The New York Giants had discussions last week with the representatives for wide receiver Victor Cruz about restructuring Cruz's contract, a source close to the situation said. Sometime in the coming days, the two sides likely will come to an agreement that reduces Cruz's 2016 salary and cap number.
The result has seemed inevitable for some time. Cruz hasn't played since tearing his right patellar tendon in Week 6 of the 2014 season. He made $4 million that season and $6.15 million in 2015 despite missing the entire season with a left calf injury. He has three years left on his contract and is scheduled to make $7.9 million in salary and cost $9.9 million against the cap this season. Having no idea what kind of player they can expect him to be following such a significant knee injury and so much time off, the Giants would release Cruz if he refused to work with them to reduce that cap number.
So what's taken so long? Well, first of all, the Giants don't need the cap relief. They have close to $60 million in cap room to spend when free agency opens at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, and the reason to cut Cruz's salary has nothing to do with their needs and everything to do with his current value. And from Cruz's standpoint, if the Giants are in no hurry, it makes sense for his agents to at least poke around on the market to see whether there's a team out there that would take a chance on him if he were cut. Supremely unlikely at this point, but if it were to happen, that would give Cruz some degree of leverage that he doesn't currently have.
In the end, Cruz is likely to stay with the Giants on a reduced deal. What remains to be worked out is what form that deal takes. Do they chop a year or two off the back end? Do they do a straight pay cut? Do they build in incentives and offer Cruz a chance to make his money back? Those discussions are ongoing, but it sounds as if both sides understand what needs to be done. And while the Giants still need to address the wide receiver position with Rueben Randle a free agent and Cruz a major question mark, the odds are strong that Cruz is in training camp again with the Giants this year, still trying to work his way back to health.