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Smokescreen Surrounding Victor Cruz, New York Giants Gets Denser Over Past 24 Hours

April 12th, 2013 at 10:05 AM
By Dan Benton

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.

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

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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Tags: Eli Manning, Football, Hakeem Nicks, Jay-Z, Justin Tuck, Louis Murphy, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Eagles, Steve Smith, Victor Cruz

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28 Responses to “Smokescreen Surrounding Victor Cruz, New York Giants Gets Denser Over Past 24 Hours”

  1.  fanfor55years says:

    Dan, thanks for clearing all of that up. No one should any longer be confused about exactly what is happening.

    I should add that I heard a rumor that Kim Jong Un plans to lob a missile at JayZ’s offices if he doesn’t agree to cut Dennis Rodman in on the agent’s fee when Cruz signs with the Pyongyang Pirates of the new WFL (World Football League). You should add that to your story so people can really clarify this mess.

  2.  wlubake says:

    Got in late on the Te’o thread, so a repost:

    I think folks are overthinking Te’o. He can play. He was thought to be a 2 down LB, until last year when he got 8 picks. Then he was thought to be a top 10 pick. Then he had one below average game (watch his snaps – the awfulness of his performance is way overblown) and a fake dead girlfriend (can anyone still seriously contend that he was in on that?) and he’s a maybe 3rd round pick?

    His floor is Rey Maualuga (without the drinking problem), and his celing is much better. I think he’d be a better MLB than Pierce ever was. He’d be worth a late first round pick to plug him in for a solid, yet unspectacular, 10 years.

  3.  Mikeomerta Vasquez says:

    Why would cruz and cano sign with Jay-z if they are not going to play in a BIG media Market? I cant see Jay-Z promoting in Clevand or Tennessee. Cruz may just wait till next year, but he aint playing in a small media market that is for sure.

  4.  wlubake says:

    Ha! I watched a lot of Tank Carradine yesterday, so I was curious to read this take from Matt Miller at ProDraftScout:

    “He’s an elite pass rusher thanks to his quickness off the ball and the ability to dip his shoulder and get past left tackles,” Miller said. “He’s so fast and slippery that blockers have trouble getting their hands on his frame, and when they do punch at him he can dip and slide to get under their hands. He’ll need to get stronger at the next level and learn to use his hands better to disengage from blockers, but those are coachable skills.”

    I don’t know if you guys rememeber what I wrote yesterday, but it was pretty much the exact opposite. He looked like he was ALWAYS the last out of his stance at the snap. That slowed his first step. He didn’t seem to ever beat any tackles with a speed rush. But he would disengage well and get rushing tackles and get some sacks once the QB would move up in the pocket to evade either Werner or a safety/CB blitz from the outside.

    Feels like we watched two different players.

    •  BillyS says:

      It’s funny because that is a great example of just how bad some “analysts” really are. All of the strengths and weaknesses are so generic and normally wrong. I feel that they just write something up and hope that the player really shows said strengths and weaknesses. Take Alex Okafor for example. I absolutely love that guy. I’ve seen some of his cons as being “slow out of his stance” and “gets pushed back too much”. And of course some saying he isn’t great against the run. But if you watch the tape he’s pretty quick off the line, can bull rush, and has very good pursuit. He reminds me so much of a combo of Tuck and Osi. So much.

  5.  norm says:

    If the “smokescreen surrounding Victor Cruz” also manages to obscure this sh!t from view, then keep on smoking!

  6.  GOAT56 says:

    The thing is not all of this is smoke screen some of it is true. In 2 weeks we will know a lot more. If he’s not signed 2 weeks from today then that’s real and means something.

  7.  GOAT56 says:

    wlubake – I think the game and the girlfriend are overblown. But I also think he was overhyped to begin with because ND had a team with no real stars and he was their biggest name. I don’t like him for us because I think to move our defense forward we need a MLB that’s really athletic and can cover in this scheme. Guys like Teo and Minter are better than what we have but I think we should be looking for a different type of MLB. If we are going after the an average athlete good instincts type of MLB I think that’s for the 3rd round and later.

    •  wlubake says:

      I’m not saying we look at him at 19. I think he’ll go around 25. There should be better talent at 19. I’m just saying there’s no way he’s there for us in the 2nd, and we’d jump at the opportunity to take him if he were, short of another top 25 player falling that far.

