AP Pro Football Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- Wide receiver Victor Cruz has signed his $2.879 million tender with the New York Giants.
Two people familiar with the contract told The Associated Press on Friday that the restricted free agent with three years in the NFL had signed the tender while he works on a long-term deal with the Giants.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the signing has not been announced publicly.
Had the 26-year-old Cruz not signed before Monday, the Giants' offer could have been reduced to $630,000 for the 2013 season. The Giants could have matched any offers Cruz received from other teams.
Cruz skipped all of New York's offseason program, but will be required to show up at training camp beginning in late July.
An undrafted free agent in 2010 out of Massachusetts who became a star with the Giants as they won the 2011 NFL title, Cruz is coming off a Pro Bowl season. He made 86 catches for 1,092 yards and scored 10 touchdowns as one of the league's best slot receivers last year, and was even more effective during the Super Bowl season with 82 catches for 1,536 yards and nine TDs, including a 99-yarder against the Jets.
Those two strong seasons made Cruz vastly underpaid heading toward the upcoming season. So he sought a longer contract. When that didn't happen, he stayed away from the team's training sessions and this week's minicamp, which concluded Thursday.
Cruz has become extremely popular with Giants fans for the salsa he performs after each touchdown, and for his work in the community. He is from Paterson, N.J., about 30 minutes from the Meadowlands where the Giants practice and play.
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