Cruz wants big raise
Cruz, who will become a restricted free agent after the 2013 season, wants to be paid like a top receiver. He has performed like one the past two seasons. In 2012, he made 86 catches for 1,092 yards with 10 touchdowns. In 2011, he set the team's single-season receiving record with 1,536 yards.
"I think I have definitely proven myself to be one of the highest compensated receivers in the league," Cruz said. "That's kind of the way that I feel and my team feels, not only on the field, but as well as what I bring to the Giants as a brand and as an activist and person in the community. I think all of that taken into account; I'm definitely not asking for much as far as what's on the table."
The Giants are currently $4.2 million over the 2013 salary cap and 22 players due to become free agents in the offseason. Cruz figures to make at least $10 million per season.
"We certainly want him back, but like with any player, there's a limit to where we're going to go," Mara told NJ.com. "He's been a terrific player for us, he's a fan favorite, he does a lot for our franchise, but there is a limit."
Cruz said he wants to keep playing for the Giants but would not address possibly holding out for more money.
"I definitely want to stay here, that's how I feel," Cruz said. "I can't speak on any other team or how I feel about going to any other team because I'd like to stay here. I have no answer (about potentially holding out)."
The Giants can also place a franchise tag on Cruz that would reportedly pay him the average of the top five wide receiver salaries, but that scenario is not likely.