The New York Giants have finally hammered out a deal for superstar receiver Victor Cruz, retaining the wide receiver's services for next year.
UPDATE: Friday, June 14 at 1 p.m. ET by Kyle Vassalo
The Record's Art Stapleton confirms that Victor Cruz has signed his one-year tender:
Can confirm Victor Cruz has indeed signed 1-year tender worth $2.879 million per source. Negotiations on long-term expected to continue #NYG— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) June 14, 2013
---End of update---
The fourth-year wideout will sign his restricted free-agent tender, according to ESPN's Josina Anderson.
Victor Cruz told me he's on his way to the Giants facility this am. He intends to sign his 1st-round restricted free agent tender of $2.879M— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) June 14, 2013
Anderson also reported that Cruz plans to continue negotiating terms on a long-term contract.
Victor Cruz to me this morning, "I'm going to sign my tender today and will continue talks for a long-term deal before camp starts." #Giants— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) June 14, 2013
Cruz avoided getting into a messy situation with his contract negotiations by signing his tender. As Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reports, he could have been fined for every day of missed training camp if he'd decided to hold out.
And forget a training camp holdout. As @corryjoel just Tweeted, once he signs he's subject to fines of $30,000 for every camp day he misses.— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) June 14, 2013
On top of that, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that if Cruz had waited until Monday to sign his tender, the Giants could have slashed the salary back down close to the league minimum.
Had Victor Cruz not signed his tender (first reported by @JosinaAnderson), Giants could've lowered it to $630K on Monday. Could've been ugly— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 14, 2013
Cruz’s numbers over the past two seasons certainly prove he is worthy of a much bigger contract. After catching on with the practice squad and having a solid preseason in 2010, the youngster broke out in 2011—hauling in 82 receptions for 1,536 yards and nine touchdowns.
The UMass product had another great season in 2012, catching 86 passes for 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns, largely without the help of a healthy Hakeem Nicks across from him. He did all of this on a $540,000 base salary and clearly deserved a massive raise.
Vacchiano reports that Cruz's negotiations for a long-term deal still have a little way to go, as the two sides haven't come to an agreement on just how much the talented 26-year-old should be paid.
After months of talking and a switch of agents, though, the two sides aren’t much closer than they’ve been for the last few weeks. According to one source who has been in contact with Cruz’s camp, the Giants’ latest offer is worth an average of more than $8 million per season. But word is that Cruz, who was once looking to be paid the $11 million per year that No. 1 receivers have been getting in free agency lately, is refusing to settle for anything less an average of $9 million.
If the Giants are going bounce back from a disappointing 2012 season, they will need a productive Cruz making plays for them, and now they'll at least have him for next season.