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NFL Roundup: Giants owner expects deal with Cruz

The SportsXchange

Head coach Tom Coughlin admits he is uneasy about the contract status of standout receiver Victor Cruz, but New York Giants president John Mara remains confident a deal will get done.

"I'm pretty confident that we'll end up reaching a deal," Mara said in an interview Tuesday on NFL Network. "This is not that atypical a situation. Player contracts, particularly with star players like Victor, can tend to drag on from time to time. I think we'll get it done."

Cruz has been seeking a long-term contract with the Giants and turned down a deal at the outset of the offseason worth a reported $7 million per season. He did not participate in the Giants' voluntary offseason workouts this week and hasn't signed the $2.879 million tender.

"This is the right place for him to play," Mara said. "He's a star in the area, he's an important part of our team, and I think we'll eventually get a deal done. But it's just a process that you have to go through. And we're going through it right now."

--Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay will miss rookie minicamp to recover from recent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.

Slay was drafted in the second round, after some teams had raised questions about his health. He had surgery May 3, and general manager Martin Mayhew said after the draft the Lions were aware of, and comfortable with, the "physical issue with his knee."

--Former Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles general manager Tom Heckert was hired as the Denver Broncos' director of pro personnel.

Heckert replaces Keith Kidd, who did not have his contract renewed by the Broncos. He has worked with many NFL notables, including Don Shula, Jimmy Johnson, Mike Holmgren and Andy Reid.

-- The Kansas City Chiefs hired Chris Ballard as the team's Director of Player Personnel.

"Chris is a tremendous talent evaluator and a great fit for our staff," Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said. "He is well respected across the league, he is a remarkable person and we are pleased he decided to join us."

Dorsey spent the past 12 seasons with the Chicago Bears.

--All-Pro left guard Mike Iupati is unlikely to be cleared to participate in the San Francisco 49ers' offseason team activities following shoulder surgery.

The nature of the procedure isn't known, but Iupati was on the injury report for the final seven games last season, including the postseason, with a shoulder injury. Iupati has started all 48 regular-season games in his career and played nearly 99 percent of the 49ers' offensive snaps last season.

--NBC Sports announced Carrie Underwood as the replacement for Faith Hill, who had performed the opening segment of Sunday Night Football for six years.

Underwood, 30, came into the public eye as the winner of American Idol in 2005 and is an award-winning Country singer and songwriter. Hill, who said April 15 that she let the network know it was "time to let someone else rock the open" didn't provide further details in ending her run with NBC.

--Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Rolando McClain had a false identity charge dropped and entered a guilty plea to violating state regulations on window tinting.

McClain, 23, has a court date July 9 to answer charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after an incident in April at a local park. McClain did not appear in court Tuesday. He paid a fine of $186, which also covers court costs, stemming from the January window-tint matter after which he signed a citation with an expletive rather than his own name. That led to an additional charge of presenting authorities with false identity.

--Cornerback Marcus Trufant signed a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Tuesday.

Trufant, the 11th overall pick in the 2003 draft, had spent his entire NFL career with the Seattle Seahawks, including the past three for Jaguars coach Gus Bradley. Bradley was hired as Jaguars head coach in January.

In a corresponding move, the Jaguars released veteran cornerback Antwaun Molden.
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