It is sometimes news when a notable NFL player opts not to volunteer to attend his team's voluntary offseason workouts. But when we're talking about restricted free agents who still have time to sign their tenders and have leverage to gain in the meantime, it is in no way surprising to see them stay away.
Victor Cruz meets the above criteria, which is why you shouldn't be concerned about the fact that he didn't show up for the first day of the New York Giants' offseason program on Monday. The Pro Bowl wide receiver has little reason to sign said tender, and he isn't even allowed to practice without doing so.
It is not a sign that he'll hold out when it matters, because it's been reported that contract negotiations have been ongoing. And it certainly isn't a sign that his relationship with the team has taken a turn for the worse, because he's made appearances at the facility this offseason, and he was working out with teammates Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks and Louis Murphy last week in North Carolina.
Cruz is still technically eligible to sign an offer sheet with one of the league's 31 other teams between now and Friday. Whether or not he winds up deciding to take whatever the Giants have on the table or sitting out this summer, it would make little sense for him to jump into camp while giving leverage back by signing and also closing the door on any outside suitors.
Cruz has been with the team for three years. He won't fall behind as a result of this absence, and the fact that he's still been working out with teammates elsewhere indicates this won't impact his conditioning.
That's why you don't have to fret this. Cruz has said he wants to stay in New York, and as an all-star endorser, it makes the most sense for him to remain in the media capital of the world. It appears there is still a gulf that separates the two parties, but the logical conclusion to this standoff should result in Cruz signing long term this year or next year.
Relax, Giants fans. This is just part of the process.