What does Cruz's tender mean?

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Peter Schrager

Peter Schrager is the Senior NFL Writer for and the national sports correspondent for FOX News Channel's "FOX Report Weekend." He's the co-author of Victor Cruz's New York Times' best-selling memoir "Out of the Blue" and lives in New York. Feel free to e-mail him at or follow him on Twitter.


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Now that the NFL's 2013 calendar year has begun, here's what fans have to look forward to.

New York Giants restricted free agent Victor Cruz will receive a first round tender worth $2.879 million this season. What’s that mean?

Here are the basics:

• The Giants have the right of first refusal. If another team offers Cruz anything — anything — the Giants have the right to match that offer. Due to the new CBA, signed in 2011, New York has up to 5 full days to match.

• If Cruz is offered a long-term deal by another team and the Giants opt not to match it, the Giants will receive that team’s 2013 first round pick. On top of giving up a first round pick, a team would have to ink Cruz to the new, lucrative deal. Vincent Jackson signed a 5-year, $55.5 million deal a season ago. Brian Hartline inked a reported 5 year, $31 million deal late last week. Cruz’s expected new salary would likely be somewhere between those two endpoints. A team would have to be willing to a) give up their first round pick, and b) step up with a new contract.

• If no other teams offer Cruz a new deal, he will make $2.879 million.


Who is available? Which teams are in play? Alex Marvez has the answers to your free agency FAQs.

• Teams have until mid-April to offer Cruz a deal.

So, is he staying or going? Will he be doing the Salsa for Big Blue or somewhere else next season? That’s what Giants fans want to know.

It’s worth noting that no team has signed an RFA away from another team since 2010, when the Eagles inked Mike Bell to a deal that New Orleans didn’t match.

It’s also worth noting that Cruz hired a new agent this week, going with Tom Condon of CAA. Condon also represents Giants Eli Manning, Mark Herzlich, Osi Umenyiora, and Mathias Kiwanuka.

There is one NFC some team with some newfound cap space, two first round draft picks, and a need at slot wide receiver. But I’m not linking Victor Cruz to the Minnesota Vikings just yet. The Vikings are expected to be players in the Greg Jennings sweepstakes when free agency opens Tuesday afternoon.

Tagged: Giants, Victor Cruz

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