Victor Cruz contract: Giants WR expected to sign before training camp

USA TODAY Sports

A pending deal would keep the Giants and their #1 receiver together long-term.

The New York Giants were willing to gamble with Victor Cruz during the draft, betting a team wouldn't sign him to a RFA tender. Now, it appears both sides have worked out a long-term contract, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

While the Cruz-Giants contract dispute wasn't the loudest this off-season, it had the potential to be the biggest. Cruz held out until mid-June before signing his $2.87-million tender, which would have kept him in New York through the 2013 season. However, this signing was largely motivated by finances, since Cruz pushed the signing deadline to the point where he'd lose money if he delayed further.

There are no contract numbers released on a prospective long-term deal at this time. It was reported when Cruz signed his tender that the Giants were offering $8-million per season and were hesitant to budge from that number.

Signed as an unrestricted free agent in 2010, Cruz has developed into one of the league's most effective receivers. He was third in the NFL in 2011 with 1,536 yards, and while he took a step back last year, Cruz still managed over 1,000 yards receiving and a career-high ten touchdowns.

The importance of retaining Cruz is undercut by the shaky receiving corps the Giants have moving forward. Hakeem Nicks is coming off his worst season and is a free agent after 2013 while the organization waits to see if 2012 second-round pick Rueben Randle can emerge after a middling rookie year.

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