The Giants finished their mini camp last week. Like training camp, when no opposition is looking to hit you in the mouth, everyone seems capable and teams think they have promise. It’s difficult to tell too much in this format. However, there are a few things of note to report. Ruben Randall reportedly looked great. While it is possible this was a management PR ploy meant to scare Cruz into signing (and may have worked), given his physical skills it is more likely that he really did look good. The only position that you can really tell much about in these types of camps is quarterback and receiver as much of those skills will translate. We will come back to the Cruz signing and the game theory being played out later in the post. Mark Herzlich is getting reps with the 1s ahead of newly acquired Dan Morgan. This could be a factor of simply knowing the playbook better than the newbie.
Regarding Cruz, he finally did sign his tender. He did it a day before the Giants could have unilaterally lowered the amount. He had no negotiating leverage beyond potentially causing some bad publicity for the Giants unwillingness to sign him. When the magic date came, he signed. The reason that he has held out this long is that he learned from the horrible example the Giants set last year when they gave Osi more money than his contractual negotiating leverage would allow just so appease him and shut him up.
I think Cruz will continue to talk about a longer term contract. The Giants have no reason to budge. With Randall in the mix and a few other good receivers in camp, the Giants would be best off seeing who has the better year and plying Nicks and Cruz off of each next year in their free agency year. The truth is that Manning can make most
receivers look good. Look what he did to Ramses Barden in the one game he played while Nicks was injured for the Carolina game last year. Realistically you can’t keep two different receivers in that price range and still field a great team. Cruz is overrated. His stats are largely a product of the system and the quarterback. He is very good but not a huge difference maker in the Calvin Johnson / Larry Fitzgerald mode. Cruz also knows his market value on Madison Avenue drops precipitously if he leaves New York. If Cruz does have a good year next year the Giants can sign him for about $10 to a one year deal per the CBA for restricted free agents. This way his two year total would be $13m, still less than he would make under current offer. I don’t see any realistic scenario that he performs so well for two years and then the Giants need to pay more over the next 4-5 years than they would have under their current offer. The small chance that happens also means he was incredibly good, which would not be a horrible outcome.
Ari has been an avid Giants fan since 1979. He attends many home games and has attended the Giants last 2 Superbowl victories. This blog will talk about anything related to the New York Giants. Ari also blogs about the New York Knicks, at http://www.ariglassknicksblog.com