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New York Giants Planned to Reduce Victor Cruz’s Tender Amount

June 17th, 2013 at 12:45 PM
By Dan Benton

'Victor Cruz' photo (c) 2011, scott mecum - license: Had wide receiver Victor Cruz not signed his one-year, $2.879 million restricted free agent (RFA) tender, today would have been the day the New York Giants had the option of reducing his tender amount. And although many experts and pundits didn't anticipate Big Blue doing so, it turns out the team had every intention of exercising the option to slash his tender amount to $630,000.

That decision is something Cruz and his agent, CAA's Tom Condon, were undoubtedly aware of and something they acted on accordingly. If they hadn't, the already negative negotiations could have turned into something much, much worse.

Still, despite the tender, Cruz and the Giants remain roughly $1 million apart on a long-term deal and a training camp holdout appears to be a somewhat realistic option. And should a holdout occur, Cruz is now eligible to be fined $30,000 for each day of training camp missed.

However, there is a catch to any potential holdout. As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk recently pointed out, Cruz cannot extend any holdout beyond the date of August 6th. If he does, he loses an accrued year of free agent eligibility and would become a restricted free agent again in March of 2014.


Tags: Football, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Tom Condon, Victor Cruz

60 Responses to “New York Giants Planned to Reduce Victor Cruz’s Tender Amount”

  1.  jfunk says:

    Potential angle on the Cruz/Nicks situation.

    Is it possible that the Giants have already decided they can’t pay both market value, thus have no interest in making a decision until 2014?

    •  fanfor55years says:

      I honestly think the Cruz situation has NOTHING to do with Nicks. They’re crazy if they don’t retain Nicks (assuming he’s healthy) and these are not crazy men.

      I think it’s simple. They decided they want him here in 2013, and want him here beyond that at a cost they have established as his “value” and as always will refuse to move far off that number. It’s the Giants’ Way, and it works.

      This may be the cold reality of the NFL, but in this instance the Giants are right in saying they’ve offered him a great deal. I suspect Reese and Condon can deal without each other without much emotion (“It’s just business”) but I have a sneaky feeling that John Mara and Tom Coughlin haven’t forgotten where Cruz came from, how lucky he is to have been catching balls from Eli, those nasty drops that seem to keep recurring, and his seeming lack of appreciation for what the team has done for HIM (rather than the other way around). The Old School is that almost any player is replaceable, and the Maras and TC are as “Old School” as they come. It would not shock me if they have told Condon they are perfectly okay without a long-term deal and want to wait to see how things go before re-convening. I just don’t think Nicks has anything to do with that.

      •  kujo says:

        ^^ I agree with this post ^^

      •  jfunk says:

        Suppose the following were to transpire this season:

        1. Cruz plays lights out.
        2. Nicks misses significant time
        3. Randle fills in admirably at X, well enough to keep defenders off Cruz allowing him to produce like 2011 Cruz.

        In that scenario, might the Giants not decide that paying Cruz and letting Nicks walk gives them the best chance for the next 3-5 years? They’d still have two years to figure out how to pay Randle.

        There’s no doubt having your top 2 wide outs on the same “contract age” makes thing more difficult.

  2.  kujo says:


    Thanks for the congrats. The wedding was perfect. Just perfect. Even the bad stuff–sun shower occurred and lasted just long enough for my wife and her dads to walk down the aisle–was perfect. If we’re friends on FB (are we? Not sure if I remember your real name) I’ve got some pictures up. And yeah, I’m kujonicus on Twitter. What’s your handle?

    •  F0XLIN says:

      Good to hear man, I’ll add on FB and check them out

      CoughlinDavidJ is the twitter handle

  3.  Dan Peterson says:

    August 6 can’t be right.

    •  jfunk says:

      Yeah, I’ve seen that date repeated several times.

      I’m guessing this is something that was in the new CBA to prevent hold outs.

      So signing the tender effectively means he WILL be here and playing.

    • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

      30 days prior to the regular season opener.

