Earlier in the week, New York Giants All-Pro receiver Victor Cruz stated that he was not getting antsy regarding his pending contract talks with the team that signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2010.
John Mara, the owner of the Giants, spoke on Friday regarding the contract talks, which have stalled as of late. According to Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger, Mara was quoted as saying that Cruz was asking for too much money.
That may sound like a scary quote for Giants fans, but it is not quite as bad as it sounds. Contract negotiations tend to start with parties far apart on a deal, especially for high profile players, as Victor Cruz has become over the past two seasons.
The reality is that Cruz is a restricted free agent, meaning that he has three or less accrued seasons of NFL experience. This means that there are certain rights that the team for which he was under contract maintains over his services.
For example, as a restricted free agent, the Giants have the right to match any offer that another team signs him to to keep him on the team. In addition, they can issue him a tendered contract. In Cruz's case, who was undrafted, it is highly unlikely that the team would issue him an original round tender.
It is likely that the Giants would issue him a tender at the first round level, which would amount to a one year, $2.879 million deal. What this means is that any team that signs him, if the Giants decline to match the offer, would have to forfeit to the Giants their 2013 first round draft selection.
It is only February 1st, however, and the 2012 season is not even complete, so there is a long way to go in contract negotiations.
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