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Giants first-round tender Victor Cruz after WR rejects 'substantial' offer

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Victor Cruz got handed a first-round tender by the Giants.
Cruz got handed a first-round tender by the Giants. (USATSI)

To one's huge surprise, the Giants are using a first-round tender on restricted free agent Victor Cruz, owner John Mara confirmed to the media in New York on Monday.

That means Cruz could potentially be poached by another team, if that team gives Cruz an offer sheet above what the Giants are willing to match. In that instance, the Giants would also receive a first-round pick from whoever offered him the contract.

Mara said that the first-round return as well as the lack of poison-pill contracts in the new CBA gave him a sense of security with Cruz possibly being pursued by other teams.

The Giants owner also said, however, that he "wouldn't be surprised" if someone signed Cruz to an offer sheet in free agency and that the Giants would be willing to see him walk.

"If someone is willing to pay more than we are, then we'll have to say goodbye," Mara said.

What makes this particularly interesting is that Mara said the Giants have made "a very substantial offer" to Cruz, but that his agent believes he's worth more and wants to try and test the open market.

"If he took our offer, he'd be a very wealthy young man," Mara said.

Cruz obviously isn't taking the offer and there's a reasonable chance that we could see someone make a play for the talented wideout.

It's worth remembering, however, that there was tons of speculation about Mike Wallace receiving offer sheets after receiving a first-round tender from the Steelers last season and he didn't get any action.

Don't be surprised if the Giants end up having Cruz play for the low, low price of $2.879 million (the salary associated with the tender) in 2013.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 p.m. ET and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.

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