Report: Multiple Teams Readying Offers for New York Giants' Victor Cruz

Doug RushSenior Analyst IMarch 8, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 21:  Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants runs after a catch for the winning touchdown as  Madieu Williams #41, and  Josh Wilson #26 of the Washington Redskins give chase in the fourth quarter of a 27-23 Giant win  at MetLife Stadium on October 21, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The saga with Victor Cruz and the Giants has continued to drag on through March.

On the eve of NFL free agency, the team has yet to lock up Victor Cruz to a new contract.

According to Dan Benton of the Giants 101 blog, multiple teams are lining up offers for Cruz.

Benton sourced Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, who spoke on the NFL Access Show on Thursday night and broke the news on teams being interested in signing Cruz.

The 26-year-old wideout from Paterson finished his second consecutive 1,000-yard season, gaining 1,092 receiving yards with 10 touchdowns in 2012.

The team has been rumored to have more interest in locking up No. 1 receiver Hakeem Nicks as a priority over Cruz.

The one thing that is definitely strange about Rapoport's news of teams having an offer ready for Cruz is that if a team went public about said offer, that would be considered tampering, and the league would be forced to take action.

Also, as Benton cited in his story, you have to wonder just how serious these "offers" really are, especially since they're being reported just days before free agency starts.

It could just be strategy from Cruz's representation to try and make the Giants panic into offering Cruz a bigger deal.

As a restricted free agent, some expect the Giants to put a first-round tender on Cruz, which would pay him $2.9 million for 2013, while the team could continue to negotiate a contract with the wide receiver.

Two things that could work in Cruz's favor is the Miami Dolphins recently signing Brian Hartline to a five-year, $31 million deal with $12.5 million guaranteed, and the Kansas City Chiefs signing Dwayne Bowe to a five-year, $56 million deal with $26 million guaranteed.

Cruz is a much better player than Hartline and could definitely look to get more money in a deal, especially one similar to Bowe's deal in Kansas City.

Generally, restricted free agents don't end up signing elsewhere because of the first-round draft pick that teams have to relinquish.

That was the case with Mike Wallace of the Steelers last year when he was a restricted free agent, as the 49ers were looking to sign him, but they ended up passing and Wallace returned to Pittsburgh for one more season.

I think if the Giants really feared Cruz leaving the team, they could have used the franchise tag on him, but instead decided to pass on using that on any player this season.

In the end, I think the Giants will tender Cruz for 2013 and work out a deal, either during OTAs or training camp.

The Giants don't want a holdout on their hands and Cruz has proven he can be reliable threat in the offense for the team.

A lot of fans are hopeful a deal will get worked out, and as long as Cruz sticks to his word of wanting to remain a Giant for a long time, then I expect the local kid to re-sign with the team that gave him his break in the NFL.

Stay tuned, Giants fans.