  4.  TuckThis says:

    ENOUGH! This has become all Cruz/all the time. Stop. Please stop!
    I seriously am beginning to despise the guy.
    I guess this is fine because when he leaves, I’ll be less inclined to miss him. ;-)

    •  jfunk says:

      Cruz has said very little. In fact, about the only things Cruz has said and done during this off season (hiring Condon, refusing to negotiate with other teams), have strengthened the Giants’ position.

      It’s not really rational to hate the guy because the media won’t stop talking about him despite his giving them absolutely nothing to talk about.

      •  Nosh.0 says:

        Well he was out drinking on a friday night in the offseason. And as we all know pro athletes should be in training at all hours when they’re not sleeping. I’m sure that’s what Herzlich does.

    •  bobby I. says:

      I don’t think its cruz. The agents are the ones trying to get all they can get but it makes it look bad for the atlete. I know though, we all get tired of the money side[ 2.9 mil isn't enough? Right!! This is one reason why I do not[DO NOT] pay to go to the live event in any sport.Im not gonna be part of paying their salaries! we the fans caused this outrageous saleries they get, cause we pay it.If all fans, just one day didn’t go to any baseball games,people like A-Rod wouldn,t be making 29,500,000 this year!!

      •  Sonny Mukhopadhyay says:

        Eh, that would do something, but how much of an impact is debatable.

        Do you own cable ? If so, you are paying for those salaries anyway. The NFL sells broadcasting rights to networks, who then pass on their costs to cable and satellite providers who then pass on those costs to consumers.

        There is also merchandising, and other revenue streams. Just because you do not go to a game doesn’t mean you don’t pay the players salaries. It just means you don’t pay someone elses salary (like saying the beer vendor at the game, he loses out on you not being there, but NOT the players down on the field).

        Just to note, the networks that pass on those costs to the cable and satellite providers, they also recoup their costs from the commercials and advertising revenue they generate. In a sense, they want you to stay home, drive up their neilsen ratings, so they can in turn charge more to their advertising clients (who in turn will pass their advertising costs onto the consumer in higher prices). Those high ratings they generate also drive up the prices they charge the cable and satellite companies to broadcast, who again turn around and charge you more.

        Not going to the games, isn’t hurting player salaries, its just driving up your own costs in a different way, without you seeing it or realizing it.

        Wonderful world, huh ?

  5.  fanfor55years says:

    Wow! I thought they’d not do that as a gesture of good will (but I am assuming that they COULD have made that reduction anytime after today too and if that is NOT the case then I fully understand why they’d have told Condon they were going to do it).

    Put simply, Cruz and his people have to understand the Giants aren’t going to budge, that taking an injury risk and losing millions in pay this season are absolutely stupid moves, and that staying in New York maximizes his overall income. I hope they realize that John Mara and Jerry Reese are now also going to make Victor the example of how they will deal with the new mentality of players and agents going forward. He’d better not assume they won’t just walk away because I think they might. There are too many good young players on this team who will be watching this opera. The Giants “gave in” a little to Osi to keep him around, but truth be told Osi Umeniyora had given them more, and was a truly beloved player on the team, and they were focused on a repeat championship and figured the pass rush was going to carry them there along with Eli. I think the powers-that-be have no intention of giving much ground this time around. I hope they don’t.

  6.  kujo says:


    You’re right — Herz didn’t look great against the Steelers last year. He did far better against the Eagles though, and has supposedly looked real sharp in spring practices and OTAs. He’s also apparently dedicated himself to learning and dissecting every nook and cranny of the defense on his army of dry erase boards. Sorta reminds me of Chase Blackburn in that he wants to really master this stuff. We won a Super Bowl with that guy and his, ahem, athletic limitations. I see no reason why Herzlich can’t give us AT LEAST as much as his predecessor.

    •  rlhjr says:

      Rodger that bro. I hope he takes it on.

      Congtats, and much happiness Kujo. All the best my man.

