Giants’ Jerry Reese mum on Victor Cruz

Victor Cruz was not in camp as OTAs began this week. Credit: Getty Images
Victor Cruz was not in camp as OTAs began this week.
Credit: Getty Images

Giants general manager Jerry Reese was happy to get back to work this week, as the team officially began the 2013 season with voluntary workouts. But he was in no mood to discuss the one guy who treated these sessions as, in fact, voluntary.

Restricted free agent wide receiver Victor Cruz decided to steer clear of Big Blue’s workouts, perhaps as an injury precaution, perhaps as contract negotiation leverage, or perhaps as both.

Either way, Reese had no desire to speak about Cruz.

“The Victor Cruz thing will play out, and wherever it goes it will go from there. You guys are really interested in the whole Victor thing, and I get that. But there is not a lot for me to talk about right now,” Reese said. “I wish I could talk more about it, but it really is inappropriate to be talking about it. … I would characterize [discussions] as we have talked but nothing further to report.”

The Giants hold the upper hand on the Cruz dealings because while the Pro Bowl wideout is actually without a contract, he’s been given a tender, which allows the Giants to own his rights. Cruz could sign a participation agreement — much like teammate and fellow restricted free agent Andre Brown did — and allow him to take part in the workouts, but he chose not to.

That’s the wideout’s choice, said Reese.

“Guys have choices. Andre chose to come and Victor chose not to come,” Reese said. “Victor’s not here. He’s a free agent. He’s exercising all of his options, and we’ll see how it goes.”

When asked about the draft prospects and whether Cruz’s abstinence from the facilities would affect his draft board, Reese was cryptic about the prospects of going forward without Cruz. He even came close to spewing head coach Tom Coughlin’s “next man up” mantra.

“Obviously, he’s a big part of what we were doing the past few years. He did a nice job, just like [wideout Hakeem] Nicks did a nice job, just like a lot of players did a nice job. But it’s all about team for us. Victor was a nice piece for what we were doing, and we’ll see where it goes with respect to his contract,” Reese said. “I can tell you this, when we get ready to start the season, we’ll have good players out there. … I’m not sure if Victor will be there or not. I don’t assume anything.”

Cruz reportedly wants to be rewarded with a deal commensurate with the top slot receivers in the game — namely newly signed wideout Wes Welker of the Broncos, who was inked to a two-year, $12 million deal. The Giants reportedly offered a deal that averaged out to $7 million annually. Cruz has yet to sign it.

The team and player remain far apart, as Friday stands to be the final day when another team can sign Cruz to an offer sheet. Cruz was paid a base salary of $540,000 last year, in which he caught 86 passes and had 10 touchdowns. This year’s tender would pay him $2.879 million, not bad for a once-undrafted player, but also well below market value for a player with Cruz’s past production.

One guy who wants this resolved quickly is quarterback Eli Manning. The veteran signal caller wished the best for both sides, but ultimately stayed away from picking sides.

Manning recently worked out with Cruz and Nicks at Duke University (older brother Peyton and Welker were also there), and while the Giants trio bonded, the younger Manning said he never asked about Cruz’s situation.

“I’m not going to pry. He’s got to do what’s in the best interest of him,” Manning said. “That’s usually staying away and putting pressure [on the team] to try and get the deal done.”

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Movies

From 'La Femme Nikita' to 'Lucy,' a list…

French filmmaker Luc Besson has created a cottage industry of junk cinema. Here are his many unique action heroes, including Liam Neeson and "Lucy"'s Lucy.

Movies

Review: 'Lucy,' with Scarlett Johansson, is smart, stupid…

Luc Besson's "Lucy," in which Scarlett Johansson gains increased control over her brain, is a film about smart and stupid but always enjoyable.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 7,…

Drunk girls and ghost brownies: here’s your weekly ‘Pretty Little Liars’ recap by way of Q&A. Q: do they really not check for feet under…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.