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Giants coach Ben McAdoo ‘absolutely’ expects Victor Cruz to be on roster

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz attends

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz attends a news conference where Giants head coach Tom Coughlin spoke about stepping down as coach on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

INDIANAPOLIS — Victor Cruz may have put his chances of playing for the Giants in 2016 at 80 percent, but head coach Ben McAdoo gave him a much higher percentage . . . unless it isn’t.

“Absolutely,” McAdoo said at the NFL Combine on Wednesday when asked if he expects Cruz to be on his first roster.

But he quickly backed off of that absolute.

“You know, right now we’re taking a look at things and he’s on the roster right now,” McAdoo said. “If anything changes, I’ll be the first to know.”

And then, presumably, the rest of us.

Cruz is due to earn $7.9 million in 2016, which would be the second-highest base salary on the team as the roster now stands. He’ll likely need to take a pay cut to remain with the team after missing the past season and a half with injuries. Cruz would count for $9.9 million against the salary cap if his deal is not reworked.

McAdoo said he has spoken to Cruz recently.

“I had a chance to get in touch with Victor,” he said. “He was by the office the other day, just kind of bouncing around. He was doing some rehab. He seems in good spirits. Looks great. Feels good, and hopefully we get a chance to get him healthy.”

Hopefully, though, is a lot different than absolutely.

Cruz suffered a torn patellar tendon in 2014 and planned to return for 2015. That plan was derailed by a calf injury suffered in training camp that ultimately required surgery. Cruz is rehabbing from that procedure and is expecting to play next season.

At the Super Bowl a few weeks ago, Cruz made it clear that financial matters will not determine whether he plays with the Giants or not.

“I don’t care about that stuff,” he said earlier this month. “I realize the way I came into this game was on a humble opportunity, and wherever this goes, I just want to play. It’s been two years of not playing. I just want to go out there and play, and whatever happens after that happens.”

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