New York Giants’ fans remember the 2011 off-season very well. WR Steve Smith was coming off of major knee surgery, but Giants’ fans still thought he would be able to bounce back from it and become productive again. General manager Jerry Reese didn’t think so, and wasn’t willing to give Smith a lot of money.
Smith bolted the Giants for the Philadelphia Eagles, the Giants’ rivals down I-95. Many fans were upset with Reese for letting Smith pull such a move, but Reese didn’t appear too worried. As we all know, the Giants didn’t need Smith or TE Kevin Boss as the Giants went on to win their second Super Bowl in five seasons.
WR Victor Cruz isn’t coming off of any kind of injury, but the heartbreak factor is possible. Cruz is a restricted free agent this off-season, and all indications are he will sign with the Giants. It all makes sense. Cruz is from North Jersey, where the Giants play. Cruz has also been a New York City phenomenon with his salsa dances and charisma. It would be hard to imagine if Cruz wasn’t back with the Giants.
However, don’t be entirely sure Cruz will be back. Even though the NBA is a different sport, the New York Knicks saw G Jeremy Lin become a phenomenon in the city as well. Everyone knew he would be back with the Knicks for years to come. However, the negotiations went sour and Lin took off for Houston.
What if the Giants do not offer Cruz the money he’s looking for? Is it possible Cruz will leave for another team? Even though we believe Cruz will give the Giants a hometown discount, you can’t be too sure on that. Cruz was making under $1 million in his first three seasons, so he would definitely like to strike it rich.
The Giants will be in the same position as the Pittsburgh Steelers last off-season when they were dealing with WR Mike Wallace. The Steelers just offered the tender of just over $2 million, which insulted Wallace. Wallace really didn’t have other teams racing in to offer him any money either, so he was stuck with the Steelers.
This might be different but Cruz is looked upon as better than Wallace. There will be teams with cap space ready to capture Cruz, and it is almost a certainty they’ll offer more money than the Giants. What will the Giants do?