It probably goes without saying at this point that Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz’s career is off to a tremendous start.
He finished his first 25 professional games tied for the sixth-most catches and receiving yards over that span in NFL history. Cruz’ 26th game saw him catch seven passes for 131 yards, including the game-winning 77-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. Not bad for a guy making $540,000 this year.
That salary was briefly a discussion point during the offseason and Bob Glauber of Newsday is revisiting it now that Cruz has made it clear that he’s no one-year wonder. Cruz is a better receiver now than he was during his salsa dance into the national landscape last season and there’s every reason to believe his partnership with Eli Manning will continue to bear fruit in the years to come. Glauber wonders when the Giants are going to affirm that with a contract more representative of Cruz’s contributions, even as Cruz passes on such thoughts.
“I just kind of want to block it out,” Cruz said. “I feel like if I start thinking about it, it will start consuming me, and I don’t want it to get that way. I just want to block it out and focus on football, and I think I’ve been doing a good job of that.”
Glauber reports that no deal for Cruz is imminent and there’s not a tremendous amount of pressure on the Giants to get one done now. Cruz will be a restricted free agent after this season and we saw this offseason with Mike Wallace that other teams don’t rush to make offers to players in such situations. The memory of Steve Smith, who was in line for a big deal before injuring his knee in 2010, likely also contributes to the Giants’ desire to wait as long as possible before handing over big money to Cruz.
If he avoids such an injury, it remains a matter of when, not if, Cruz gets that big contract.