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New York Giants’ Jerry Reese on New Contract for Victor Cruz: “It Could Happen”

July 31st, 2012 at 6:30 AM
By Paul Tierney

'Victor Cruz 2012 Shankbone' photo (c) 2012, David Shankbone - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ With the slew of monster contracts that have been handed out to the likes of Calvin Johnson, Vincent Jackson, and Antonio Brown this offseason, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz is surely looking forward to the day when he himself signs a deal that represents his talent level. After posting 1,536 receiving yards along with nine touchdowns in 2011, Cruz will earn $540,000 this upcoming season, which is significantly less than what most other star NFL wideouts are paid.

Although Cruz has publicly stated that his contract situation will not effect his play on the field, he surely must be cognizant of the fact that he is severely underpaid. General Manager Jerry Reese recently opened the door to begin negotiating an extension for Cruz, who will be a restricted free agent after this season.

"It could happen. All those options are open," Reese said. "I just think Victor is focused on being a good football player again. The contract situation will take care of itself."

Looking ahead to next offseason, the Giants could be facing quite the conundrum. Currently, the team has two players worthy of making number one wide receiver money in Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, but neither of which are being paid commensurate with their talent level yet. With an already tight salary cap situation, the Giants are going to have trouble absorbing two huge contracts within a year of each other.

Furthermore, the timing of these contract situations could not be worse. With each player performing at their peak, it would be extremely difficult to give a new deal to either Cruz or Nicks without giving one to the other as well. Although Cruz will hit free agency a year before Nicks, giving a long term contract to Cruz could disgruntle the teams 2009 first-round pick. Because Cruz will hit free agency first, he seems to be the most likely candidate to get paid first.

While examining the current market value for top wide receivers, Victor Cruz is most likely going to receive somewhere around a 5-year/$40-$50 million contract (assuming he has another stellar season in 2012). With Hakeem Nicks likely wanting a deal in the same range, the Giants are looking at absorbing an additional $15-$20 million in annual cap hits over the next two offseasons from those two players alone.

As a team that currently only has around $3 million in available cap space, general manager Jerry Resse is going to have a to find a very creative method in which to keep his two star receivers happy, without compromising other important areas on the roster.

However, retaining both Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks is essential to the Giants future success. As the NFL continues to evolve into a pass-first league, having a devastating wide receiver duo like Cruz and Nicks will be crucial to the teams ability to compete for championships.

Although neither player has made an major issue about their contract situation thus far, this problem is looming on the horizon. It is highly unlikely that the Giants will be able to absorb two mammoth contracts at the same time, so at the very least it looks as if their will be some drama with Hakeem Nicks next offseason. 

Obviously, there is a long season ahead and anything can happen. Injuries, poor performance, and any one of a number of factors could drastically change the market value of one of these players virtually over night. Furthermore, Jerry Reese has seemed fairly confident that a deal will get done. As general manager, he has done a phenomenal job of brining in young, talented players, some of which have transformed into super stars.

In the near future, some of the biggest decisions Reese will ever make  will be on how to keep his core group of players together. While the Giants don't have anything to worry about quite yet, this will be a situation to keep an eye on going forward.

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Tags: Calvin Johnson, Football, Hakeem Nicks, Jerry Reese, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Victor Cruz, Vincent Jackson

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10 Responses to “New York Giants’ Jerry Reese on New Contract for Victor Cruz: “It Could Happen””

  1.  GOAT56 says:

    I think Cruz is not an 8 mil WR yet. If he re-signs now then we should be getting something in more the 5-7 mil range. Nicks is a true #1 and has proven it the past few seasons so he’s worth more. Now if we wait longer each of them could continue to raise their value. Cruz would benifit from re-signing now because he’s basically made no money and risks a great deal if he were to get injured think steve smith. Even next year Cruz is restricted so he’s looking at a Mike Wallace like 2 mil. It makes sense for both sides for Cruz to re-sign sooner than later. JR might need a franchise tag for Nicks so we can’t have both WRs enter free agency after 2013.

  2.  BigBlueScorpion says:

    Nicks has 2 more years on his contract cruz has 1 and when is cap expansion going to happen?

  3.  JimStoll says:

    From the Daily News:

    The Giants corner suffered a right knee injury “involving the ACL,” the Giants said, and it’s one that could put his once-promising career in jeopardy. A source familiar with the injury said Thomas likely has a partial tear of the ACL, an injury that likely ends his 2012 campaign before it even got started.
    According to the Giants, the next step is to consult with Dr. Arthur Ting, the physician who handled Thomas’ two previous ACL injuries. Then some decisions will be made.

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-terrell-thomas-season-acl-apepars-torn-article-1.1125364#ixzz22Cjz4k3C

  4.  GOAT56 says:

    Cruz is only a restricted after this season meaning that we could just give him a tender and he would become unrestricted free agent with Nicks in 2 years. I doubt that happens. But we need to study the Steeler WR situation with Wallace and Brown. We have to be careful if we want to keep both. I think Pitt messed up by paying Brown first because now they definitely have to pay Wallace more. Maybe they think Brown is better, i don’t. I think Wallace like Nicks open up catches for Brown. If we re-sign Cruz first we must be prepared to offer Nicks more.

  5.  turkish says:

    I think Cruz gets his extension within the next 6 months. Probably in the $8-10M per season range.

    Excited to see what Prince can do now. The kid had a rough start with no camp and an injury to start his NFL career, and still picked a ball off in his 1st game. I expect
    Prince to be a solid CB and again feel like this team has decent young depth at the position.

    With that said, man I just feel awful, awful, awful for T2.

  6.  Levito says:

    “…but neither of which are being paid commiserate with their talent level yet.” I think you meant commensurate there.

    The Giants will definitely have to find a way to get both of these guys under the cap, unless Jernigan, Randle, or someone else busts onto the scene and one of Cruz or Nicks is deemed expendable. But with the departure of Osi next year, that will likely open up some cap room, and although I’m not sure what his numbers look like, Canty might be a cap casualty after the year as well, unless he has a stellar season.

    I also wouldn’t doubt that Eli would restructure to keep some star WRs around, especially ones without ego problems. He realizes the difference between having some mediocre receivers to throw to versus the top-notch talent he’ll be throwing to this season.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I think an obvious area is Boley. I know how important he was last year but Williams I think my next year will be ready to replace him as a starter. Diehl as well but his money plus a few dollars more will probably be use on Beatty. We also have KP as an unrestricted free agent next year so either KP or Rolle got be gone. Another player who might be in trouble is Bradshaw.

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