Cruz contract drama not necessarily over
June, 14, 2013
By Dan Graziano | ESPN.com
So yeah, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz has signed his restricted free-agent tender and is officially under contract for one year and $2.879 million. It is no coincidence that this occurred the day after the Giants' mandatory minicamp, which was only mandatory for players under contract, or that it occurred three days before the Giants could have reduced the tender offer to $630,000. I don't think the Giants were going to do that, but it would have been their right, and if he hadn't signed the tender by Monday Cruz would literally have been risking $2.249 million. Seems a silly thing to do.
But today's news doesn't mean this is over, nor does it mean Cruz is a sure thing to show up for training camp next month. He still wants a long-term contract. He still wants to negotiate it now, while he's coming off two stellar seasons as one of the top-producing wide receivers in the game. And he still wants more than the Giants are offering. This thing today is a procedural move that protects him from a financial worst-case scenario. Each day of training camp he misses allows the Giants to fine him up to $30,000, but he'd have to miss 75 days of training camp before the fines added up to what he'd have lost if the Giants exercised their right to reduce the tender. There aren't 75 days of training camp to miss. Plus, oftentimes such fines serve as a negotiating point once a final deal gets reached. The signing of his tender does not mean Cruz won't hold out of training camp in continued protest of his contract situation.
I still think it ends up getting done before the season starts and Cruz remains a Giant long-term. But I don't think anything that happened today changes anything about where this situation is headed or what will happen when camp starts next month.