The Minnesota Vikings could be the team that sends an offer sheet to Victor Cruz and his new agent, Tom Condon.
The Vikings have the draft picks and the cap space to make a sensible move for the Giants’ record-setting, internationally-renknowned superstar.
From Rotoworld: The Vikings were one of two teams ESPN’s Adam Schefter floated as a possibility to pursue Cruz on Tuesday morning. It’s still extremely unlikely that Cruz gets away from New York, but Minnesota has the cap space and draft ammo to take a shot. Per NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling, the last RFA tendered at the first-round level to slip away in free agency was Laveranues Coles in 2003.
The trade of Percy Harvin to Seattle gives Minnesota an additional draft pick this year (#25 overall) and third-rounder in next year’s draft. The Seahawks then gave Harvin a whopping contract (six-years, $67 million with $25.5 mil guaranteed, and another $11 million in escrow in case of injury).
Cruz would demand a similar contract in the open market. It doesn’t seem likely the Giants could match such an offer at this time. They would have to make some difficult decisions in order to match, such as cut the salaries of 3-4 core players or just make cuts they did not plan on making.
If Cruz walks, he’ll be a very wealthy young man but will be playing for team that lacks a franchise, or elite, quarterback. His statistics will dwindle and he will not be in the national (and international) spotlight any longer. He would also reduce his chances for the Pro Bowl, the Super Bowl etc. Not saying he still couldn’t achieve those, but logically….
The Giants would immediately gain the 2.9 million in cap room reserved for Cruz’ tender and receive the Vikings first-round pick (#23 overall) They would use that money and the additional pick to address other areas. They would no longer have to deal with the upcoming internal financial strife of having to pay two receivers (Hakeem Nicks is the other) No.1 money.
If Cruz stays, the Giants make another Super Bowl run with him as their slot receiver. The Giants and Condon can come to an agreeable contract at some point during the season (or after) in order to keep Cruz in Blue for the long term.