This has the possibility to be one of the biggest free agent signings that we have seen in the Bill Belichick-era with the New England Patriots. However, let me be clear: The chances currently are slime to none.
News broke Monday afternoon when Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported that several sources believe that the Patriots would make a run at New York Giants restricted free agent Victor Cruz.
Prior to La Canfora reporting the New England’s possible interest, the Giants had placed a first-round tender on Cruz which means that if any team were to come to agreement with Cruz, they would have to give up a first-round pick as well as allowing the Giants a five-day period in which they could match the contract offer.
It’s clear that Cruz wants top dollar, as the New York Daily News reports, it’s just a matter of who’s willing to cough up the money. Without a doubt, Cruz is one of the NFL’s top No. 1 wide receivers and would certainly fit well with Tom Brady and the Patriots—but there’s one major problem: Cruz’s agent.
Cruz reportedly changed agents this offseason, as he decided to go with Tom Condon of CAA.
The Patriots have had somewhat of a feud with Condon over the years, dating all the way back to when New England drafted tight end Ben Watson in 2004 and Condon happened to represent the rookie tight end. However, this feud between New England and Condon could be a thing of the past, as the Patriots and Brandon Lloyd, who is represented by Condon, agreed to a free agent contract last offseason.
There is no question that Cruz would do wonders in New England’s high-powered passing attack—it’s just a matter of how much the Patriots are willing to spend as well as having their willingness to forfeit a first-round pick.
Targeting Cruz wouldn’t surprise me at all, considering that Cruz plays for the Giants—the same team that Belichick stole tight end Jake Ballard from last offseason.
Cruz, who’s set to turn 27-years-old in November, played in all 16 games this past season for New York as he recorded a career-high 86 receptions for 1,092 yards while averaging 12.7 yards per-reception and scoring a career-high 10 touchdowns.
If the Patriots were to sign Cruz, then let’s take a look at a likely scenario: Brandon Lloyd would be cut, Wes Welker will likely sign elsewhere considering the amount of money that would be spent on Cruz, and someone along the lines of Josh Cribbs or Danny Amendola would be brought in—just something to think about.
Time will only tell if the Patriots do have any legitimate interest in Cruz, but I wouldn’t put it past Belichick to stick it to the Giants yet again by grabbing arguably the team’s top player.