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Giants co-owner braces for Victor Cruz competition

The New York Giants are bracing for a challenge in their effort to retain Victor Cruz.

Speaking in Arizona on Sunday night on the eve of the NFL Annual Meeting, Giants co-owner Steve Tisch told reporters he believes a team will make an offer for Cruz, who is a restricted free agent.

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According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, Tisch said the Giants will go as far as they can to retain the popular and productive wide receiver. He added that Cruz's decision to hire agent Tom Condon last week was a positive step.

Condon has successfully negotiated past deals with the Giants that kept quarterback Eli Manning and linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka in-house.

Recent contracts for Wes Welker and Danny Amendola suggest the going rate for an upper-level slot receiver is in the $6 million range. Asked if Cruz will command that type of annual salary, Tisch responded: "I think Victor is going to get higher than that."

There's no debating the Giants are taking a risk here. Team president and CEO John Mara conceded as much last week in comments after confirming the team had given Cruz a restricted free-agent tender at the first-round level.

The Giants say they won't go beyond the price tag they've internally established as Cruz's worth. The New England Patriots did the same thing with Wes Welker and stuck to their philosophy. It will be fascinating to see if the Giants are similarly disciplined if a team makes a big play for Cruz.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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