If you could think of someone who would be the perfect replacement to Wes Welker in the New England Patriots offense, who would it be? I think it is hard to argue against Victor Cruz. The New York Giants gave Cruz a 1st-round tender today, which means that any team that signs him has to give up a first round pick since Cruz is a restricted free agent.
The Patriots have struggled in negotiations with Welker, 31, who is seeking a multiyear deal. But so is Victor Cruz, and he is 5 years younger than Welker. Cruz would slide nicely into Welker’s slot position within the Patriots offense, and his big play ability is something that the Patriots have been lacking the last few seasons. According to CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora, the Patriots are definitely entertaining the idea of signing Cruz to a big deal. It appears, however, that the Patriots interest has somewhat waned throughout the day as it was announced that Cruz changed agents to Tom Condon. Bob Kraft generally doesn’t make deals with him.
With the trades today of Anquan Boldin and Percy Harvin, that enters both the Vikings and the Ravens into the Victor Cruz sweepstakes. The Vikings now have an extra first round pick to deal with, and the Ravens gained an additional $7 million in cap space. Of course, if any of them or the Patriots sign Cruz to an offer sheet, the Giants will have the right to match, which could stall them in their pursuit of replacements.