Given his circumstances, Cruz did well


Did Giants receiver Victor Cruz break the bank on his new contract?  No.  Did he end up with far more money than he ever should have earned in the NFL after being passed over 255 times in the 2010 draft?  Absolutely.

Cruz has made the ultimate climb from undrafted receiver to highly-paid starter, in only three seasons.  Could he have gotten more on the open market?  Probably.  (Before this year’s free-agency debacle, the answer would have been “definitely.”)  Am I going to keep asking questions and then answering them?  No.  Basically, Cruz did what he had to do to shift the injury risk to the team and to emerge with enough money to carry him through the next five or six decades of his life, assuming he’s smart and careful with the cash.

The important thing to remember is that the Giants had the ability to squat on Cruz through 2014, at $2.879 million this year and the franchise tag next year.  At $10.35 million in 2013, Cruz’s two-year fully-guaranteed haul of $15.6 million undoubtedly exceeds what he would have been paid over the next two years, if the Giants had tagged him.

Throw in the possibility of significant New York marketing dollars, and Cruz did what any guy who never was supposed to get big money would do — especially since a torn ACL or a ruptured Achilles tendon would have derailed everything, like it did for former Giants receiver Steve Smith.  Cruz took the deal, and he put the stress of seeing his shot at getting paid disappear on any given Sunday behind him, for good.

So it’s a win for the Giants and a win for Cruz, who if he remains healthy and effective will pocket more than $45 million over the next six seasons.  No matter what happens, he’ll make $15.6 million.

16 responses to “Given his circumstances, Cruz did well

  1. Smart move for both sides. The team locks up a favorite target of Eli’s for many years to come at a reasonable price. Cruz gets paid nicely, doesn’t have to worry about injury, gets to play on a team with legitimate SB potential every season, remains in a top NFL market, and remains on a team where the fans chant his name every time he touches the ball. Things really couldn’t get much better for this kid right now, and it just makes sense to make sure he can capitalize on it.

  2. He is a class act… the giants will be Cruzzzzing into the playoffs… (it maybe a first round loss, but hey – way better than the Eagles will do)

  3. Here’s your next article Florio.

    Victor Cruz benefited from the lockout more than any other player in the NFL. In 2010 he looked great in the preseason but got hurt and didn’t play in the regular season.

    In 2011, with no offseason workouts, Eli had his own at Hoboken High School. Some guys showed up for a couple days. Some guys didn’t even bother.

    Victor Cruz was sleeping on his Mom’s couch 15 minutes away in Patterson. He made every single workout and he got into a rhythm with Eli.

    Then when the lockout ended and everyone showed up for their paychecks, Cruz and Eli were already in synch. 2011…Breakout season.

    All because of the lockout.

  4. If he kills somebody, which isn’t out of the question for an NFL player, I doubt he gets all the money referred to.

  5. If you compare recent contracts, he got peanuts. Mike Wallace has been less productive and got about 5mil more a year. I understand they technically play different positions but Cruz is not a typical “slot” guy. Over the last two years, Cruz has caught 12 more passes of 20+yards than Wallace. He’s also grabbed 6 more TDs, 600 more yards, and a boat load more catches and first downs. In every measure, Cruz is a more productive player than Wallace.

    But Wallace was a free agent and Wallace is an outside guy, so perhaps it’s apples to oranges.

    So let’s look at Percy Harvin. Here’s a guy with durability issues, chronic migraine issues, has a history of being a malcontent hot head with his coaches, and dumped on his young unproven QB. He’s a slot guy with far more question marks than Cruz who was still under contract. He got 20mil more than Cruz by a team that he’s never played for so they have to project how he fits.

    Or we could look at Danny Amendola. Guy has been an injury case all his career and his stats arent even in the ballpark of Cruz. Despite this, Cruz is only making 1.5mil more a year.

    The market has been set, and there’s no denying that Cruz got far less than the market said he was worth.

  6. Cruz also handled himself with class throughout the negotiations, even though with the new CBA he had little leverage.

    Some guys would have made a big stink in the media, but he protected his brand for the off-field opportunities. Makes you think he’s got a good head on his shoulders and won’t be in an ESPN broke ex-player documentary someday.

  7. groundhoggday says: Jul 8, 2013 10:57 PM

    He is a class act… the giants will be Cruzzzzing into the playoffs… (it maybe a first round loss, but hey – way better than the Eagles will do)

    Sorry, but I’m getting tired of reading this EXACT same comment after every story on Cruz.

    “groundhoggday” is an accurate name – day after day after day, the same comment.

  8. mike83ri

    Wallace and Harvin are bad contracts…plain and simple. They weren’t worth that much.

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