Friday, June 14, 2013

The Giants were supposedly going to reduce the Cruz tender from $2,879,000 to $630,000

This is according to Aditi Kinhawbala's tweet a short time ago:

If this were to have taken place on Monday, then the Giants would have gained $2,249,000 in cap space ($2,879,000 - $630,000). If Cruz's tender amount were to be dropped to $630,000 on Monday, then the Giants' cap number would have jumped from being $3,308,682 to $5,557,682---a much healthier cap figure. Generally speaking, teams with cap figures above $5 million are in good enough shape to begin the regular season since that amount of cap space now corresponds to a good enough number to deal with regular season operational expenses.

Lots of people--including myself--didn't think the Giants would do this, so Cruz's decision to sign the tender today to protect himself in case the Giants did decide to go this route proved the be the correct move (assuming of course that this was going to happen, which we have no way of knowing for sure unless someone in the giants' front office admits to it--which they obviously won't). If the Giants were able to gain this extra cap space, it would have given the Giant a more realistic chance to go after the services of FA Fullback Vonta Leach. Reportedly, the Giants have already told Leach's agent to keep them in the loop regarding his client's situation. If they had this extra room next week, who knows what would have happened on this front.

Going forward, the Giants will have to deal with both of their starting WRs potentially becoming Unrestricted Free Agents after next season if they aren't extended before then. As long as Cruz shows up at the start of training camp on July 26th, he won't be subject to any fines, but if he doesn't then the game could get ugly then. The only reason Cruz wasn't fined for missing OTAs and mini-camp was because he wasn't under contract. Although he counted against the cap at $2.879 M the moment the Giants tendered him, the fact that he didn't sign it protected him from potentially being fined for missing OTAs and mini-camp. Stevie Brown and Andre Brown--the Giants' other two Restricted Free agents this offseason signed theirs after waiting a little but, but had much less leverage then Cruz since they're not considered players with big money potential and were facing stiffly increasing competition in training camp.

Any way you slice it, Cruz will be a Giant in 2013 unless he decides to sit out the upcoming season and forgo a year of fee agency eligibility by not being with the team in training camp 30 days prior to the beginning of the NFL regular season on Thursday, September 5th, something which he will most certainly not do. We'll probably see Cruz with the club by that August 6th Unrestricted free agency eligibility deadline for 2014 for that reason alone. After that though, things may get interesting. We'll wait and see what happens with this rumored Cruz extension, but one thing is sure: the Giants set a price limit on their players, and don't go beyond it, as indicated in this tweet by Ms. Kinkhabwala:

Victor Cruz is signing his RFA tender today

He's actually at the Giants' facility now according to various twitter reports. Signing his tender only means that Cruz protects himself from not receiving that first round Restricted Free Agent (RFA) tender salary amount of $2,879,000 should the Giants decide to use their 24 hour window on Monday, June 17th reduce it down to $630,000. Read this part of Joel Corry's recent article on Cruz below for further details:


By waiting to sign his tender now, Cruz also protected himself from being fined by the Giants at the team's completed mini-camp that ran from Tuesday, June 11th to yesterday. It's a smart business for him in that sense. What it opens him up to though is being fined in training camp, which is something he would want to avoid since he's not a big money player to begin with, and because of the Giants' track record of dealing with hold outs in that past. Just go ask Michael Strahan. Joel Corry writes about that too from his article already linked above. Here's what he said about that:


Hopefully, from both the Giants' and Cruz's perspectives these actions are leading up to an agreement for a new deal before training camp. Once camp starts, then things have a chance to begin to get ugly, as the Giants will be able to levy fines on Cruz at that point since he will be considered under contract, which he is not now. Once he signs his tender today (which he may already have as reported earlier), then things will get interesting. If press reports are truly accurate about the deal being on the "2-yard line" are true, then this will get done. USA Today's Mike Garafolo is saying that the Giants "aren't any closer" to a long-term deal, so take that for it's worth as well.