The Giants wide receiver, Victor Cruz, who had an explosive first season in the NFL, is looking to continue where he left off and show his performance was not a fluke. In order to accomplish that, Cruz is staying focused on being a good football player again and not making a fuss about his contract which ends this season. Though not making a fuss, he is entering the final season of his contract worth $540,000 and would like a new one. ESPN has reported that Giants general manager Jerry Reese has said that a contract extension for Victor Cruz remains a possibility. “It could happen,” Reese said, “All those options are open. I just think Victor is focused on being a good football player again. The contract situation will take care of itself.”
Giants’ general manager is happy that this year’s training camp is starting off much quieter than last year’s. Reese had his hands full during last year’s training camp with Osi Umenyiora’s contract drama, losing Steve Smith and Kevin Boss in free agency camp and had to replace several injured players in the preseason. Fast forward to a year later and you have Osi Umenyiora practicing after agreeing to restructure the final year of his contract and the defending champions are pretty much set barring injuries or a need to add a veteran presence at a certain position.
On Friday, Reese might have gotten some idea to Cruz’s market value by the Pittsburgh Steelers signing Antonio Brown to a five-year contract extension worth $41.96 million in “new” money. Brown was in the same situation as Cruz being he was in the last year of his rookie contract and was headed toward restricted free agency in 2013. According to NFL.com, the 25-year-old Brown played in 25 games and three starts. During that time, he has 85 receptions for 1,275 yards and two touchdowns, while also earning Pro Bowl honors for his return ability. In comparison, Cruz is two months younger than Brown but caught 82 passes for 1,536 yards and nine touchdowns in his one full NFL season.
Cruz knows if he wants to get a profitable new deal he has to perform. If he does, he has the potential to earn a lot of money. For example, if he plays out this season and receives a “first round” restricted free-agent tender in 2013, he will earn around $3.419 million over the next two seasons. However, if the Giants place the franchise tag on Cruz in 2013, he’ll make around $10.232 million over that span. So long as Victor has a good season, he could live up to his name and Cruz into a big money contract.
Victor Cruz Giants
Victor Cruz discusses the difference between training camp last year and this year.