      He’d be well served in a 3-4, but the teams I see mentioned are mostly 4-3 teams.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        I don’t think he’s a top 25 player. I think if none of the girlfriend stuff never happen he would have fallen because he’s an MLB/ILB who’s not an elite athlete. Guys like him with great intangibles are usually taken late first to early second. Guys like Kuechly that add the upper tier athleticism are the only ones that are top 10.

        However, I do think 3-4 ILB is a better fit for his skills assuming he plays in the 250 range and not at 240.

    •  BillyS says:

      Kevin Reddick is the answer. I won’t preach it enough. I’m tired of these clunkers at LB who are too slow and can’t cover. I’m not saying we *need* a LB who can get 5+ INTs or anything, but I just want someone who can play sideline-to-sideline, make it harder for a TE to catch passes, and just not get constantly beat. I’m tired of these slow guys and Reddick would really make a difference. I’m of the belief that you only take a LB that early if he’s going to be a stud and I just don’t see Te’o or any others as a future stud. Ogletree is a different story because I do think he’s very talented…but he is an absolute headcase and risk.

  8.  CT GIANT says:

    HEY DAN, LET ME HELP YOU!
    Victor Cruz changed agents to Tom Condon and CAA. Which unless one is well, stupid, represents the franchise QB, Eli Manning= “I want to sign here”.
    2ND, as times goes by, no offers, THEN Cruz does what: Signs with JAY-Z, a New York {and I do mean New York} agency to get Cruz more money by doing what, STAYING IN NY!
    By next Friday, the last day a team [which who really be pushing the envelope} has to make an offer to a guy WHO WON”T LEAVE NY, he’s down to two options, sign his tender, NOT, CAA says to giants, look give us a little bump, and lets get this done, and does so, because Cruz said so!
    Can you think, Cruz gets an offer in Seattle, and JAY-Z says, “ARE YOU NUTS”!
    Well, there you have it , wrapped up, he will not work-out but can and might attend classroom and film study, only.
    If I’m right, I better get a two tickets to a giants preseason game, coming down from CT. DEAL?
    CT GIANT

  9.  fanfor55years says:

    Well, I may well prove wrong about Te’o, but I’m the same guy who said I didn’t want Maulaluga when everyone was so enamored of him and I said he was probably the worst of the linebackers coming out of USC that year. I’m also the guy who insisted Pierce was done two years before the team finally dumped him.

    I think Te’o could be a somewhat-above-average NFL linebacker. Not more than that. And I believe that within a reasonable range, Connor and Herzlich are also right there in the same category. Herzlich could even exceed that.

    So I want nothing to do with Te’o at the cost of passing on a player who could be far better than whatever we will have already pegged at a particular position. I don’t think Te’o is enough of an upgrade to draft unless he comes very “cheaply” (as in after the second round, which is highly unlikely).

    •  The Original G Man says:

      Ideally, I’d love to get a CB or DE in the 1st (Desmond Trufant?) and have one of the 3 MLBs (Ogletree, Teo, Brown) fall to us in the 2nd.

      •  BillyS says:

        There’s actually a decent chance that Brown could fall to the 2nd round. He had a bum shoulder for the combine, but I believe he did pretty well at his Pro Day. Had he been completely healthy I think he’d have been a late 1st rounder, but now I think he’s a mid 2nd rounder. If he’s there then I’d take him in a flash. Ogletree most likely won’t get past the middle of the 1st. Te’o…eh, he really could go anywhere. Oh, and I want Trufant in the worst way.

    •  BillyS says:

      I hated Maulaluga with a passion. The guy just didn’t look that good coming out of college. I think Te’o has much more potential than him, and considering how I feel about Te’o…yeah, Maulaluga was one of the most overrated players in recent memory.

  10.  The Original G Man says:

    @TonyPauline
    Vinston Painter/G/Va Tech visits: Tampa Bay Bucs, Detroit Lions, NY Giants, Denver Broncos, SD Chargers, Jax Jaguars & Cincinnati Bengals.

    ?@TonyPauline
    Alonzo Tweedy/S/Virginia Tech has worked out for the New England Patriots and will be traveling to see the New York Giants next week…

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