Report: Multiple Teams Interested in New York Giants WR Victor Cruz


The clock is ticking for Victor Cruz as a restricted free agent. The New York Giants wide receiver has until April 19th to receive an offer sheet from any of the other 31 NFL teams, in which the Giants can decide to match it, or receive a first-round draft pick as compensation if Cruz were to leave.

Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports report there have been multiple teams who are interested in Cruz, but it looks like Cruz has interest only in staying with the Giants.

"“[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.”"

October 14, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) celebrates after catching a touchdown pass during the first quarter at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Teams have been very hesitant on trying to sign Cruz, mostly because they do not want to lose their first-round pick in the upcoming 2013 NFL Draft, which will begin on Thursday, April 25th.

During the offseason, Cruz made two major changes: he hired long-time agent Tom Condon, the same agent for current Giants Eli Manning and Mathias Kiwanuka, to take over negotiations between him and the Giants. Cruz also hired Roc Nation, the new promotion started by singer/songwriter Jay-Z, to represent him in his non-football interests.

According to Cole, through Jay-Z, Cruz is hoping to stay with the Giants and is looking to get a long-term deal done with the team.

Earlier in the offseason, the Giants have offered Cruz a deal that would pay him at least $7-plus million per season with a significant amount of money guaranteed in the deal. And up until now, the details of the said Giants contract offer have not been made public; that was until Paul Schwartz of the New York Post reported that the deal is for four-five years for around $29-36 million, with up to $15 million in guaranteed money.

Schwartz also talked about how Cruz should take the Giants offer and not make the same mistake former receiver Steve Smith did after 2010.

"Cruz would be wise to try to get the Giants to bump up their offer a bit — a possibility with newly hired agent Tom Condon now running the financial show — then sign on the line. Cruz was a rookie in 2010 when Steve Smith rejected a six-year, $36 million offer ($15 million of it guaranteed) after his record-breaking 2009 season. Smith tore up his knee and the past two years was forced to bottom-feed in free agency, signing minimal one-year deals with the Eagles and Rams, the pot of gold he eschewed gone forever.There is no need for Cruz to take a similar risk, not when in New York he can more than make up the financial difference in endorsements that flow to him like autograph-seekers."

Previously, Bob Papa of Sirius NFL Radio had reported that Cruz was looking for more than the $21 million guaranteed offer. However, Cruz has yet to confirm or deny that he is looking for more money in a deal, although he did post a very mysterious message on his Twitter account shortly after the story broke, which could mean he’s not haggling on the contract demands like a lot of fans are thinking.

What looked to be a positive was the fact that Cruz participated in the 2013 Manning Passing Academy at Duke University with teammates Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks and Louis Murphy to work on timing patterns and routes.

The Giants will begin voluntary offseason workouts on Monday, and there is no word on if Cruz will report despite not having a guaranteed extension with the team yet. Even if Cruz didn’t report, it’s nothing to get bent out of shape over, as the workouts are in fact, voluntary. But it would show a very good sign of faith that Cruz wants to remain with the Giants by showing up on Monday.

Most signs point to Cruz sticking around with the Giants because it’s where he has the best chance to make the most money along with the most success in the NFL. Throw in the fact that Jay Z is representing him, it will likely lead to more exposure and even more endorsement deals for the Paterson native considering how much power the rapper has in the entertainment industry. He’ll likely tell Cruz that his best chance to make money long-term is to stay with the Giants, plus it will allow him to be able to stay on a championship contender in his career, whereas playing elsewhere might not offer him that chance.

Plus, if anything, Cruz should really look at the Steve Smith situation as Schwartz mentioned earlier, and take that to heart. Since turning down the Giants, Smith’s career has never been the same since leaving New York and probably wishes he took that contract extension.

April 19th is rapidly approaching, but from what it looks like, Cruz will still be donning the No. 80 doing more salsa dances at MetLife Stadium. The question becomes, will it be with a new deal?


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