Tuesday Morning Update: Jints Do Some Pre-FA Housekeeping
John Fennelly , Lead Writer
Three RFAs signed tenders with the Giants yesterday. WR Victor Cruz was assigned a first round tender ($2.879 mil) and S Stevie Brown and RB Andre Brown were assigned second-round tenders ($2.023 mil).
Giants CEO John Mara admitted yesterday the the team was taking a risk by exposing Cruz to the free agent market, albeit the restricted FA market. He said he would not be shocked if Cruz received an offer, even though only NFL player assigned an RFA tender has changed teams since 2009.
The rub between the Giants and Cruz is – you guessed it – a financial one. Cruz would love to stay with the Giants and they would love to have him. He is one of the most popular players in the NFL, and the Giants are well aware of what is at stake if they lose him. But the numbers have to mesh for this marriage to work. Fro Steve Serby of The Post:
Mara and Steve Tisch, general manager Jerry Reese, coach Tom Coughlin and Manning — want to keep Cruz, but not at all costs. It is called fiscal responsibility.
“You can’t worry about the player’s popularity,” Mara said, “because at the end of the day, the fans want to win. They want you to build an organization that’s going to be in contention every year, and if you overpay for players, it’s going to hurt you in other areas. I’ll say it again — he’s been a great player for us, we’d love to have him back, but you have to place a value on these contracts, and we have. Hopefully at some point we’ll be able to reach an agreement.”
Cruz is on record as saying that he wants to be a Giant. But not at any cost.
“Let’s just say that if he took our offer, he’d be a very wealthy young man,” Mara said.
DT Cullen Jenkins was at TPC yesterday to officially sign his 3-year, $8 million deal he agreed to on Sunday. Jenkins was pleased to be joining the Giants after getting released by the Eagles last month.
“I’m glad that it’s over and especially with the Giants,” Jenkins said yesterday. “This was my first visit and I had a good feeling here, especially talking with the coaches. Everybody was straight up, straight forward with me. I had a good gut feeling about New York.”
The Giants seem relieved they have filled a much needed role with such a respected veteran.
“We are very pleased to add a player of Cullen’s caliber to our defensive line,” GM Jerry Rese said of Jenkins as per the team’s website. “He brings the physical nature that we like and also gives us a lot of flexibility up front.”
Tom Coughlin is high on Jenkins as well. “We’re very excited to have him here…He’s a very versatile player that can play in all circumstances and situations. He’s athletic, he’s quick, he’s powerful, he plays with good effort. We’re looking forward to having him in a Giant uniform.”