“We’re just waiting for them to come back to us … I’m not getting antsy at all,” said Cruz, per Ralph Vacchiano.
Given the lack of progress, it seems likely that the Giants are prepared to use their first-round restricted tender on Cruz, which will run them $2.879 million for the 2013 season.
While Cruz is the best restricted free agent this year, it’s still unlikely that another NFL team will try to pry Cruz away, despite the fact that the compensation for signing a restricted free agent is only a first-round pick this year. You could certainly argue that Cruz is worth a first-round pick, but the issue is actually related to leverage in negotiations. Once you’ve paid the Giants a first-round pick, Cruz and his agent in particular, know that you must get a deal done because the investment that you’ve already made. They can hold out for a top-dollar salary and there’s really nothing the team can do about it.
Cruz is more likely to remain in New York long-term anyways, but it will be interesting to see how long the Giants wait to address his contract.