Cruz not present at first workout day

April, 15, 2013
4/15/13
1:11
PM ET


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Pro Bowl receiver Victor Cruz did not attend the first morning of the Giants' voluntary offseason workout program, as expected.

The Giants started Phase 1 of their offseason program, which is basically strength and conditioning and physical rehab. Cruz, a restricted free agent, was not in the building by 11:30 a.m., when the last workout was scheduled.

Cruz isn't missing much and the workout is voluntary. A league source told ESPN senior NFL insider Chris Mortensen last week that Cruz was not expected to attend this week's strength and conditioning workouts, but that could change if there is movement in Cruz's extension talks with the team.

Cruz wants a long-term extension and has not yet signed his one-year RFA first-round tender of $2.879 million. He can still participate in the offseason workout program if he chooses to.

Defensive captain Justin Tuck said last week that Cruz has to do what is best for him, but showing up this week could potentially be a positive in contract talks.

"I think the biggest way to get things settled is to be there in good faith, I guess," Tuck said at an NFL Play 60 event at P.S. 21 in Staten Island last week. "But I can't answer questions for Victor. He has to do what's best for him. And hopefully, when it's all said and done, he's doing a salsa in a Giants uniform this season. That's all I'm worried about."

Teams have until April 19 to make a contract offer to restricted free agents, but any team interested in signing Cruz to a lucrative contract would also have to be willing to part with a first-round pick. The Giants have the right to match; if they choose not to, they will be compensated with a first-rounder. Cruz is not expected to receive a contract offer from another team before the deadline.

Cruz worked out with Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks and Louis Murphy last week at Duke University when the Manning brothers gathered some of their receivers to train.

Cruz recently hired agent Tom Condon to negotiate an extension for him. Condon has a good working relationship with the Giants and represents Manning, Mark Herzlich and Mathias Kiwanuka.

Tuck, Nicks, Manning, Herzlich, David Wilson, Corey Webster, Aaron Ross, Stevie Brown, Terrell Thomas, Jayron Hosley, Kevin Boothe, Justin Trattou, Zak DeOssie and Henry Hynoski were among the several Giants who were at the facility on Monday.

So, do you think it's a big deal whether Cruz shows up for voluntary strength and conditioning and rehab? Tell us below.
Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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