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Justin Tuck: Giants just need Victor Cruz by Week 1

Last week, New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said he hoped Victor Cruz would show up for the start of the team's offseason program, even though the wide receiver didn't have a contract.

Of course, Cruz didn't show up -- why would he? -- but Tuck isn't surprised or miffed at the young receiver's absence. As long as Cruz makes it for Big Blue's opening game.

"I don't think anybody hoped that he's not there. So that's what I meant by that," Tuck said this week, via The Star-Ledger. "Victor has to do what Victor thinks is best for Victor. And he doesn't have to answer to anybody else. He's his own man. At the end of the day, I don't care if he misses all the workout program. As long as he's there on -- What day do we open up? -- that Sunday. Whatever day that is, if I see No. 80 with the New York Giants, then I'm cool with that."

Opposing teams have until Friday to submit competing offer sheets to the restricted free agent. It's likely Cruz is waiting until that deadline passes before making any decision on signing his $2.879 million tender and showing up to workouts.

Tuck isn't worried about Cruz missing a few or many of the offseason workouts.

"I know him and Eli have great rapport, and it won't take those guys long to figure things out," Tuck said. "But obviously you want a guy there. He's a big reason for any success we're going to have this year, so you want him to be there. But if not, it gives the younger guys opportunities to get more reps. It could help us either way."

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.

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