If another NFL team wants to make a pitch for Victor Cruz, they had better hurry up about it. Today is the final day teams can sign restricted free agents to offer sheets. So, get through today New York Giants' fans and you can relax -- just a little -- when it comes to Cruz and his contract situation. In a few hours his rights belong exclusively to the Giants.
That, of course, does not mean there will be a quick and easy resolution to the ongoing saga of Cruz's contract. General manager Jerry Reese did not guarantee on Thursday that Cruz would be part of the roster when the season opens against the Dallas Cowboys.
"I don’t assume anything," Reese said." We’ll see. I can tell you this – when we get ready to play - when the season starts, we will have some good players out there. I’m not sure if Victor will be there or not. But I don’t assume anything."
Reese also referred to Cruz's time with the Giants in the past tense.
"Obviously he was a big part of what we were doing in the past few years. So he did a nice job for us. Just like Nicks did a nice job. Just like a lot of players did a nice job," Reese said. "It is all about the team for us. But Victor was a nice piece to what we were doing. We will see where it goes with respect to his contract."
Cruz could still sign the RFA tender the Giants placed on him, which means he would play for the $2.879 value of the tender in 2013. He could continue to wait and try to pressure the Giants into upping the offer they have reportedly made to him worth $7 million annually.
Get through today, though, and it would seem that -- for now -- the Giants have the leverage. At least for the upcoming season.
One other thing to keep in mind, at least as far as setting a time frame for when things might happen. Pat Traina of Inside Football recently pointed out that in June the Giants could take the RFA tender off the table and replace it with an offer equal to Cruz's base salary for 2012.