On Monday, Giants receiver Victor Cruz told Bob Glauber of Newsday that the free-agent-turned-franchise-receiver wants to “block out” the disconnect between his production and his paycheck. On Tuesday, Cruz wasn’t able to block it out.
Cruz told WFAN radio in New York that he hopes to get a new deal done by the end of the season.
“We would like to get it done before the season’s [over],” Cruz said, via Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger. “We don’t want to drag it along, and [have it] become something that blocks the team in the offseason, and something that is in the media every day. We don’t want it to get like that. We want to just knock it out halfway through the season, or during the season at the very least, and put it behind [us].”
So much for blocking it out.
He shouldn’t have to, in our view. At some point, the Giants need to take care of him. Otherwise, the front office will lose credibility in the eyes of other players in the locker room.
High achievement needs to be rewarded. Cruz has done that, without the signing bonus or roster bonuses or other perks of a first-round contract. Instead, Cruz gets the third-year minimum salary of $540,000.
Two years ago, the NFL was insisting on a rookie wage scale to ensure that unproven players who never panned out wouldn’t suck millions out of the system. The money saved should be spent on guys like Cruz.
If the Giants don’t extend Cruz, he’ll become a restricted free agent in March 2013. But since it seems like no team is signing restricted free agents (cough . . . collusion . . . cough), he still may be at the mercy of the Giants, when it comes to getting paid what he deserves.