Giants That Should Restructure For Victor Cruz
We're now well into the NFL free agency season, and contract negotiations between the New York Giants and WR Victor Cruz have still not progressed past where they were a few weeks ago. Up until a few days ago, though, the exact terms of the Giants' offer were shrouded in secrecy. On Saturday, the New York Daily News reported that the Giants currently have an offer that exceeds $7 million on the table for Victor Cruz. Although the exact details are still unclear, it's been reported that the contract is in the neighborhood of four years and $30 million.
Cruz hasn't received an offer sheet from anyone yet, and it doesn't seem likely that he will, given the circumstances and the substantial offer that the Giants have put out there. But the Giants and their fans are hoping that they can strike a deal with Cruz before training camp begins so the team can focus on football and avoid a repeat next offseason when Cruz becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Eli Manning, who has restructured his contract once before to make room for the team to re-sign players, has told the media that he would be open to restructuring once again if it would enable the Giants to come to an agreement with Cruz. It's clear that Manning wants Cruz lining up next to him, and he will do whatever it takes to make sure that it happens. Manning has always had a team-first mentality and, if it's necessary, he should be the first person the Giants go to in order to restructure and make some more salary cap room to lock up Cruz.
Beyond Manning, there are a few other players who can restructure their contracts. Last week, NFL.com reported that David Diehl would also be willing to restructure his contract to help the Giants re-sign Victor Cruz. "I have restructured before in my 10 seasons of being a New York Giant," said Diehl, "it's not something that I'm unfamiliar with. I mean, that's part of the business of the NFL."
In addition to Manning and Diehl, the Giants can look to Mathias Kiwanuka to restructure, if needed. Kiwanuka is going into the second year of a four-year, $21.75 million contract, and he's due to make around $4 million per year for the duration of his deal—close to the same figure that Diehl is bringing in. If Kiwanuka was willing to pitch in and help with the team's effort to bring back Cruz, he can restructure his contract along with Diehl.
A few other options for the Giants could be Chris Snee and Antrel Rolle, who are due to make $6.7 million and $7 million in 2013, respectively.
Beyond those players, there aren't many other large contracts that can be reworked to clear up some additional cap space over the next few years. However, if the situation calls for a few contracts to be restructured, there should be more than enough willing players ready to take a slight pay cut to make sure Cruz is back in blue for the foreseeable future.