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New York Giants WR Victor Cruz on New Deal: “In the End, I Want to Retire a Giant”

July 9th, 2013 at 7:30 AM
By Douglas Rush

Monday afternoon was a very exciting day for the entire New York Giants organization, the fans and most importantly, for Victor Cruz as he finally agreed to his long-term contract, which will pay him $45.879 million over six years; $15.6 of that is guaranteed, plus a $9.5 million signing bonus.

The deal getting signed on Monday ends four months of back-and-forth negotiations between Cruz and the team, which really all started when the Giants placed the first-round tender on him back in March. It also ends the fans who started to get a little fed up with the waiting, especially those who started to refer to him as greedy when he no-showed the team OTA's and mini-camp last month. It also puts to rest any chance of Cruz holding out when July 26 rolls around; the start of training camp for the Giants.

Shortly after the ink dried on the paper and the deal became official, the 26-year-old talked to about what lead to him signing the deal and how he felt during the process and after it was all done.

What was this process like to get to this point?

"It was a long process, but it was a lot of patience and especially trying to understand the business part of the league. But it’s a long time coming put it behind me and play some football."

Was it tough reading the stuff in the papers about the guys being here and you not being a part of it?

"Yea, it was the toughest part not being here and reading the stuff in the papers. These are my brothers and the best is being here and building the chemistry with them I’m excited to be here, as are my teammates; they’re blowing up my phone. But yea, I’m excited to be back. In the end, it was like two boulders being lifted off my shoulders. I'm glad it's over, I'm settled and I look forward to retiring a Giant."

While you were away, you stayed in shape, tell us about some of the things you did.

"My trainers did a mock OTA, stretch, do some 7-on-7’s with a few local quarterbacks I used to work with. You know, of course tt wasn’t Eli, but I still got some work in that it helped get me enough where I could be, but I'll need to do more."

When asked about what he looks most forward to now that he is officially re-signed and back with the team, it was the ability to work with Eli Manning and get much needed reps in with the two-time Super Bowl MVP.

"I’d like to meet up with Eli before camp to throw the ball around, get a feel again and in a rhythm, get the terminology back into my brain so it’s an easy flow going into camp."

With the contract dispute officially over and done with, Cruz can in fact concentrate on football and look ahead to reporting to the Giants training camp, which will begin in 17 days. Over the last two years, Cruz was the team's leading receiver, as he hauled in back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and 19 touchdown receptions during that time.

Also with the deal done, it will allow the Giants to focus their efforts on eventually re-signing some of their own key players for the future like Hakeem Nicks and Jason Pierre-Paul, plus locking up rookie draft picks Justin Pugh and Ryan Nassib.

Photo credit: Football Schedule / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA


Tags: Eli Manning, Football, Hakeem Nicks, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Victor Cruz

8 Responses to “New York Giants WR Victor Cruz on New Deal: “In the End, I Want to Retire a Giant””

  1.  James Stoll says:

    He’s retiring already?

  2.  Sparky says:

    Once he cash’s the signing bonus he can.

  3.  Krow says:

    These are the kind of statements you wish Hakeem Nicks was uttering.

  4.  fanfor55years says:

    I cannot guarantee that the Giants will sign Hakeem Nicks, but I will state right now that if they do not do so (paying him, in all likelihood, a “top-10 wide receiver” salary) they are making a big mistake. Yeah, Randle may be really good. Yes, Cruz is in the fold. And Robinson may prove a stud too (and they might decide to keep Myers). But you simply do not find outside receivers as good as Hakeem Nicks that frequently. I think many fans have short memories and have almost forgotten how good this guy is when he’s healthy (and by the way, since when does being injured by a very borderline dirty play by the Bucs cause people to insist that Nicks is “consistently injury-prone”?). At full health there are not more than two receivers in the league better than Nicks.

