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New York Giants’ Victor Cruz Refusing to Settle for Anything Less than $9 Million Annually: Report

June 14th, 2013 at 1:28 PM
By Paul Tierney

'Victor Cruz 2012 Shankbone' photo (c) 2012, David Shankbone - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ The New York Giants signed wide receiver Victor Cruz today, but not really. Cruz signed his tender of $2.89 million, which does relatively nothing in terms of securing No. 80 for the long-term. In reality, the two sides are at a standstill and are refusing to budge, which will make the next few months of negotiations al the more interesting, given that Cruz has now signed a contract that obligates him to become a full-functioning member of the team. However, Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reported today that the Giants have offered Cruz in excess of $8 million annually, but that Cruz will refuse to sign for less than $9 million per season.

It seems as if the moment the Giants are willing to make Cruz an offer commensurate with what Cruz thinks his market value is, he tries to nudge his contract demands just a little higher. Cruz is an incredible player with the ability to change games with one play, but Eli Manning is capable of making the likes of Louis Murphy and Jerrel Jernigan productive slot receivers as well. The Giants know they do not need to spend $9 million per season for a guy who is a one dimensional, albeit lethal threat.

Additionally, the more money the Giants offer Cruz, the less the team will have to sign Hakeem Nicks next offseason. When healthy, Nicks is a more athletic, versatile player than Cruz is even on his best day, and is also a guy who opens up the middle of the field for Cruz to make big plays. That's not to say that Cruz isn't a great player. He is, and he deserves a big pay day. But the Giants can't offer Cruz the farm, because it's likely that whatever deal Cruz signs is the starting point in the Hakeem Nicks contract negotiations.

If the Giants and Cruz fail to come to a long term contract this offseason, the team may let the free agent market dictate just how much Cruz is worth. Although unrestricted free agency generally costs franchises attempting to keep their own players, it's also possible that no other team thinks Cruz is worth $9 million over four or five seasons. If Cruz gets injured this season, then he loses any chance at cashing in on his success over the past two seasons.

At the end of the day, it remains unlikely that Cruz is going to pass up a deal worth $8 million dollars annually and risk losing everything to injury next season. Especially when he's reportedly quibbling over less than a million dollars per year. The Giants already coaxed Cruz into blinking once and signing his tender. It would serve the team well to hold its ground and force No. 80 to either sign the contract or put the long term financial security of his family at risk.

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Tags: Eli Manning, Football, Hakeem Nicks, Louis Murphy, New York, New York Daily News, New York Giants, NFL, Ralph Vacchiano, Victor Cruz

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11 Responses to “New York Giants’ Victor Cruz Refusing to Settle for Anything Less than $9 Million Annually: Report”

  1.  GOAT56 says:

    Well if these reports are correct I think it’s getting less and less likely we will be able to keep both WRs. If we were to give in to Cruz (which would be as shocking than our 07 SB run) then where’s the money for Nicks? And if we let Cruz play under his tender and extend Nicks then would we really franchise Cruz at 10 mil plus if we think he’s not worth 9 mil per year? The one scenario I don’t see it both WR become UFA next year. I think the idea was to re-sign Cruz and then you had the franchise tag in case you couldn’t agree with Nicks. Now it appears a long term deal with Cruz is not going to work. The team wants to have at least one of them locked up long term before the year is over so at least we have the option of keeping both.

    The good news is Cruz will be here in 2013 and motivated to play well. I just hope he can put business aside and fully committe to his teammates if he’s playing under just the tender for 2013.

    A compromise on a short term 2-3 year deal makes sense for both sides. Cruz gets some security but still can cash in on a long term deal before hitting 30. The Giants lock up their WR but free up money in time to retain Randle and have plenty of time to develop a Cruz replacement if Jerigan is not.

  2.  BigBlueGiant says:

    Hellooooooo, Louis Murphy!

  3.  purorock says:

    Wait a minute… was Murphy and Jernigan just compared to Cruz? And Cruz plays the slot, X and the Z… how is that one dimensional?

    •  GOAT56 says:

      He’s an elite slot and just another player as an outside WR. Randle is a better outside WR. And Murphy is not that much of a drop off from Cruz. One dimensional meaning he only excels in one dimension.

      •  purorock says:

        Provide stats please. Otherwise that’s your opinion. My point was that he can play them all, therefore making him not one-dimensional. We’ve all seen Cruz make plays on the outside. Randle wasn’t in my comment, but I’d still take Cruz on the outside over Randle any day.

        •  BillyS says:

          Uh, some stats. Let’s see…I believe the average numbers with Hakeem Nicks in the game = 80 yards for Cruz. When Nicks doesn’t play (and Cruz has to play the outside) he averaged around 30-40 yards a game. Yeah, Cruz can’t play outside. He’s the best SLOT receiver in the game, but he is pretty much useless on the outside when double-teamed. I love Cruz as a player, but anyone who thinks he’s a better overall WR than Nicks is a homer.

          And I’d take Randle over Cruz on the outside any day because Randle is more physical and a better overall WR. He also has better hands. Cruz dropped something like 11 or 12 passes last year. I think Nicks dropped one. Randle is more like Nicks than he is Cruz.

  4.  CT GIANT says:

    Never seems to amaze me how little players know about what is commonly called the”cap”. It literally is the same amount for each team, to use or not, and must be kept like all money at levels relative to all 53 team members.
    Two seasons with solid numbers, a ring and part of a super-bowl, and a walk on UDFA, gets a offer around 8M plus a guaranteed amount, which would make this 26 year old, a financially set for life.
    Additionally, his off field endorsements look extremely promising, even without the Jay-Z connection. But, behind the closed doors is one John Mara, who will, and most likely already given his approval of there highest offer, there is no reason to think otherwise, and Coughlin I suspect knows what that is, and wants him in camp.
    If Cruz shows up for camp without a deal, he would be one dumb kid, yet stranger things have happened, I know I seen them over 50+ years.
    Tom Condon and CAA represent many brand name players, including the guy who made Smith look good, and his replacement Cruz.
    Whether Cruz signs or not remains uncertain, and his future literally depends on doing what’s right for himself, but knowing well, if not in NY, he’s just a good slot receiver.
    CT GIANT

    •  purorock says:

      I don’t believe they’re unaware, but this is unfortunately a ‘me first’ era in our culture, particularly in sports, ESPECIALLY in the NFL where contracts are not guaranteed.

    •  jfunk says:

      The cap isn’t Victor Cruz’s problem, it’s Jerry Reese’s problem.

      There are plenty of teams with cap space.

      That being said, if the Giants offer is about $7.5M I think Cruz would be making a strategic mistake if he chooses to play on his tender instead of signing it. Too much to lose and too little to gain.

      •  purorock says:

        You’re right jfunk… waaaay too risky to play for the tender, hope to have a stellar, injury free season to make it to free agency. Even then, the Giants have franchise tag rights if he proves to be that good again.

        •  BillyS says:

          In which case they’ll “overpay” Cruz for 1 year and then dump him afterward. Chances are they’ll be getting the most out of him without having to pay him for the long term. I love Nicks and Cruz, but there is NO way Cruz is worth $9 mil or more a year. None. Zip. Nada. Nicks is a different story, but it could be argued that he’s too injury prone to be worthy of $9 mil himself. I’d still rather pay Nicks the money than Cruz.

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