The attention-grabbing story line involving the Giants revolves around someone who isn’t expected to be there when the team hits the practice field today for its mandatory three-day minicamp.

Paterson native Victor Cruz is without a contract, and as long as the star wide receiver remains unsigned he can’t be punished for not being in attendance.

Talks between the two sides toward a long-term deal continue, albeit slower than anyone would like. But if nothing is settled by June 17, the Giants have a choice to lower their one-year tender offer from $2.879 million to $630,000. Such a decision would upset Cruz’s camp tremendously, which seems completely unnecessary at this point considering this has hardly been a nasty negotiation, especially in public and the media.

So although this move might give the Giants some leverage, don’t expect it to happen.

Even with Cruz’s absence, there is plenty worth watching this week at Timex Performance Center.

ONLY NICKS KNOWS: Hakeem Nicks’ absence from voluntary OTAs remains a mystery. His agent, Peter Schaffer, did not respond to an email from The Record seeking comment. Although he seems angrier with the situation than with Nicks personally, coach Tom Coughlin has continued to tell the media he has not been given a reason as to why.

While there are no guarantees a face-to-face, clear-the-air meeting will take place this week, Nicks is expected to attend the minicamp and participate. Whether he does is unclear, yet his absence could bring consequences: up to $66,150 if he skips all three days.

Eli Manning said Monday he has exchanged text messages with Nicks and anticipates seeing No. 88 at the team’s facility this morning.