Impending restricted free-agent wide receiver Victor Cruz says he's waiting to hear back from the New York Giants in regard to his contract situation, but there's a chance Cruz could be waiting awhile.
Cruz does seem to understand that.
"They've got 22 free agents to look at so I'm just being patient," he told me Thursday night here in New Orleans. "I obviously know the deadlines and stuff like that, but I'm just being patient."
"We're just waiting for the Giants to come back," he added. "They have to make some decisions."
In the past, restricted free agents like Cruz would be locks to stick around, but under the new collective bargaining agreement, teams only have to sacrifice a first-round pick in order to poach RFAs away from their original teams. The Giants don't have a lot of cap space and would struggle to find the money to match an offer from an opponent willing to sacrifice a top pick.
I also asked Cruz if he'd spoken with Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace, who was in a similar spot one year ago as a top-flight restricted free agent under the new rules. He said he hadn't yet and didn't plan on doing so.
"I just kind of want to have my own experiences with it and see how it goes and kind of take it from there," he said. "If I even get to it."
There's a decent chance that, based on the team's inability to see eye-to-eye with him for such a long stretch, he does indeed "get to it." But nobody was willing to take a bite at Wallace last spring, so there's still a strong chance he remains with the Giants next season regardless of the state of the negotiations.
Giants fans are certainly nervous, though. The story of this offseason will revolve around Super Bowl-season heroes like Cruz and Osi Umenyiora, who is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in March.
Cruz mentioned that he'd love to see Umenyiora return. "We'll see how that goes," he said. "It's a business."
That much is painfully clear.
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