    As good as the other receivers may be, Eli Manning knows a potential HOFer when he sees one and he will not be happy if the Giants lose Nicks because they won’t pay him what another team will. He’ll say all the right things about how those decisions aren’t his to make, but I’m sure Condon will make it clear to Reese and Mara that Eli does not want Hakeem going anywhere as this team takes its final runs at championships during the Manning Era. And Jerry Reese is no fool. Cruz is a wonderful receiver. Randle was a great draft pick. Robinson has great promise. Wilson should make the running game excel. But Hakeem Nicks is, along with Eli, the straw that stirs the drink. Even if it means allocating salary cap space too deeply toward the wide receivers at the cost of some spending on defense, Reese should do it. And I think he knows that. It’s now an offensive league. You need a defense “good enough” to make a big stop late in a game, and to make it a little harder for offenses to score. If you can create a “takeover” defense so much the better. But until the Competition Committee starts changing rules again the ticket to the Lombardi (at least when the Super Bowl is played in warm or controlled weather….this year may be an exception if February turns up cold, windy and with precipitation of some kind) is a balanced offense with plenty of scoring capability. Hakeem Nicks is a critical part of just that kind of offense that the Giants should have in 2013 and will want going forward.

    I don’t think Reese will fail to pony up the money required to keep Nicks. Unless Hakeem just wants to go home to Carolina I expect him to remain with the Giants for the next five years.

    •  BigBlueGiant says:

      Nicks will get his payday if he proves he can remain on the field for an entire season.

      And it’s not just ONE play by that happened with the Bucs, The kid has yet to make play all 16 games in the NFL. 2011, was his best year so far.

      Also, when fully healthy, as much as I love me some Hakeem Nicks, he’s not the 3rd best WR in the NFL. He’s top 10 no doubt, MAYBE even top 5, but let’s not push our homerism to another level.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        Johnson and Fitzgerald are better. No one else.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        Among “injury-prone” players with the Giants were Michael Strahan (out quite frequently), Phil Simms, Frank Gifford (missed almost an entire season), Ahmad Bradshaw, etc., etc. So among those were about 30% of the greatest players to ever play for the team. The NFL produces injuries. They are generally somewhat random events. Criticizing someone for being injured is ridiculous, and that should have very little influence on whether of not the player is signed UNLESS those injuries will reduce his effectiveness going forward. That should NOT be the case with Nicks.

        •  rlhjr says:


          There is somethig going on. Even on other than my home computer.

          FF55, hopefully you know that I share your view of Nicks as a pure stud.
          My concerns about him deal with his seeming suseptability to injury.
          He’s a big strong kid. So he will reocver and I suspect he’ll play very well this year. I just wonder about his ability to hold up over the years.
          As he gets into his 30′s his injuries will linger.

          Two things, does anyone else feel that Nassib is going to be a pretty good QB in the NFL? I think he turns out to be a stud.

          Next, it could work to the Giants disadvantage if Nicks does indeed have a stealer season. If he were to miss a few games due to injury, but return close to or at full strength, It could scare enough teams around the league to provide Reese with the inside track.

          Even though Nicks is soft spoken and affable, he has a ego. And get this straight, there is not a single NFL player without an ego. If you do not have the total faith in your ability, you won’t last a half a season in this game.

          We tend to frown on the exaggerated examples like Terrell Owens.
          But you can be sure NFL players at every position “love them some them”.
          They may not have the stones to say it out loud, but they sure as hell think it.
          Even with his severe case of “chip on shoulder” disease, Aaron Rodgers loves Aaron Rodgers. Warren Sap, Strahan, Deacon Jones, Clay Matthews, Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson (AKA Purple Jesus). You name the player; if he’s worth a crap he knows it and plays to it either quietly or out loud.
          Perhaps the best example was Barry Saunders. As respectful and soft spoken a man he was, Barry knew exactly what he was worth. Don’t think for a second that he didn’t.

          Nicks being a Carolina kid (Charlotte) is going to be easy for Reese to talk to, but he’s going to require some TLC. Book It. If he has a truly dominant season, Hakeem is going to be hard to keep in blue. Only his relationship with Reese the right money and loyalty will keep him in blue.

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