Houston, we have some drama.
It looks like Victor Cruz will have to continue to wait for a long-term deal.
According to Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger, the Giants will tender Victor Cruz for 2013:
John Mara says Cruz will be tendered today at first-round level. #nyg— Jenny Vrentas (@JennyVrentas) March 11, 2013
The first-round tender will likely give Cruz a salary of around $2.9 million for the 2013 season.
Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News also confirmed the news, citing Giants owner John Mara as the source:
John Mara says Victor Cruz will get a first round tender.— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) March 11, 2013
If a team still wants to try to sign Cruz to a deal, it would cost them a first-round pick in the upcoming 2013 NFL draft, something that teams are likely not going to do.
Cruz is a restricted free agent who is hoping to sign a long-term contract extension with the Giants this spring.
He's coming off his second straight 1,000-yard season with 1,092 receiving yards and 10 touchdown catches in 2012 for the Giants.
With the tender now on Cruz, the Giants can still try to sign him long term; maybe even during training camp and the preseason.
According to Vacchiano, the Giants have made an offer to Cruz, but it looks like it won't be signed anytime soon:
Mara says Giants have made Cruz "a very substantial offer" that "would make him a very wealthy young man." His agent wants to test market.— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) March 11, 2013
Cruz is a Giant for now. But would a team risk a first-round pick for Cruz?
Guess we'll have to see once free agency kicks off on Tuesday.
(UPDATE, 2:26 p.m. by Doug Rush)
Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star Ledger talked to Giants owner John Mara and said that he could see real competition from other teams for Victor Cruz's services:
Mara admits it is a risk to tender Cruz. Said he won't be surprised if other teams make play for him but removal of poison pill helps. #nyg— Jenny Vrentas (@JennyVrentas) March 11, 2013
Are teams going to be willing to give up a first-rounder to the Giants in order to land Cruz?
(UPDATE, 2:30 p.m. by Doug Rush)
Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News said right now, the next move is up to Cruz.
So basically, Giants want Victor Cruz back, and are willing to pay him, but they will only go so high. Next move will be his. #NYG
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) March 11, 2013
What will Cruz's next move be?