NY Giants give Victor Cruz a first round tender, will allow restricted free agent to test value on open market
John Mara says Monday that the Giants have made a 'very substantial' offer to Cruz but the sides are still far apart. 'If someone's willing to pay more than we're willing to pay, then we'll have to say goodbye.'
By Ralph Vacchiano / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, March 11, 2013, 3:46 PM
John Mara knows the Giants are taking a “risk” leaving Victor Cruz exposed on the restricted free agent market. But at the moment Cruz’s price is too high and there’s only so far the Giants are willing to go to keep him.
How much of a risk it is will become clear over the next month after the Giants officially gave Cruz a “first round” restricted free agent tender on Monday. That tender is worth a $2.879 million contract for Cruz this year —more than double the $1.31 million he’s made in salaries during his first three NFL seasons.
But the risk is that Cruz can field offers from other teams for a much more lucrative, long-term contract. The Giants would have the right to match (and five days to do it). They’d also be owed a first-round pick from any team that signs him if they don't match the offer.
But it opens up the possibility that one of their most popular players — a local (Paterson, N.J.) hero and a recent Pro Bowler — could have already played his last game for his hometown team.
“At some point, if somebody’s willing to pay more than we’re willing to pay,” Mara said, “then we’ll have to say goodbye.
“Certainly we have the wherewithal to match just about any offer,” Mara added on Monday at 30 Rockefeller Center, where he attended a press conference to announce the NFL’s new “Head Health Initiative” with GE. “It’s just a question of whether we want to do it and what the number is going to be. We’ve made him a very substantial offer, but his agent feels like he wants to test the market a little bit and that's his right to do that.
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