  7.  ERICHONIUS says:

    I don’t think that Cruz intends to sign before testing the free market. With the report about him increasing his demands whenever the giants raise the offer makes me think he is just trying to appear to the fans as if he is trying to get a contract done (not intending for this to be made public). I think him signing this tender suggests that he is just trying to maximize his money this year without signing a long term contract. I figure if he intended to sign with the Giants then why worry about the reduction of the tender? He should at least make the current offer 8 mil/year (I doubt the giants would lower the offer). And not signing allows him to hold out without penalty, which is his only leverage at this point; this makes me think he is not worried about leverage. He watched Mike Wallace sign for big money after a similar situation, and he probably feels that he should garner more money because of better production.

    •  purorock says:

      Wow… with all due respect, you are wrong and/or off on many points. He has no choice but to sign, eventually, or sit out and miss out on the year he would have accrued. He can’t test the FA market, period, for at least 2 seasons. This year, he becomes either a RFA again, signs long-term with the Giants and if he didn’t sign this season, then next season the Giants can franchise him.

      Why on Earth would any player not try to maximize a huge contract when the striking is hot, on a perennial contender in a city that is a perfect demographic for his off-the-field shenanigans? He signed the tender because it’s evident the Giants let him know they would reduce the offer. He signed the tender because he would lose the year in accrual. It’s crazy to risk injury on $2.8 when you’re ONLY $1 million off of a $9 million contract you want.

      Not signing DOES NOT allow him to hold-out without penalty. The Giants have every right to penalize him.

      Mike Wallace Victor Cruz. Cruz > Wallace. Wallace was a FA. Cruz is a RFA. You’re not taking into account Hakeem Nicks’ upcoming contract situation, nor the way the Giants view Cruz as a #2 and Nicks as a #1. Wallace was a clear #1 with Pittsburgh and with Miami.

  8.  GIANTT says:

    Whether the Giants would or would not have reduced his tender amount actually is still up in the air and we will never know . The Giants seemed to think it was a good PR and negotiating tactic that they said they would for future and present negotiations .
    To me , the only point that would change any tactics here is whether Cruz! and Condon figure they could make up the difference
    between the tender of 2.9 mill and the 8 mill or so the Giants are offering and going to free agency and getting enough more guaranteed money from another team . So lets say difference is 5 mill . Give or take that means he has to get an extra two mill or so per year from another team AND stay healthy this year AND make up
    for the difference in money from lets call it the JayZ factor . I dont see it and if anyone else does will they please explain it to me ?

  9.  Nosh.0 says:

    I actually think when both are going at their best Nicks is the better WR because he can catch that 3rd and 11 jump ball with a guy draped all over him. His hands are simply in another league than Cruz’s, and I don’t believe thats up for debate. My problem with this whole thing since we started talking about it in february is the complete undervaluing of Cruz.

    To me a #1 WR does 3 things.
    1. Ability to take over a game
    2. Change the game on a single play ie home run threat
    3. Defenses specifically game plan to stop him

    Cruz is all of those things, and he’s shown he can do it in the slot and on the outside. Perhaps in the 90′s a slot WR could not be a true #1. But in todays pass crazy NFL a #1 can absolutely play in the slot.

    Another problem I have is certain arguments lack logic. For example, “if Randle breaks out we can replace Cruz”. In reality, Randle much more resembles Nicks and if he breaks out Nicks becomes the one easier to replace.

    Then of course there is the Jurnigan and Murphy can replace Cruz’s production. Not sure exactly what either has shown to indicate they’re even starters in this league, let alone can replace a playmaker like Vic.

    And then of course they’re is the “lets totally forget Nicks has had trouble staying on the field his entire career, he deserves 10 mill per” argument. As if we’ve never seen talented players lose some ability because of leg injuries.

    So no, I do not think Cruz is better. But given Randles presence and Nicks injury history, I think if you can only sign one Cruz is the safer bet. At least I provide some real logic to my argument as opposed to the ever stimulating, “Cruz plays the slot” and “Nicks is just better”.

    Anyway it’s not the first time this site has been dead wrong on an issue. There was a time not too long ago when many on here thought Tom Coughlin was thinking about retiring, and that he would groom his replacement. Ha! Sounds funny just writing it.

