Could the Victor Cruz contract situation finally be coming to an end? Mere hours after New York Giants co-owner John Mara said he was "confident" the two sides would come to an agreement, Pro Football Talk is reporting that Big Blue will put the pedal to the metal in hopes of having a long-term agreement signed sometime over the next 7-10 days.
It’s unclear why the next week or so is regarded as important, since there are no deadlines or other milestones that compel an agreement by May 17. Presumably, the Giants and Cruz would like to have the player on the field for the bulk of the Organized Team Activities that cap the offseason program.
With the deadline for signing restricted free agents (RFA) to an offer sheet having come and gone, Cruz's options have been whittled down to a well know and well documented three:
- Sign his one-year tender and play for a $2.879 million salary in 2013.
- Sign the long-term deal the Giants have reportedly offered him, which is close to $8 million annually.
- Refuse to sign his tender or long-term deal and theoretically "holdout."
Because Cruz is technically a free agent, the term "holdout" doesn't exactly explain his latter most option. He could flat-out refuse to sign anything or show up to OTAs, mini-camps, training camps and even some regular season games without the risk of being fined or penalized. However, if Cruz remains unsigned after June 17th, the Giants could then reduce his tender amount to 110% of his 2012 salary or what would amount to the three-year veteran minimum: $630,000.
As of week 10, Cruz could sign his tender offer for a reduced amount of $1.19 million and become an unrestricted free agent (UFA) in 2014. If he waits so much as one more day beyond that, he would lose an accrued season and once again become a restricted free agent in 2014.
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