With Cruz Locked Up, What’s the Next Move?

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

With the signing of Victor Cruz due to take place tomorrow, there is one less piece of housekeeping for the Giants to attend to this summer. The deal does not affect the salary cap for 2013, so the Giants are still around $3.3 million under the cap.

They still need to bring in first round pick Justin Pugh and fourth rounder Ryan Nassib. That should eat up about $2 million of cap space, leaving them very little room to work with.

So what will the team do besides sign those two? Well, if they have any designs on signing free-agent FB Vonta Leach, they’ll need more than $1.3 million to get it done. Miami has a load of cap room to play with and rumors have it Leach is leaning towards signing with the Dolphins.

What about Hakeem Nicks? Will the Giants look to lock him up before the season ends? Not according to the signs we’ve seen. The Daily News sees it the same way. From Rotoworld:

Contract-year WR Hakeem Nicks has sounded “very lukewarm” about re-signing with the Giants since preliminary extension talks broke off.
Per the NY Daily News, initial talks between the Giants and Nicks’ agent “went nowhere.” The G-Men have now committed $7.65 million annually to Victor Cruz, making 2013 a make-or-break season for injury-prone Nicks in New York. Franchise tagging Nicks in 2014 would cost roughly $11 million. And the Giants have promising 22-year-old Rueben Randle waiting in the wings.

The Giants safeguarded themselves against losing Nicks in free agency by taking Randle in last year’s draft. And he looks like he could be a potential No. 1 receiver, too. With that in mind, Nicks may be the odd man out at WR for the Giants.

He still keeps strong ties to his home state of North Carolina and has intimated that he wouldn’t mind going home. With former Giant exec Dave Gettleman running the show down there, it’s expected the Panthers will make a strong push should Nicks hit the market.