said he expects Cruz to attend the team's voluntary strength and conditioning program which begins this coming Monday.
That is where the clarity disappears, however.
Shortly after Tuck's comments went public, ESPN's Ed Werder reported that no new deal is close and that negotiations have been at a complete standstill. The report also suggested Cruz is "unlikely" to attend the voluntary strength and conditioning program, and even hinted at a possible holdout. It was later semi-substantiated by the New York Daily News, which re-ran a section of an earlier report suggesting that Cruz previously turned down a $7+ million annual offer because he's seeking $10 million annually.
And, in the off chance you've been hiding under a rock, the Giants' $7+ million annual offer also included upwards of $21 million guaranteed. But, allegedly, Cruz wants more with some reports suggesting almost $11 million annually with more guaranteed money.
Is your head spinning yet? Well, it's about to get worse.
The New York Post joined the party on Friday with a report suggesting the Giants did, in fact, offer a $7+ million annual deal, but offered more detail. Their report suggests it's a four or five-year deal worth between $29 and $36 million, with $12 million to $15 million in guaranteed money. Paul Schwartz added that, essentially, it's the best offer Cruz is going to get from the team (ala Steve Smith's take it or leave it offer prior to joining the Philadelphia Eagles).
In the words of the great pitch man Anthony Sullivan: but wait! There's more!
To top off this insane cycle of conflicting news, Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reported on Thursday night that Cruz is likely to sign a long-term deal with the Giants very soon, and that Jay-Z's influence will have a lot to do with it.
"[Cruz] told his agents not to sign him with another team because he wants to work with Jay-Z," a source said. "There might have been a couple of teams interested, but he didn't want to go anywhere."
So, after all of that, we're essentially back to square one. Cruz remains a RFA without a long-term deal in place with the Giants. He may or may not attend voluntary team workouts and OTAs; he may or may not have turned down a previous deal with the Giants; he may or may not be seeking more money than what the Giants may or may not have offered him; and he may or may not holdout if a deal isn't reached by the time training camp begins.
The only thing that's for certain is other teams still have the ability to sign him to an offer sheet by April 19th. However, that, too, may or may not happen.
Make sense yet? We didn't think so.
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