Victor Cruz seems likely to get more than $6M deal
Related mediaGlauber's top 15 NFL free agents Hit or miss: Giants 1st-round picks since 1986 Giants: Keep 'em or dump 'em? Giants blog
PHOENIX -- Victor Cruz should not let the relatively low salaries of Wes Welker and Danny Amendola -- each reportedly getting about $6 million per year on new contracts -- set the market for him as a slot receiver. At least not according to one of the men who could be paying him that money.
"Six million is not the likely reality in this case," Steve Tisch, chairman and executive vice president of the Giants, said Sunday at the NFL's annual meetings. "I think Victor is going to get a little higher than that."
Who will give it to him remains a subject for speculation. Although Tisch and team president John Mara said Sunday that they were unaware of any teams making an offer to the restricted free agent, they are aware that it is a possibility.
"Is it likely? Probably," Tisch said of another team flirting with Cruz. "Then we're going to have to deal with it. We're not avoiding that. We're addressing that it's possible and then we'll address the reality of it when that happens."
The Giants have been trying to negotiate a long-term deal with Cruz for several months. Unable to reach an agreement before the start of free agency, they placed a first-round tender on him last week. That sets Cruz's base salary for 2013 at $2.879 million if he signs the tender but allows other teams to make him offers. If they do, the Giants have the opportunity to match that offer or get a first-round pick for Cruz.
There was some thinking that the Colts might do that, particularly Sunday, when owner Jim Irsay was on Twitter bragging about a nearly completed deal for a wide receiver. But Irsay said bluntly: "It's not Cruz."
Mara and Tisch are encouraged that Cruz has changed agents and will be represented by Tom Condon, who also reps Eli Manning and Mathias Kiwanuka, among other Giants. But having a superagent at his disposal also could increase the possibilities of an offer from another team.
In any event, the Giants are basically back to square one with Cruz's negotiations as Condon takes over.
"We're going to go as far as we can go to keep him on the team," Tisch said. "We're sort of waiting to see what the ask is."
After Sunday's comments, you can guarantee it will be more than $6 million per year.