Cruz signed his first-round restricted free-agent tender of $2.87 million with the New York Giants on Friday, three days before the team had the option to slash his tender to $630,000.
NFL.com's Aditi Kinkhabwala reported Friday that the Giants had planned to do just that, according to a person with knowledge of the team's plans.
It's a hardball stance by the Giants, and it makes you think Cruz headed to the team facility knowing full well that negotiations were going to take a darker turn if he didn't sign the dotted line.
The Giants were prepared to go down a road that the Pittsburgh Steelers didn't take last year with Mike Wallace. The Steelers opted not to slash the tender in what was seen as a gesture of goodwill. The two sides never worked out a long-term contract and Wallace signed his tender late in training camp before skipping town the following offseason.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported Friday that the tender signing isn't meaningful for long-term talks, and Cruz and the Giants remain far apart. Rapoport has been told that Cruz plans to attend training camp.
The Giants would like to keep Cruz in-house for this year and beyond. Still, it's fair to wonder how much bad blood is building between the two sides.