New York Giants
49ers are working on an offer for restricted free-agent Victor Cruz
Wide receiver Victor Cruz was signed by the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2010.
NEW YORK - According to a league source, the San Francisco 49ers are gearing up to make an offer to New York Giants restricted free-agent wide receiver Victor Cruz within the next few days. The 49ers could not be reached for a comment and Cruz's agent, Tom Condon, would not comment on the situation.
The San Francisco 49ers are only $4.5 million under the 2013 salary cap and multiple moves would be needed in order to fit Cruz under the cap. The league source stated that the 49ers are working with at least three of their players to restructure contracts and gain more salary cap space to sign Cruz and their upcoming picks in the NFL Draft.
The 49ers would likely need to offer Cruz a deal that averages well over $8 million a year and has a large amount of guaranteed money. The Giants would then have an opportunity to match the offer, which they likely would not do. A failure to match would send Cruz to San Francisco and give the Giants the 49ers' 2013 first-round pick, which is the 31st overall.
The 49ers would still have 13 picks in the NFL Draft, which is enough to possibly move back into the first-round via a trade.
Cruz's agent and the Giants have been unable to agree on a long-term deal. According to the New York Daily News, Cruz has already been offered a long-term deal by the Giants worth more than $7 million a year with significant guaranteed money.
Earlier this month, Giants teammate David Wilson was very vocal about keeping Cruz on the roster. "I think he's a key player," said Wilson. "If I was in charge, I would have gave him a contract to make sure he don't go nowhere." Giants quarterback Eli Manning has said that he is even willing to rework his contract to keep Cruz on the team.
Cruz holds the franchise's single-season receiving record and has until April 19 to sign an offer sheet with another team. Once April 19 passes, Cruz's options for 2013 are to sign a new long-term contract with a team or play for the $2.879 million tender offered by the Giants and then become an unrestricted free agent in 2014. If he chooses the latter, the Giants could use the franchise tag on him next year.
If the 49ers can pull off signing Cruz, he would join Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin, who the 49ers acquired via a trade with the Baltimore Ravens in March. The loss of Cruz would leave the Giants possibly searching for a replacement in the NFL Draft.
Earlier this month, it was reported that the St. Louis Rams, who have two first-round picks, were interested in Cruz. That ended when the team felt that the price to acquire Cruz might be too high.