Victor Cruz Contract Signing: Everything you need to know

The Giants and wide receiver Victor Cruz have reportedly agreed to a six-year, $46 million deal. Read all about it in our StoryStream.

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NFL.com debates if Cruz was overpaid

Now that the Giants have signed Victor Cruz let's debate whether or not they paid him too much money.


Focus now on Hakeem Nicks' long-term future

With Victor Cruz having signed a rich new long-term contract that could keep him with the New York Giants through the 2018 season, attention now turns to the Giants other star wide receiver -- Hakeem Nicks. The bookend to Cruz in the Giants' passing attack is entering the final season of his contract, and could command even more than the 6-year, $46-million deal Cruz earned from the Giants, which included more than $15 million guaranteed.

After signing his deal on Monday Cruz promised to "put the pressure on" Nicks to see if he will stay with the Giants beyond 2013.

Can the Giants make that happen? Should they make it happen? Right now, those are two questions that are virtually impossible to answer.

Weeks ago I wondered in a column about the Giants' ability to keep Nicks in blue long-term.

Financially, it will be extremely difficult for the Giants to sign Nicks long-term once his contract runs out after the 2013 season. Nicks, commonly considered the Giants' No. 1 receiver since he plays the 'Z' position that generally draws the most attention from defenses, is likely to ask for a yearly salary well in excess of the $8.5 million annually the Giants are now paying Cruz. This line from my previous column still applies:

"Only seven receivers in the NFL making more than $10 million per year. Does Nicks really belong in that club?"

Unless he plays a full 16-games schedule and has the best season of his career I believe the Giants would be hard-pressed to put him in that financial stratosphere. Especially when you consider that would mean roughly $20 million annually (one-sixth of the salary cap) would be tied up at wide receiver.

No matter what Nicks does in 2013 the Giants could decide that the prudent, and financially acceptable thing to do, is let him go and turn over his role to Rueben Randle in 2014. Earlier I wrote of Randle that "if he shows the Giants in 2013 that he could be a 70-80 catch receiver who can command a double team that lessens the team's urgency to sign Nicks to an expensive contract."

I believe that also still holds.

Add all of that up and I would say the odds are not in favor of Cruz and Nicks staying together long term.


Twitter jumps for joy as Cruz signs contract

Here is some of the initial Twitter reaction to the news that Victor Cruz has signed a long-term contract with the Giants.


Relieved Cruz says he is just getting started

Newly-signed New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz said Monday afternoon that the 6-year, $46-million contract he signed earlier in the day has given him a feeling of "relief."

"I feel I can just kick back and play football again." Cruz said in a statement released by the Giants.

Cruz, a Paterson, N.J. native who fought his way to stardom after arriving in the NFL as an undrafted free agent from UMass, was emotional after contract was finalized.

"On the way here I was talking to my girlfriend (Elaina Watley)," Cruz said. "She said, ‘You fight 26 years all your life, up and down, going through the trials and tribulations, for this one day. To come from where I've come from - a lot of guys don't see graduation day in college, let alone this day in the National Football League. Words can't even describe how I feel. Words can't even describe the energy that's flowing through my body right now. It's a beautiful, great feeling."

Cruz has 168 catches for 2,628 yards and 19 touchdowns. He set the franchise's single-season record for yards receiving in 2011 with 1,536 and salsa-danced his way into the hearts of Giants' fans.

Worried that Cruz' work habits will change or that he won't be as motivated to succeed now that he has the big-money contract he sought? The proof will come on the field, but Cruz is confident his production won't change.

"This is just another step to getting where I want to be at the end of my career," said Cruz. "I love to do well for my team and do well each and every year and continue to prove myself and not feel complacent and not feel I've done enough. I want to continue to have catches and yards and touchdowns and help my team win and get to the playoffs and get to the Super Bowl.

"To do that in such an early part of my career was outstanding, but you want more, you want to continue to feel that. The work is just getting started for me. It's a whole new window of opportunity, a whole new world for me after this contract."

The 26-year-old is not concerned that he missed OTAs and mini-camp, although he admitted being away from his teammates "was the hardest part for me."

"I've been getting some local guys I played with to throw to me," he said. "I've been training. During the offseason program here, I was trying to develop an offseason workout for myself with my trainer. I feel like I'm ready to go. I feel like I'm prepared. I feel good and I'm excited.

"I think we'll be okay in terms of coming into camp. Eli and I have a great rapport. I think we're going to get together on our own before camp starts."

General manager Jerry Reese said the Giants were "pleased to have this behind us."

"Now Victor can focus on football. Training camp is approaching quickly, and we all have a lot of work to do to get back where we want to be."

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