It’s been quite a year for Victor Cruz.
The Giants receiver wasn’t a sure thing to make the team at this point last year and started last season near the bottom of the depth chart, but wound up with 82 catches, several highlight reel touchdowns, a Super Bowl ring and an outsize celebrity born of his salsa dancing touchdown celebrations. Since the end of the season, he’s appeared at just about every event with a red carpet and released a memoir about his brief NFL career, but he told Jorge Castillo of the Newark Star-Ledger that he hasn’t let any of the celebrity get in the way of his football responsibilities.
“It’s just understanding that it’s not over,” Cruz said. “I still got some years ahead of me, I still got goals that I want to reach. It’s a short window in this league. I just got to approach every day like it’s my last.”
Cruz should be able to derive plenty of motivation from his contract. He’s set to make $540,000 this year, the final year of his rookie contract, and he stands to cash in with a massive raise if he can replicate last year’s success. Cruz could have made a push for a new deal this offseason, but chose not to force the issue and will deal with the contract down the line.
It’s a risk, since an injury could lead to millions left on the table but it is a situation that should keep Cruz from letting his newfound fame get in the way of his real job.