Friday News: All Signs Point to Cruz Staying Put
John Fennelly , Lead Writer
Get ready for a steady diet of Victor Cruz news. Here’s the latest….
What we know: The Giants’ UFA WR is seeking a more lucrative deal than the Giants are offering. From Paul Schwartz of the NY Post:
There is a standing offer from the Giants averaging slightly more than $7 million per year, believed to be a four- or five-year deal worth between $29 and $36 million, with $12 million to $15 million in guaranteed money.
Cruz the past two seasons has caught more passes for more yards and more touchdowns than Vincent Jackson, Dwayne Bowe and DeSean Jackson, plus Cruz gets bonus points for doing it for a championship team. All three signed deals for more than $10 million a year, but the Giants aren’t going there.
The bulk of Cruz’ leverage will run out next Monday. That’s when the window for UFAs to sign offer sheets from outside teams slams shut. After then, Cruz’ can only do one of three things:
A) Sign the tender offer assigned to him by the Giants, which is worth $2.879 million for one season, play this year and become a free agent next March.
B) Sign/not sign the tender and continue to work out a new deal with the Giants, who will be the only team he can negotiate with from here on in.
C) Hold out and continue to work towards a new deal with the Giants.
The consensus in that Cruz will probably choose B. His new alliance with rap mogul Jay-Z and CAA are signs he wants to stay in New York, which is close to home for the Paterson, NJ native. It is also the city that he can best capitalize on his fame, ethnic heritage and popularity. (Not to mention the Giants are the team that gave the UDFA his opportunity to play in the NFL and a Super Bowl ring).
From Jason Cole of YaHoo Sports:
Cruz, who has spent more than a year haggling with the franchise over a long-term deal, not only was moved to Creative Artists Agency through his relationship with Jay-Z, but has told at least two people that he plans to stay with the Giants long-term. Cruz, according to two sources, wants to take advantage of the business and marketing opportunities he envisions with Roc Nation, the marketing company Jay-Z (whose real name is Shawn Carter) founded.
“[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.”