Tom Coughlin: Victor Cruz's contract 'has to be a concern'
Tom Coughlin said that Victor Cruz's contract 'has to be a concern' for the Giants at this point.
The Giants might have drafted half of the Syracuse football team last weekend, but that's not enough to ease Tom Coughlin's worry over Victor Cruz.
The wideout is a restricted free agent and he hasn't signed his contract and even though we're several months away from the season beginning, Coughlin believes Cruz's contract "has to be a concern."
"It has to be a concern because when the restricted free agency period is over, you would hope that things would move fast," Coughlin said on WFAN, via the New York Post. "What we want is exactly what I said the other day. We want a win-win. We want Victor to be proud to be a New York Giant, proud of his contract."
Cruz joined Eli Manning recently when the quarterback worked out with David Cutcliffe (and bro Peyton Manning) at Duke University. But Coughlin is worried that Cruz not getting a deal done and/or not signing his tender will result in the wideout missing workouts for the rest of the offseason. He also said the Giants want Cruz "back as badly as we've ever wanted anybody."
"The New York Giants want him back as badly as we've ever wanted anybody," Coughlin said, "And so we like the thing to be settled and over with and we wish it would be that way so that he could be in here working with the quarterback in the offseason. And the sooner it gets settled, the better off we will be."
The only issue with this is that the Giants are reportedly prioritizing another wide receiver -- Hakeem Nicks -- over Cruz. Additionally, John Mara said recently that Cruz has rejected at least one "substantial" offer, leading to him receiving the first-round tender.
So basically we have a situation that doesn't appear it will end well. The Giants value Cruz less than Cruz values himself. But Cruz is immensely popular, very marketable and a key component to the Giants offense.
Despite those things, the Giants don't believe he's worth more than the reported $7 million a year they're offering him over the life of a long-term deal. Cruz could ink that deal or play out his RFA tender (and risk getting a franchise tag a year later). He can do the later after holding out for most of the Giants offseason activities; think Mike Wallace in 2012.
The real issue at stake here might be Cruz' marketability somewhere other than New York. He's immensely popular with the Giants and leaving wouldn't provide him the same opportunities. One thing that's worth watching? Robinson Cano's status and contract with the Yankees. He and Cruz are Jay-Z's first two clients and it's believed that the mogul's New York ties should keep both in the Big Apple.
That would be a relief for Coughlin, though he'd probably prefer the process to get Cruz signed be sped up.
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