    •  Nosh.0 says:

      I also can’t understand now that the Cruz contract is at a stand still, why Hakeem Nicks hasn’t been locked up if he’s clearly the more important WR and JR views him as a 10 mill per year guy.

      Thats another reason I think people are so dead wrong about Cruz. Because in JR’s tenure we’ve known him to only lock up “difference makers” long term. Everybody else walks. Why would the Giants try so hard to sign him if they thought he was a replaceable commodity, as most people do here on g101.

      •  kujo says:

        I think you play on this dichotomy more than your foes. Reese has a structure for how he goes about signing players. He doesn’t play them off each other, and he tries very hard not to allow external pressures to influence his negotiating position any more so than necessary. As such, he’s not going resign (or extend) Nicks until he is good and ready. Cruz’s situation has no bearing on the future of Nicks at this point in time. Saying that the fact that Reese hasn’t made it rain on Hakeem is proof of the veracity of your argument (which I agree with, as you well know) is a fundamental attribution error.

        •  Nosh.0 says:

          “He’s not going to sign Nicks until he’s good and ready”.

          Oh O.K. Now that’s cleared up.

          •  kujo says:

            You disagree? My position is that where Cruz is on the conveyor belt of contract negotiations has no bearing on Nicks’ location on his separate belt, at least not at this time. What would be the positive net effect of signing Nicks right now, when he’s still got a year left on his rookie deal, and when doing so would very likely be seen as a provocative action based on this public standoff with Cruz?

            •  Nosh.0 says:

              Good point. Nicks not being signed yet does not mean JR doesn’t prioritize him over Vic. We’ve seen core players go into their walk year off a rookie deal. I believe Tuck did. I know Webster did, but he was a different case as he was terrible until the buffalo game in 2007.

              I guess my point is/should have been, that the Giants would not work so hard to lock Cruz up long term if they saw him as someone they could replace easily. So yes you’re right, the Nicks contract situation may not have a bearing on Cruz contract situation.

              Oh, and congrats on the wedding.

              •  kujo says:

                Where you are 100% correct is in decrying the diminishing manner with which many on here refer to the slot receiver. They use it as an insult, or a rigid identity far beneath “number one receiver” in the pecking order. The fact is that we don’t win a Super Bowl in 2011 without Cruz. Similarly, we aren’t a .500 team without Cruz in 2012. I love me some Nicks, and want that dude on this team for the rest of Eli’s career. But this “slot receiver” is a bigger playmaker on a more consistent basis than Nicks, as of June 17, 2013. We can, and should, have them both. But let’s not pretend that Cruz’s talents are less important than that of Nicks.

              •  kujo says:

                Also thanks!

      •  GOAT56 says:

        The Cruz contract would be the starting point for Nicks. They want to keep both players. Which is why they want to lock up the lessor player in Cruz first and have the franchise tag as a fall back option if needed for Nicks.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      “he’s shown he can do it in the slot and on the outside. Perhaps in the 90?s a slot WR could not be a true #1. But in today’s pass crazy NFL a #1 can absolutely play in the slot.”

      On the outside Cruz has not shown he can do it all. He didn’t get open without Nicks on the field while playing on the outside last year. He couldn’t get open from the double teams Nicks regularly gets open with on the outside. The issue with a slot WR is there is not always a slot position to play from. We play 2 WRs a lot of the time too. The slot position is not a position that’s available on every play. The #1 WRs that play the slot still spend most of their time on the outside and command double teams on the outside. Cruz has shown he can do this.

      Replacing Cruz or Nicks is subjective. I think replacing a slot WR is easier because though the player won’t be Cruz they can still catch passes and be effective. To replace Nicks a player not only has to prove good enough to draw double coverage but then also still be effective when doing so. But that’s still just opinion. The reason why replacing the slot is easier that can’t be arguued is that the slot WR position is not on the field all the time when the #1 is always on the field.

