The New York Giants started their mandatory three-day minicamp Tuesday, and Victor Cruz was nowhere to be found. The fourth-year wideout is still at odds with the team over his contract. According to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News, Cruz's absence is wearing head coach Tom Coughlin's patience thin:
"I've been optimistic since Day 1 but it hasn't gotten me anywhere, has it?" Coughlin said after the first practice of the Giants' three-day minicamp. "I'll just continue to be (optimistic). But the clock is running. This is something that at least he could've benefited by, if nothing else, this minicamp. But you have to realize that there is no contract at this time. So without a contract he's not going to be here."
Cruz is a restricted free agent, so he cannot be fined for missing mandatory workouts. Earlier in the day, Vacchiano reported that talks with Cruz were advancing at a "slow pace," suggesting that Cruz could hold out into training camp in hopes of earning a long-term contract.
The Giants do have the upper hand in one respect: If Cruz is unsigned by Monday, the Giants have the option of reducing his restricted free agent tender amount from $2.879 million to $630,000. Whether the organization would exercise that option remains to be seen.
The normally unflappable Eli Manning has also expressed frustration over Cruz's absence, as well as Hakeem Nicks' during voluntary workouts. Fortunately for the Giants, Nicks showed up on time for minicamp Tuesday.