The relationship between Giants General Manager Jerry Reese and defensive end Osi Umenyiora may be strained, but Reese points to another player on the Giants who would be justified in wanting more money, but is handling everything the right way.
Victor Cruz, who emerged not only as the Giants’ top receiver but one of the best receivers in the league last season, is scheduled to make the league-minimum third-year player salary of $540,000 this year. But Reese pointed out that not only is Cruz not threatening a holdout or publicly complaining about his contract, but he’s also passing on opportunities to make outside income — including an appearance on Dancing with the Stars — so that he can put all his focus on football this offseason.
“I think Victor would be good on that, Victor’s a smart guy, I think Victor wants to focus on football more than anything else right now,” Reese said of Cruz deciding not to do Dancing with the Stars. “He had one good year, one good year [doesn’t] make you a great football player. It means you had one good year. He’s a smart young man, I think he wants to focus on what’s most important, and that’s football. I think maybe at some point later on in his career he might be able to do that but right now I think he’s focused on trying to be a good football player.”
In the long run, Cruz may end up making more money if he continues to grow as a player, and develops a reputation as a player who — despite his salsa dance and sometimes goofy personality — takes his offseason work seriously. From the Giants’ perspective, Cruz is doing it the right way.