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Report: New York Giants Have Offered Victor Cruz Long-Term Deal in Excess of $7 Million Annually

March 23rd, 2013 at 6:45 PM
By Dan Benton

New York Giants co-owner John Mara recently said the team had offered restricted free agent (RFA) wide receiver Victor Cruz a "substantial" deal – a deal, mind you, that Cruz allegedly turned down. As it turns out, Mara wasn't blowing typical offseason PR smoke. Gary Myers of the New York Daily News reports that Big Blue has, in fact, offered Cruz a long-term deal that would exceed $7 million annually and include a "sizable amount of guaranteed money."

'Victor Cruz makes the catch' photo (c) 2011, Kathy Vitulano - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

"If he took our offer he'd be a very wealthy young man," Mara said last week. "[But] there's a limit … if someone is willing to pay more than we are, then we'll have to say goodbye."

Although everyone in the Giants' camp has said publicly they expect Cruz to receive an offer sheet from another team, it is growing increasingly less likely that will happen. And if it doesn't, Cruz is faced with accepting this offer, which is upwards of $3 million less annually than he wants, signing his first-round tender worth $2.879 million in 2013 or holding out.

Holding out also seems like an unlikely scenario, however. Even at the one-year tender price, if Cruz were to refuse to sign it and holdout, he could only financially support that standoff for two and a half weeks. If he were to power through and miss the Giants' first six games, he would also lose one "accrued season" ultimately resulting in him being a restricted free agent again in 2014.

At this point the Giants have all the possible leverage. They have a generous offer on the table, a one-year tender/RFA scenario to fall back on in the event of a holdout and the unlikely chances another team will not only sign Cruz to an offer sheet, but pay more than the $7 million+ annually the Giants have reportedly offered.

This is about as good as it's going to get for Cruz.

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Tags: Football, John Mara, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Victor Cruz

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18 Responses to “Report: New York Giants Have Offered Victor Cruz Long-Term Deal in Excess of $7 Million Annually”

  1.  BillyS says:

    My thoughts all along were that he’d get $7.5 mil a year for 5 years (maybe $38 mil) with $14 mil of that guaranteed. The length/money per year may not be what he wants. I’m sure he wants what Mike Wallace got, but Wallace also only got $11 mil guaranteed. I think the Giants will sweeten the pot a bit with more guaranteed money in order to keep him from locking them down too much in the future. It’s still a lot of money, but it isn’t quite Percy Harvin/Greg Jennings money.

  2.  jfunk says:

    Impossible to judge the “quality” of the offer without knowing the details of at least the bonus and guaranteed money.

  3.  Dirt says:

    Dan,

    Could you provide a little more color on what this means:

    Even at the one-year tender price, if Cruz were to refuse to sign it and holdout, he could only financially support that standoff for two and a half weeks.

    •  GmenMania says:

      I assume he’s referring to the fines that the Giants could levy against him for holding out. There’s a certain amount of money a team can fine a player per day if said player is holding out. I believe the maximum fine is $30,000 a day, so he would be able to “financially support” his position for longer than 2 weeks.

  4.  kinsho says:

    This is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.

    Over $7 million a year with much of it guaranteed? This is a fair offer. For Cruz to expect anything more is probably a sign of the chip that was on his shoulder for the past two years, having been one of the best players on the team while getting paid like an expendable depth player.

    Perhaps if the Giants can offer a few hundred thousand more a year, that, (in combination with having little leverage) possibly be enough to convince Cruz to sign.

  5.  norm says:

    I know it’s a totally unrealistic fantasy… but wouldn’t it be great if NFL reporters finally stopped talking about contracts in terms of annual salary and length, focusing instead on the only number that truly matters – the amount of guaranteed $$.

    People talk about Harvin’s 6 year, $67 MM deal as if it was some kind of game-changer that has irrevocably raised the bar for WR salaries. This would be true if Harvin were to collect every penny of that $67 MM over the duration of the deal. But with only $14.5 MM guaranteed, the likelihood of that happening is nil. The Hawks could easily kick him to the curb after 2-3 years of service and walk away scot free. Happens all the time in the NFL and there’s no reason to think that things will play out any differently with Mr. Harvin.

    Far as I’m concerned, the Giants could over Cruz a 10 year, $150 MM deal – hell, make up any ridiculous numbers that you think will make Cruz and his agent happy- with $14-16 MM guaranteed. The team could even offer to buy up all of the unsold Young Whales gear that is no doubt clogging up the remainder bins of every department store throughout the Tri-State area.

    Whatever. As jfunk says, it’s all about the guaranteed $$. Everything else is just window dressing.

