Surely a part of Victor Cruz believes in his heart he belongs in New York, belongs a Giant, belongs in blue wearing No. 80, belongs catching touchdown passes from Eli Manning and doing his salsa in the end zone. Belongs being a symbol of hope and healing inspiration for a little boy and a family traumatized by the tragic horror experienced by the community of Newtown, Conn.

But surely Victor Cruz believes in his heart that in the violent world of the NFL, where concussions and ACLs and, worst of all, paralysis can turn that world and your life upside down, you had better strike while the iron is hot, you had better wield the hammer when you have it in your hand, especially when you have risked life and limb over the past season with a $560,000 salary, because nothing is guaranteed except the guaranteed money.

Cruz hiring superagent Tom Condon yesterday could signal that, as the Giants remind one and all that this is a business, Cruz has reminded them he means business. Maybe it helps (Condon represents Manning and knows how to cut a deal), maybe it doesn’t.

In the meantime, in the midst of this impasse and the start of free agency, Big Blue Nation will be singing The Cruz Blues.

Here is the money quote, from Giants co-owner John Mara: “If somebody’s willing to pay more than we’re willing to pay, then we’ll have to say goodbye.”

This is a high-stakes gamble that could blow up in the faces of both sides.

The Giants allowing Cruz to salsa in the free agent waters is risky business, but they are willing to take that risk, and begrudgingly receive a first-round pick if another team — say the Rams, Vikings now that Percy Harvin is a Seahawk, or Ravens, now that Anquan Boldin is a 49er — makes him an offer he can’t refuse, but they can.

“Certainly we’re taking a risk,” Mara said.

The Giants tendering Cruz at the first-round compensation level would pay him $2.879 million.