Victor Cruz still has not signed his restricted free agent tender, or a new long-term deal with the New York Giants. Antsy fans want a deal done yesterday -- or maybe two months ago -- but team co-owner John Mara doesn't seem all that non-plussed by the situation.
"I'm pretty confident that we'll end up reaching a deal with him," Mara told NFL Network's "NFL AM" on Tuesday. "This is not that atypical a situation. Player contracts, particularly with star players like Victor, can tend to drag on from time to time. I think we'll get it done.
"This is the right place for him to play. He's a star in this area, he's an important part of our team, and I think we'll eventually get a deal done, but it's just a process that you have to go through. And we're going through it right now. There's communication, and it's slow but steady, and I think at some point we'll reach a deal."
Valentine's View: It is difficult not to be impatient, but remember that the season remains four months away. There is still plenty of time, and with the restricted free agency window closed Cruz has no teams to leverage against the Giants.
Mara also spoke about the Giants work during the recent NFL Draft.
Mara called Justin Pugh "an obvious first-round pick for us."
"I think we're very happy to include him on our team. I think what attracted us to him the most was his versatility. We feel like he can play any position on the offensive line," Mara said. "That was one of our goals going into this draft, we felt like we needed to improve ourselves on both sides of the ball on the line. Justin I think can play right tackle, we think he can play left tackle, we think he can play both guard positions and possibly center. "
On fourth-round pick Ryan Nassib, the Syracuse quarterback the Giants traded up to select in the fourth round:
"We came into the third day and he's sitting on top of our board -- far and away the highest-graded player we had left. I talked to Jerry (Reese) and Tom Coughlin about it. You have to respect your board. Your scouts and your personnel people spend so much time putting that thing together and if you just continue to take the highest player on your board in the long run you're going to be better off as an organization," Mara said.
"We've been very, very fortunate that Eli [Manning] has been healthy for so long but you have to get ready to groom somebody just in case. The guy was a quality player in college. We think he has what it takes to be a quality player in the NFL, so to me it was an obvious choice for us."
Valentine's View: The Giants may or may not take the highest-rated player on their board every time -- it's hard to believe that 'need' doesn't impact how the board is arranged, especially when the first-round pick magically matches a need area. At least the organization sends out a clear, consistent message and has a proven track record of success.