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Victor Cruz gets ultimatum -- Take pay cut or be cut, says report

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It looks like hardball time.

Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

[Update 12:50 p.m. ET: Cruz apparently willing to accept pay cut]

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The New York Giants have apparently taken a hard line with wide receiver Victor Cruz, with a report on Monday morning indicating that the Giants have told the long-injured former star that they will cut him if he does not agree to a pay cut.

Cruz currently counts $9.9 million against the Giants' salary cap, second-most to Eli Manning. While the Giants have a comfortable $55 million to spend in free agency, allocating that kind of money to a 29-year-old who has missed the past 26 games with leg injuries makes no sense.

Cruz had indicated prior to the Super Bowl that he was willing to re-work his contract. This is what he said at the time:

"I don't care about that stuff," he said on Radio Row at the Super Bowl on Thursday. "I realize the way I came into this game was on a humble opportunity, and wherever this goes, I just want to play. It's been two years of not playing. I just want to go out there and play, and whatever happens after that happens." ...

"I just want to play," he said. "Whatever it takes, whether it's with the Giants or anyone else. Obviously, the Giants are home, they're family. But I just want to play football, man."

Obviously, no deal has been reached since then. Cruz also seemed to walk back his commitment to the Giants just a bit recently, saying that there was an "80 percent" chance he would be back with the team.

In breaking the Cruz story, Ed Werder of ESPN indicated that the Giants and Cruz are negotiating.

Best guess is that the Giants and Cruz will work out a deal. If the Giants really wanted to cut him, they probably would have done it by now. After sticking with him through rehabs for his torn patellar tendon and his calf surgery, it seems almost certain that the Giants and Cruz can find common ground that would allow him to attempt a comeback with the only NFL team he has ever played for.