- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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Midnight has come and gone and the deadline for teams to make an offer for restricted free agents has passed.
Cruz was not expected to receive an offer from any other team because of the money it would have taken a team to sign him and the first-round pick that a team would have pay as compensation if the Giants opted not to match after five days.
So what now? Now that Cruz's restricted free agency is over, the odds of him remaining a Giant increase even more for at least 2013.
Cruz can sign his one-year RFA tender of $2.879 million and continue to try to work out a long-term extension.
If Cruz does not sign his tender or work out an extension by mid June, the Giants reportedly can lower his tender to 110% of his 2012 salary. He had a base salary of $540,000 last season.
Another option for Cruz would be to hold out. The Giants' first mandatory offseason program is the veterans mini camp on June 11.
Jerry Reese said this week that he will not allow himself to assume anything when it comes to Cruz being in uniform for the season opener.
"I don't assume anything," Reese said. "We will see. I can tell you this, when we get ready to play, when the season starts, we will have good players out there. I am not sure if Victor will be there or not, but I don't assume anything."
"The Victor Cruz thing, it will play out," Reese added. "Where it goes, it will go there. There's not a lot for me to talk about right now about Victor Cruz."
If he signs the tender and plays but does not reach an extension this season, Cruz will become an unrestricted free agent next year. But the Giants could opt to use their franchise tag on him next year.
But now that midnight and the RFA deadline has passed, the Giants and Cruz's camp could potentially start making progress toward an extension. The Giants seem to have all the leverage. But both sides have one common goal and that is for Cruz to remain a Giant.
At the very least, the odds have always been in favor of Cruz remaining a Giant for this season. And those odds just increased after midnight.