    •  BillyS says:

      Hmm, I could have sworn that Harvin had more than $14.5 mil guaranteed. I thought it was closer to $20. If all Harvin managed to get was $14.5 mil then this bodes well for us. Then again Harvin is also a huge injury threat, but Cruz shouldn’t suddenly feel he’s worth $20+ mil guaranteed. I still think $12-14 mil guaranteed is more than fair for a player who wasn’t even drafted. The fact that the Giants are willing to give him more than Amendola and Welker shows that they want to give him a fair contract and aren’t trying to screw him. Hell, you’d also think Cruz would be a realist and realize that he wouldn’t be in the position he is in the first place if the Giants hadn’t given him a chance to succeed. Imagine if they had just let him walk before finding out that phantom hamstring injury…

      •  norm says:

        I stand corrected on the Harvin numbers. Seems I only recollected the first year figure of $14.5 MM:

        The base salaries [for Harvin] are $2.5 million in 2013 (fully guaranteed), $11 million in 2014 (guaranteed for injury for now, fully guaranteed on fifth day of the 2014 waiver period), $10.5 million in 2015, $9.9 million in 2016, $9.95 million in 2016, and $11.15 million in 2017.

        Thus, $14.5 million is fully guaranteed, with another $11 million guaranteed fully after the 2013 season. The total guarantee, then, is $25.5 million.

        http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/03/12/harvin-gets-67-million-over-six-years/

        Although the guarantee is much larger than I recalled, I still doubt he is going to see the final three years, $30 MM of that deal.

        •  BillyS says:

          I think the Seahawks realized that he wasn’t as durable as someone like Calvin Johnson, so they weren’t willing to pay him quite so much as an “elite” WR. The money per year looks nice, but the chances of Harvin staying healthy even this upcoming season is shaky. He just gets hurt way too much and let’s not forget his “migraines”. Harvin gets the illusion of getting a lot of money per year, but I agree that he’ll be hard pressed to collect on the back end of that contract. He’s an electric player, but is always hurt. But if you take him out of returning the ball then his overall value is lessened and the numbers he provides strictly as a WR doesn’t make him worthy of that contract. Cruz, on the other hand, has proved to be durable and a better overall WR, even if it is just in the slot. I don’t think he should be paid nearly as much as what Harvin got, though. There are very few players who deserve so much guaranteed money. Outside of Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald nobody deserves as much. Hell, I don’t even think Vincent Jackson deserved the money he got last year, but oh well. I just hope Cruz is smart and takes the deal. It’s good for him and it’s good for the team. This is the kind of contract that is fair — when both sides aren’t happy, yet they can still be content because it’s in the middle of what each wants. This is a compromise and I pray he takes it.

  6.  jimDB says:

    Mark Harrison

  7.  Krow says:

    Disheartening. He’s got a little O$i in him. Bye bye Victor.

  8.  jfunk says:

    Remember, Cruz cannot be fined for “holding out” until he actually signs his tender offer because he’s not technically under contract.

    He needs six weeks for an accrued season, so he could sit home and refuse to sign until Week 10-ish, then show up and play for vet minimum (which the Giants would reduce his offer to in June after some deadline) and reach UFA status at the end of the year.

    The Giants could then put the franchise tag on him of course, but that’s a lot of money.

    •  BillyS says:

      There’s got to be a way in which he plays out his entire restricted free agency year until he can become a UFA. And if he *did* hold out like that over money…after the Giants offer a contract that’s more than fair…then I hope the door hits him on the way out because that’s a level of selfishness that I do not want on this team. It’s one thing if the Giants offered him something like $4-5 mil a year, but $7+ mil a year is more than fair considering what similar players got. The Giants would be paying above market value for him with this deal ffs.

      •  jfunk says:

        While I probably agree, its really impossible to know if the Giants offer is indeed a good one based on just the yearly average. Could be a lot of funny money, need more detail to judge.

        •  BillyS says:

          That’s true. For all we know they could have offered 2 years, $16 mil. Plus these deals are rumors until they become fact — or close to completion (when numbers start being released). I’m still hoping that he gets a fair contract that is good for both him and the team. He deserves some money, but not top WR money. Either way he’s going to get paid so I just hope he doesn’t throw a hissy fit the way that someone like Osi has done or hold out like a Revis.

  9.  CT GIANT says:

    Sorry to say, but I think were starting to see the “real Victor Cruz” from the hood, in NJ.?
    Mara, Tish, Reese, Eli, even Diehl say they want him back, and now the very careful Gary Myers, and The New York Daily News, and RV, would not report this unless they have a solid source, and we all know how the Steve Smith affair worked out.

    I hope I’m all wrong, but Cruz as a UDFA, should be literally thrilled to be coming into only his 3rd season, and if the deal is in the 7M ball park with reasonable guaranteed money, as a slot receiver, he better sign and fast. Cruz avoided hits last year, and one almost got him, after he dropped down on his shoulder. That said, Jerald Jernigan must be drooling over his chance to make a run at the slot, and yes, we know very little, but using Mr. Smith as an example, one never knows!
    CT GIANT

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