Victor Cruz Signing: Receiver read to 'kick back and play football'

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."

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Big Blue View

You must be a member of Big Blue View to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Big Blue View. You should read them.

Join Big Blue View

You must be a member of Big Blue View to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Big Blue View. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker