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John Mara: Giants won't overspend to keep Victor Cruz

Victor Cruz of the New York Giants attends

Victor Cruz of the New York Giants attends EA SPORTS Madden Bowl XIX at the Bud Light Hotel in New Orleans. (Jan. 31, 2013) Credit: Getty

NEW ORLEANS - Giants owner John Mara clearly wants Victor Cruz to be with the team for a long time. But only at the right price.

Mara told reporters Friday at Super Bowl XLVII that the team wants to re-sign the fourth-year receiver, who is set to become a restricted free agent.

Asked if he thinks a deal will be done before next season, Mara said: "I hope so, and we certainly want him back. But like with any player, there's a limit to where we're going to go [monetarily].

"He's been a terrific player for us, he's a fan favorite, he does a lot for our franchise, but there is a limit. But I hope we can get him back, and you know what, this is the best place for him to be playing. He's become such a fan favorite, he's become so popular in this area, I think it's in his best interest to stay. But that's sales pitch, anyway. I think we'll get something done . . . But if not, God bless him, we'll wish him luck."

One option for the Giants is to put a restricted-free-agent tender on Cruz if a long-term deal can't be reached. A tender, which is assigned to a specific draft round, means any team that signed Cruz would have to forfeit a pick in that round to the Giants.

"There's a limit with any player. You have a salary cap. If you spend too much money on him, that's going to limit what you can do in other areas where we have needs," Mara said. "So I'm hopeful that we're going to be able to make a deal. We have a year to get that worked out."

Mara also said Cruz "is a high priority, he absolutely is, but he's not our only priority. You have to have 53 guys signed and we have some needs in other areas, too. But listen, we do want him back and he is certainly a priority and I'm still optimistic about it."

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