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New York Giants’ Victor Cruz Remains Unsigned; Hakeem Nicks’ Contract Situation Looms

June 3rd, 2013 at 8:30 AM
By Paul Tierney

The absence of Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks from OTA's so far this offseason has been disheartening, especially to head coach Tom Coughlin. Although the Giants have benefited from the opportunity to scout the young talent  stockpiled at wide receiver, the contract situations of both of Big Blue's star wideouts are less than ideal, and this offseason has been a reality check of gigantic proportions for Giants fans everywhere. The team may eventually have to choose between Nicks and Cruz, and no matter which way the front office decides, it's going to be an unpopular and highly scrutinized event.

Truth be told, the Giants would be able to survive the loss of either Nicks or Cruz. With Rueben Randle, Jerrel Jernigan and Louis Murphy lining the bottom of the depth chart, it's not inconceivable that one of those players emerges as a threat. Each youngster has a unique set of traits that have the ability to continue the Giants' offensive diversity and produce at a high level. 

But if at all possible, the Giants want to avoid a scenario in which the team has to say goodbye to one of their highly coveted wideouts. Big Blue will likely have a tremendous amount of money coming off the salary cap next season, including veterans Chris Snee, Corey Webster and Justin Tuck, not to mention the slew of one-year contracts general manager Jerry Reese handed out this offseason. The Giants will have some wiggle room with the salary cap next season, but as some point, it becomes counterproductive to pay No. 1 wide receiver money to two players on one roster.

That's why the Giants have budged very little in negotiations with Cruz. In the NFL, slot receivers are a dime-a-dozen, and the Giants know that with Eli Manning under center, replacing Cruz would look more daunting on paper than it would in reality. Unless Randle emerges into a star, replacing Nicks would be a more precarious proposition.

There's not telling how long Cruz's contract soap opera continues to play out, but this negotiation will set the tone for Nicks' contract demands as well. The Giants can not afford to budge too far off their estimated evaluation of Cruz's worth, because doing so would likely result in the team losing Nicks in unrestricted free agency next offseason. The Giants are going to do all they can to avoid that scenario, but the contracts of the team's most productive wideouts is going to remain an uncertainty for the entirety of the season.

photo credit: Football Schedule via photopin cc

Also…

Tags: Chris Snee, Corey Webster, Eli Manning, Football, Hakeem Nicks, Jerrel Jernigan, Jerry Reese, Justin Tuck, Louis Murphy, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Rueben Randle, Tom Coughlin, Victor Cruz

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4 Responses to “New York Giants’ Victor Cruz Remains Unsigned; Hakeem Nicks’ Contract Situation Looms”

  1.  GOAT56 says:

    Great piece. I have expressed similar sentiments many times the past few months but yours is better delivered. As this piece points out the situation is more complex than just simply it’s a given we are keeping both WRs. And even if Cruz is as good as Nicks, the position he plays is just easier to replace than the one Nicks plays.

  2.  Krow says:

    Numbers …

    Cruz

    2011 – 82 receptions … 1536 yds … 9 TDs
    2012 – 86 receptions … 1092 yds … 10 TDs

    Nicks

    2011 – 76 receptions … 1192 yds … 7 TDs
    2012 – 53 receptions … 692 yds … 3 TDs

  3.  GIANTT says:

    We all recognize the talent of Nicks and Cruz but in the back of my mind is the Eli factor . What kind of numbers would these guys put up with another QB throwing to them ? Reese is not going to pay up for numbers which are a large part due to Elis abilities . As has been pointed out , every time the Giants let a receiver or TE leave , the doom and gloomers come out of the woodwork predicting future disaster for the Giants throwing game . Every time Eli finds a new toy to play with and I am of the opinion that the Giants have enough talent on hand for Eli to do so again.
    I have serious doubts that the Giants will be able to ,or even want to to invest top money in both Nicks and Cruz so perhaps we are seeing the game that will eventually lead to Cruz signing his tender . Then one of two things will happen , he will have a good year and the Giants will be unable or unwilling to pay him the big bucks and he leaves with a big free agent contract .Or , he has a mediocre year and the Giants can then sign him to a reasonable contract . He should just remember what happened to Steve Smith . Signing a long term contract now gives him a decent amount of guaranteed money and with Jay Z pitching for him we know his football salary will be an insignificant part of his income as a media star a long term contract will also set him up as Elis go to guy in the slot for a contract beyond this one which he could easily get if he doesnt mess up this one

  4.  TheCatch says:

    My friend has for years traveled in social circles where he has opportunities for in-depth conversations with the media personalities that cover and broadcast the Yankees. He has met and sat with most of the players both past and present. He speaks of what great guys people like Tex and Jeet are. He also speaks of all the gossip around guys who heads have gotten to big with their new found stardom. Example: Jaba is said to see himself as hot s***, ( A-Rod is A-Rod). These players are never the same in that their on field performance drops. The more Cruz see’s himself as a rock star with a Jay-Z millionaire life style the more I think of his trade value in draft picks and the benefit of having his expected new salary available for other signings. Kudos to DD for his team first approach.

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