As NFL free agency gets set to begin in just over a week, the New York Giants are faced with a big decision or two at wide receiver. Victor Cruz is a restricted free agent and Hakeem Nicks has one year left on his deal.
The Giants can temporarily put a halt to some of the drama by placing a one-year tender worth around $3 million on Cruz. That protects the team by giving the Giants the right to match any contract offer he receives from another franchise or receive significant compensation by not matching.
The drama will continue after the tender is placed if Cruz doesn’t sign it. At that point the player and team could be looking at an ugly few months that could result in Cruz not showing up for organized team activities and training camp – something the Pittsburgh Steelers dealt with last season with Mike Wallace.
Add to the mix that the Giants want to get a long-term deal done with Nicks and now they’ve got a lot of money tied up in wide receivers.
Without publicly stating the money that Cruz wants, the Giants have previously made it clear that he’s asking for too much. At the same time we don’t know what the Giants are offering or if they’ve made an offer.
No Giants fan wants to see Cruz doing his salsa for another team, but considering that the G-Men could get a first-round pick as compensation, it would make more sense for the Giants to tender and lose Cruz while getting a first rounder and be able to keep Nicks There’s no such reward for losing Nicks a year from now, unless he ends up with the franchise tag.
In today’s salary cap game, it seems nearly impossible to have two highly paid wide receivers on one roster. However, among the franchises that can figure out ways to get it done right, the Giants are high up on the list. There’s a reason why the team is consistently successful and it’s hard to argue against their business model when it comes to paying players.
Maybe both Cruz and Nicks will sacrifice individual money to be Giants together for the long haul. That still results in both being millionaires financially set for the rest of their lives and it gives them their best chance at more rings.