The Giants and receiver Victor Cruz have agreed to a contract that will pay him $45 million over the next six years. That’s good money, but it’s not the kind of money Cruz was hoping to earn.
Cruz said on Sirius XM NFL Radio that he believes he should have made more.
“I’m not going to lie, it’s tough. It’s tough. When you understand from a numbers standpoint, and the numbers you put up you feel like deserve a certain amount of money,” Cruz said, via Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News.
Cruz said he’s happy to be playing in New York, but he also believes there are NFL wide receivers who aren’t as good as him who are making more money than him.
“But I’m not going to say it’s easy when you see guys getting these huge paydays and you feel like you’re at the same caliber, if not better than some of those guys,” Cruz said.
If Cruz is saying he would have made more on the open market, he’s right. But the reality is that the Giants kept Cruz from hitting the open market this year, and they could have prevented him from hitting the open market with the franchise tag next year. Players like Cruz, who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent, don’t have a whole lot of leverage. Just as Matthew Stafford had a lot of leverage because the Lions chose him with the first overall pick in the draft before the rookie wage scale, Cruz had very little leverage because the Giants signed him as an undrafted rookie.
Cruz did well given that reality, even if he didn’t do as well as he would have as a true free agent.