GIANTS BLOG: Mini Camp Opens With The Victor Cruz\Hakeem Nicks Subplot

Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz

Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz

The New York Giants open their mini camp today with questions surrounding the team that could make for a very hot summer on and off the field. The franchise quarterback still doesn’t have his top two wide receivers on the field to throw the football to. The defense has question marks on the line and in the secondary. It’s more than enough sub-plots with the Giants this summer to keep things interesting and intriguing and I’ll be following along right into the regular season here on the blog. I’ll start it off this week with this …

The Victor Cruz\Hakeem Nicks Subplot

Head coach Tom Coughlin isn’t the biggest fan of distractions off the field taking away from the team concept. The Giants remain in contract negotiation-limbo with Victor Cruz. Talk between the two sides are reportedly at an extremely slow pace currently and that’s alarming for Giants fans who grew accustomed to Cruz celebrating in the end zone the last couple of years with his salsa dance. Cruz is an unsigned restricted free agent who isn’t expected to be at mini camp. He wants his long-term contract extension with guaranteed money and he’s holding firm to his stance on that. The red flag in all of this may not come up until June 17th. That is the day the Giants can reduce the tender offer they have currently on the table for Cruz as a restricted free agent from $2.879 million to $630,000. I don’t see the Giants going that far, however stranger things have happened and it could very well speed up the negotiation process. I don’t see Cruz making it to mini camp, however if these talks are still ongoing heading into training camp later this summer then things could get a little ugly.

While the Giants continue to wait it out with Cruz, they fully expect Nicks to be in mini camp and ready to go. Nicks skipped voluntary OTA workouts and apparently didn’t give the Giants a reason. This didn’t please Coughlin, however it’s important to remember that the workouts were voluntary. Mini camp is mandatory and I don’t see Nicks risking being fined for missing out.

Cruz and Nicks are the motor that makes the Giants offense click and even though the Giants have a corp of hungry receivers behind them who are waiting to get their names called, Manning and Coughlin would love nothing more than to have their guys in camp and on the field catching passes. Nicks should be good to go, although possibly a bit limited due to the minor knee surgery he had earlier in the offseason. Cruz … well that’s an entirely different story altogether as we all wait to see how it develops.

As for those hungry corp of receivers, this week I’m going to take a deeper look at who could very well be in position to seize the moment this summer.