AP Source: No Cruz as Giants start voluntary work
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - The New York Giants have started voluntary offseason workouts without restricted free agent wide receiver Victor Cruz.
A source close the team says Cruz, who has led the Giants' in receiving the last two seasons, was not at the well-attended workout at the club's headquarters. The source asks not to be identified because the team was not saying which players participated.
The Giants placed a first-round tender on Cruz a little more than a month ago. It allowed the popular receiver to enter restricted free agency, but it also gave New York the right to match any offer he received.
If the Giants allow him to leave, they will get a first-round draft choice as compensation.
The tender is worth $2.879 million for 2012 for Cruz if he does not sign with another team by Friday. He has not made half of that in his three pro seasons.
Cruz was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2010. The salsa-dancing University of Massachusetts player has 168 receptions for 2,628 yards and 19 touchdowns. He made the 2012 Pro Bowl and is considered one of the league's best slot receivers.
Top wide receivers in unrestricted free agency can earn about $10 million annually.
The media were not allowed to attend Monday's workout.
Hakeem Nicks, who battled and had a subpar 2012 season, participated in Monday's workouts.
"I kept it simple because it was my first time running routes,'' said Nicks, who has been running full speed for a couple of weeks. "I wasn't about to go out there and - it's still early right now. So my biggest thing is that I want my presence to be felt there with Eli (Manning). Because it is something that I do week to week. We're on the same page.''
Quarterback Manning was thrilled to see Nicks on the field.
"It is always good to see him back healthy,'' Manning said in a release by the team. "He is still striving to get to 100 percent. Obviously, having a healthy Hakeem would definitely make our team much better.''
The Giants (9-7) missed the playoffs despite a 6-2 start in 2012.
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