Monday Morning Update: Cruz Chatter Heating Up
John Fennelly , Lead Writer
So, Jim Irsay is not going to make a play for Victor Cruz. One team down, 30 to go. Several local columnists believe Cruz will receive at least one offer sheet in the coming weeks.
Gary Myers of the Daily News writes that Giants co-owner Steve Tisch has stated that Cruz will get more money than Wes Welker, who signed a two-year, $12 million contract with Denver last week. READ
The Post’s Bart Hubbuch expands on the possibility of a Cruz offer, writing Cruz could get more from another team but stay with the Giants because it’s the best fit for him. READ
It’s been reported the two best suitors, St.Louis and Minnesota – the two teams with two first round draft picks, either have little or no interest in making a run at Cruz. From Rotoworld:
At the onset of free agency, there was chatter that both the Rams and Vikings could show interest in Cruz. It was never a realistic option due to the price of a new long-term contract and surrendering a first-round draft pick. The Vikings just signed Greg Jennings to a five-year, $47.5 million deal, and the Rams seem poised to move on with their younger receivers. Barring an extension with the Giants, Cruz will play under his $2.879 million tender in 2013.
My father, who’s first NFL game featured the likes of Mel Hein and Bronko Nagurski, doesn’t understand why a team would not surrender a first-round pick for Cruz. He believes he’s worth it.
It’s a valid notion. Cruz in not just a special talent, he’s a special person. Look at his actions off the field. His trip to Newtown. Look at how he is received across the country after he makes a play (“Cruuuuuzzz!). There can’t be that many Giant fans in the world. It’s him, folks. He’s got that star power.
Why wouldn’t every team want Victor Cruz? Not only is he one of the most explosive and colorful talents to hit the league in years, he has captured the imagination of young America. A kid out of nowhere becomes a superstar. Plus, his ethnicity expands the fan base not only for his team, but for the entire sport. He is the most visible ambassador the NFL has right now.
Lucky for the Giants, New York is the crossroads of the planet, perhaps the most international city in the world. Cruz would flourish here more than he would in any of the other 30 cities in the NFL. Cruz belongs here and the Giants will have to pay to keep him. If they let him leave, they will always be wondering “what if…?”
The money should not be an object. It is understood any deal they sign Cruz to, they have to pretty much duplicate that offer to their other star WR, Hakeem Nicks. It has been suggested the Giants cannot afford to keep both.
GM Jerry Reese will not be making this decision alone. He will bring it to ownership and they will do what is best for the team. IMHO, Victor Cruz should remain a Giant. Ownership can figure out a Nicks strategy after Cruz’ services are secured.
My personal belief is that teams will not pursue Cruz, so this will all be moot. Once April 19th comes and goes, the clock on Cruz and Nicks becoming unrestricted free agents starts ticking. It gives the Giants another 11 months to figure this sticky situation out.