The New York Giants have placed a first-round tender on Victor Cruz, allowing the wide receiver to enter restricted free agency.
Team owner John Mara says Monday that the Giants will risk having Cruz agree to a contract with another club. New York has the right to match any offer, and 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, who has not made half of that in his three pro seasons. But Cruz believes he can earn more on the open market.
Cruz has become one of the most popular athletes in the New York area with his salsa dances after touchdowns. He 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.