Giants rumors: Victor Cruz wants No. 1 receiver money

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Victor Cruz and the Giants have been close to a contract agreement before, but co-owner John Mara implied Monday that the wide receiver is asking for too much money. With free agency starting at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Cruz may find himself in a new uniform as a result.

Victor Cruz and the New York Giants would like to come to an agreement over a long-term contract, but are having trouble seeing eye-to-eye according to the New York Daily News. The issue is, of course, money. Cruz reportedly want to be paid like a No. 1 receiver, with a contract in the range of $11 million per season.

Rather than cave, the Giants have assigned Cruz with a first round restricted free agent tender worth $2.879 million for next season. The tender leaves the Giants vulnerable to losing one of their best and most popular players, but co-owner John Mara said Monday that the team had little choice.

"Certainly we have the wherewithal to match just about any offer," Mara said. "It's just a question of whether we want to do it and what the number is going to be. We've made him a very substantial offer, but his agent feels like he wants to test the market a little bit and that's his right to do that."

Cruz has become a favorite among Giants fans. An undrafted free agent coming out of the 2010 NFL Draft, Cruz exploded for 168 receptions for 2,628 yards and 19 touchdowns over his last two seasons. His salsa dancing and the fact that he is a New Jersey native have only added to his cult hero status.

The two parties have been in negotiations for over a year. Cruz has said that a new deal has been close to fruition in that timespan. With the start of free agency just a few hours away, however, there is no way to guarantee that Cruz will be in a Giants uniform next season.

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