Victor Cruz takes off his shoes to give to fans...

Victor Cruz takes off his shoes to give to fans after a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. (Dec. 30, 2012) Credit: Jim McIsaac

The NFL meetings began with Steve Tisch worried that the worst would happen when it came to Victor Cruz, that another team would swoop in, make him an offer the Giants might not be able to match, and they would lose him as a restricted free agent.

They ended with Tom Coughlin taking a different perspective on the matter.

The Giants coach said he is not at all concerned that Cruz will be anywhere else but with the Giants in 2013.

“I’m going to be optimistic in favor of Victor Cruz being in a Giant uniform,” he said Wednesday morning. “That’s my position on that. I don’t speculate in any of the other ways.”

That is the likely outcome. No restricted player with a first-round tender such as Cruz has has been lifted from a team since Laveraneus Coles a decade ago. And given the increased value of first-round picks with the current rookie salary format, it seems strange that a team would give one up in this situation.

Still, there is a chance. And even optimistic Tom Coughlin has to acknowledge that.

“I’m not as happy as I would be if it was settled and the issue was completed,” he said. “That’s something that we’re all hoping for. The entire Giant organization is hoping that this situation can be settled and we can put this to rest.”

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