- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
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That improves the odds that Cruz remains with the New York Giants, because the Vikings and Rams are the only teams with two first-round picks in the April draft.
The Giants tendered Cruz, a restricted free agent, with a first-round pick last week, owner John Mara announced, meaning that any interested team would have to give up a first-rounder to sign Cruz.
Minnesota signed receiver Greg Jennings on Friday to a five-year deal worth $47.5 million, reducing the likelihood the Vikings would go after Cruz. As for the Rams, they let Danny Amendola bolt for the Patriots over money, so spending big to get Cruz doesn't seem to fit with their free-agency philosophy. Amendola signed a five-year deal worth $31 million.
Cruz has been a popular, valuable wide receiver for the Giants, but he has also been extremely cost-efficient. Signed as an undrafted free agent from UMass, Cruz stands to make just under $3 million next season, up from his base salary of $540,000 in 2012.
Since the Giants would have the opportunity to match any offer for Cruz, a team would likely have to offer the wide receiver a high-priced deal in addition to giving up the first-round pick.
A team could still use its only first-round pick to try to nab Cruz. A reasonable scenario would be a team with a late first-round pick but a good number of later-round picks. Both San Francisco and the Patriots fit that description. Neither team, however, has a glaring need at wide receiver.
Ohm Youngmisuk contributed to this report.
3dDan Graziano and Adam Caplan