By Eric Schmidt

The New York Giants found a rare diamond in the rough with WR Victor Cruz. After posting back-to-back 1,000 yard receiving seasons, Cruz is set to become a restricted free agent, and is hopeful for a long-term deal with the Giants franchise. Cruz burst on the football stage last season with a franchise record 1,536 yards and followed up his dynamic season with 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2012.

The Giants and Cruz have until the start of free agency, March 12, 2013, to work out a new long term deal. If they two sides fail to agree, the Giants are likely to place a first-round tender on the receiver, a move which would pay Cruz and estimated $3 million for the 2013 season.The first-round tender also provides the Giants with some protection, allowing the team the first right of refusal over any offer made to Cruz.

Cruz told radio hosts on WFAN that he is confident that a new deal will be reached. “I feel positive that I’m going to be in New York for a long time.”

Cruz was far away the leading receiver for the Giants this season with 86 receptions in 143 targets. Hakeem Nicks was the Giants second leading receiver with 53 receptions for just 692 yards in an injury plagued season.

 

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