In the wake of Wes Welker's departure from the New England Patriots, the rumor mill has been in full swing regarding New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz. The Giants let Cruz hit restricted Free Agency, and have placed a first round tender on him. The Giants want to work out something with their receiver, and Quarterback Eli Manning (who?) is willing to restructure his deal to keep his Number 1 target around. (Source)
"I want Victor back with the Giants," Manning said, adding that he checks the newspapers every morning to make sure that Cruz has not signed with another team. "It is nerve-racking. He is anxious. He has been dealing with this contract issue for a long time, last year and into this year. I know he wants to get this settled and get back to playing football, and just worrying about that.
Manning is not opposed to reworking his contract, which runs through 2015. His cap value will be close to $21 million this season. "If the Giants want to work something out," the 32-year-old Manning said, "I am always up for listening, figuring out what I can do to help the cause."
(Eli's getting $21mil this year? Seriously?)
Well I'm not surprised he wants to keep Cruz around, he has 2,628 yards and 19 touchdowns in two seasons with New York, so he's pretty handy. He also had 25 yards and a touchdown in Super Bowl XLVI against... someone, I don't recall.
It's easy to see why the Patriots would be interested in Cruz. He's very much in the mould of Welker, but he's quicker, and a much better deep threat than Wes. Whether the Patriots would actually make a move for Cruz is a completely different matter. The Patriots could potentially use their 1st round pick on a receiver to reinvigorate the passing offense, and obviously there's a lack of depth in the receiving group (excluding those TE's we have). So why not use their first round pick on a proven WR who's still got plenty of years in him, and would definitely suit the pats offense.
However, I don't see it. Firstly, it's all well and good giving the Giants a first rounder, but we've also got to pay Cruz as well, and I don't think the Patriots want to pay Cruz, and even if they would want to pay Cruz, frankly they couldn't afford it. And I think the Patriots still have a couple of moves up their sleeves. Brandon Lloyd could still come back, and who knows what's going on with Emmanuel Sanders?
In the end, I still think Cruz ends up with the Giants. Whether Eli has to restructure to make it happen, who knows - the cost of a first round pick isn't a deterrent, but stumping up the cash is, when there's a lot of talent available in the draft.
Tom Brady: "Don't do it, Eli! It's a trick!" RT @nfl_atl: Eli Manning willing to restructure to help the Victor Cruz cause.
— Christopher Price (@cpriceNFL) March 21, 2013
Eli, take heed...
You can find me on Twitter @BrendanAnnely