      I don’t think 2 years, 1 great and one good gives the same knowledge of Cruz’s game that Nicks has in 4 years. Cruz while IR’d unnecessarily in 2010 still was going to miss several weeks with his injury. So I don’t see how 1 great year and another good year with clearly sliding production is any safer bet than Nicks. Add that too Cruz clearly wanting to expand his brand and I think Nicks is actually the less risky player. Injuries are hard to predict. Canty had never missed a start before here and was consistently injured while here. Nicks doesn’t have a chronic injury like a Bradshaw. Nicks is younger. Nicks is more focused on football. Nicks has proven he can produce as a #1 WR with or without Cruz. Nicks is the safer bet.

      •  Nosh.0 says:

        I think letting a bad second half define Cruz is kind of cherry picking. The entire team sucked the second half including Jesus er um, Eli Manning. Also what the second half showed us was that Randle wasn’t ready, Barden is worthless, Hixon was a shell of himself off the second ACL and Marty B wasn’t the consistent playmaker we thought he could be. Kids a heck of a blocker though.

        •  Nosh.0 says:

          Oh, and Jurnigan was MIA as per usual.

        •  GOAT56 says:

          How is it cherry picking? Let’s do some math ok some want to use Nick’s performance last year in knocking him down and that’s 25% of his career just like the 2nd half of last year is 25% of Cruz’s career. Why is it assumed that Cruz could perform any better with Nicks long term? So if Cruz is dependent of Nicks it’s shows that Nicks is more important. Nicks put up 2 good year before Cruz came aboard.

          Cruz wasn’t alone in struggling during the second half of last year but it CLEARLY showed a serious flaw in his game. A real #1 doesn’t make excuses when Eli is your QB. Who was across from Andre Johnson last year? Who was across Brandon Marshall? Dez Bryant? This is the class that you keep putting Cruz in and he didn’t compare without nick and a better QB that those WRs.

          This contract for Cruz isn’t a reward for excellent play in the past. It’s about what he can produce in the future. Cruz did get the short end in the NFL system for his play in 2011 and even 2012. But the Giants job is to only worry about the future.

          •  Nosh.0 says:

            Personally I think it shows that Nicks always had a good #2 and Cruz didn’t. Nicks rookie year coincided with Mannigham becoming a capable #2 and threat in his own right. It also coincided with Steve Smith having a career year.

            Nicks has always had either Smith, Mannigham, or Cruz on the field with him.

            Cruz had Barden, Hixon, Randle who wasn’t ready, and Jurnigan.

            Plus we’ve seen #1 WR’s have a quiet 6 game stretch before. To me leg injuries are a bigger concern than Cruz’s quiet 6 games. Which coincidently happened at the same time the entire team was terrible, including our QB.

            As for Dez Bryant, he’s always had Witten around taking a lot of attention. And Miles Austin is a solid #2.

            Andre Johnson has had the best running game in the NFL for the last 3 years.

            WR’s will go a few games without making a huge difference. Plax certainly did. And countless others. I just think you’re wrong if you let the last 6 games define Cruz. The Giants certainly don’t. Not if they’re offering 8 per.

            •  kujo says:

              ^^ This

            •  GOAT56 says:

              I don’t let them define Cruz to me that clarified Cruz. Those WRs you mentioned that Nicks played with were better than the group Nicks played with but none of them were taking double teams away from Nicks, they just weren’t. This difference in WRs is why the offense wasn’t as successful but still doesn’t account for Cruz not producing. Cruz’s value is much more tied to Nicks than vice versa which is why Cruz isn’t a number 1. This was Cruz’s only opportunity without Nicks so we are suppose to take a leap of faith that those are just normal down games that would have happened anyway?

              Austin was injured a lot last year and even when he played didn’t do much. He’s not taking any attention way from Dez at this point.

              The Houston running game was pretty average last year. Houston was 8th in yards but 16th in YPC, way behind us. Yet as their only real WR had 1500 yards.

              Cruz is a very good player but not a #1 WR. At best he has to prove himself as an outside WR. At worse he’s he’s only proven himself to be adequate.

  10.  GIANTT says:

    Also congratulations to Kujo on his recent nuptials . I already notice a softening in his tone ! How does your

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