Football free agency has started and already people are shocked. Percy Harvin is going to be a Seahawk and Anquan Boldin is going from the Ravens to the 49ers, from one Harbaugh to another.
Get excited people.
Instead of focusing on players you will never get to see play, there is one situation that hits a little closer to home. Victor Cruz is a Restricted Free Agent this year, which normally does not mean much. However, Victor Cruz is not a normal player.
This all began when the Giants and the wide receiver could not come to terms on a long-term deal. The Giants say they made Cruz a legitimate offer, however, the Pro Bowler is clearly looking for more money after back-to-back stellar seasons.
Problem is the Giants are not in a great cap space situation right now and although Cruz is dynamic and amazing, Hakeem Nicks is seen as the organization’s No. 1 WR, not Cruz. Mainly because Nicks is the traditional deep threat who plays on the outside while Cruz is the slot receiver who plays in the middle. Cruz’s style of play will only work with a handful of systems.
Don’t believe me? Steve Smith anyone? The Giants slot receiver before Cruz had 107 receptions for 1,220 yards in 2009 then went to the Eagles who did not know how to use him and last season he played with the St. Louis Rams and collected a total of 131 yards ON THE YEAR.
That being said, if Victor Cruz does fit the style of play of a certain NFL team, they have the chance to get him today. The Giants, unable to come to a long term deal with Cruz, have placed a first-round tender on him. This means that whatever team wants to try to sign Cruz will have to give the Giants a first-round draft pick in exchange for him. The Giants also get the opportunity to match any offer any other team gives him and if they do, Cruz stays in New York.
It is a risk for the Giants, but a risk that has some insurance. If they cannot match the offer given to Cruz by another team, they still get a first-round draft pick out of it. If they can match it, they keep Cruz.
Apparently a bunch of teams are interested in snatching Cruz from the Giants especially during a draft void of true studs. The team to watch out for though is the St. Louis Rams. There is a perfect storm of circumstances surrounding the St. Louis Rams that should strike fear into the heart of Giants fans.
1. The Rams run a similar offense to the New York Giants where Cruz would fit in perfectly at slot receiver.
2. The Rams former slot receiver Danny Amendola is also a free agent and his checkered injury past has a lot of people thinking he will be leaving St. Louis, meaning there is a spot to fill at slot.
3. Overall, the Ram’s wide receiver corps is in flux and they need talent to give Sam Bradford some quality targets.
4. Last, but definitely not least, the Rams have TWO first-round draft picks this year due to the Washington Redskins-RGIII trade from last year. That means the Rams could get Cruz and STILL be able to pick a quality player in the first round.
Be afraid Giants fans, be very afraid. Victor Cruz wants No. 1 wide receiver money and the Rams are in a position to give it to him and utilize him properly. The Giants should consider grabbing Danny Amendola or fellow slot-receiving free agent Julian Edelman if things with Cruz turn bleak.
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