According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Victor Cruz has, unsurprisingly, not shown up for the New York Giants’ voluntary workouts. This is happening in the midst of a widely-publicized contract dispute between Cruz and the upper echelon of New York’s front office.
Cruz, who wants $11 million yearly, is seeking more security in a career that could end abruptly with any collision. While Cruz’s intentions are well-thought, it would be in his best interest to attend these workouts in what Justin Tuck described as “good faith”.
Cruz must only look at the Mike Wallace scenario from a year ago to realize that little can come from avoiding the organization for which you play. While Cruz has worked with quarterback Eli Manning and fellow wideout Hakeem Nicks, it would benefit him to be involved with more formal team activities — voluntary or otherwise.
Now a veteran on the team, Cruz must lead by example if he is to gain any leeway in the ongoing negotiations. Wallace’s holdout — one that frustrated the Pittsburgh Steelers — led to a disappointing season 2012 campaign that was marred by a sub-1000 yard effort. Largely, this was because Wallace saw less playing time as a result of an extended holdout.
While it is still early for Cruz, he should still attend all of the Giants voluntary workouts. This is simply due to the fact that, like Wallace, relationships can deteriorate quickly when the player starts diminishing his presence. Moreover, Cruz’s status a team leader and a veteran should get him to lead by example.