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Andre Brown signs tender

Running back Andre Brown has signed his one-year restricted free-agent tender with the New York Giants, a league source told ESPN.

Brown will return on the one-year $2.02 million tender he received from the Giants. The team tendered three of their restricted free agents and two have signed their tenders as expected -- Brown and safety Stevie Brown.

Victor Cruz remains the lone restricted free agent who hasn't signed his tender yet but the receiver and the Giants are hoping to work out a long-term extension. Co-owner John Mara said that he believes a new deal with Cruz will be reached "at some point."

"It will get done at some point," Mara said at a Big Brothers Big Sisters gala event at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel on Monday night. "Just be patient."

Andre Brown has patiently waited for his opportunity to show what he can do. After missing his entire rookie season in 2009 with a season-ending Achilles injury, Brown bounced around the league as he was signed repeatedly to practice squads and waived seven times by five teams.

He finally got playing time in the regular season with the Giants last season and rushed for 385 yards and eight touchdowns in 10 games before his season ended with a broken leg in late November.

Brown's leg has healed and he participated in last week's voluntary offseason workout program's strength and conditioning/rehab despite not yet signing his tender.

David Wilson, last year's first-round pick, and Brown are expected to shoulder the load with Ahmad Bradshaw gone. Brown believes his time has come.

"This is my year," Brown said in an interview with the team's website recently. "I feel like this is a very important season and I have to go out there and show the world what Andre Brown is made of."

"I have to outdo last year's stats," Brown later added. "Eight touchdowns -- I want 22. I want 1,300 [yards] this year. That's the steppingstone. I have to erase last year's stats and show I can do better."

Brown showed he can handle the load while also protecting Eli Manning and producing in short-yardage situations as well. In Week 3 at Carolina, Brown had 113 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.

"Third-down back, pass protection, goal line, short yardage -- all that," Brown said of what he can do. "I can't wait to do it. Because I want to show, other than [scoring] the 1-yard touchdown, I want to show more than what I have. I feel like I'm a home-run hitter, too. As long as I go out there and produce and show the world my versatility, the sky's the limit."

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter contributed to this report.