Now let's look around at what else is being written and said. Much of it, of course, will be about Cruz and Nicks.
Steve Politi of NJ.com wrote pretty much the same thing I did about Nicks' future with the Giants.
Much of this is on Nicks now. If he wants the eight-figure salary that receivers like Mike Wallace ($12 million) or Vincent Jackson and Brandon Marshall ($11 million) are getting, he’ll have to do better than his career-low 692 yards and three touchdowns last season. He’ll have to prove he can stay healthy for an entire season for the first time.
If he does?
That’ll create an interesting decision for general manager Jerry Reese. He can slap the franchise tag on Nicks to make sure he doesn’t leave as a free agent, but that means a salary in the $10-$11 million range.
Even if they do have the salary-cap room – and while they’ll have several big deals coming off the books it’s always a tenuous situation in the NFL – tying up $18 million or so in a pair of wide receivers is not exactly the way the defensive-minded Giants have traditionally done business.
Pro Football Talk says both Cruz and the Giants made out well in the end.
The important thing to remember is that the Giants had the ability to squat on Cruz through 2014, at $2.879 million this year and the franchise tag next year. At $10.35 million in 2013, Cruz’s two-year fully-guaranteed haul of $15.6 million undoubtedly exceeds what he would have been paid over the next two years, if the Giants had tagged him.
Throw in the possibility of significant New York marketing dollars, and Cruz did what any guy who never was supposed to get big money would do — especially since a torn ACL or a ruptured Achilles tendon would have derailed everything, like it did for former Giants receiver Steve Smith. Cruz took the deal, and he put the stress of seeing his shot at getting paid disappear on any given Sunday behind him, for good.
So it’s a win for the Giants and a win for Cruz.
Over the Cap has the year-by-year salary cap hits for the Cruz contract. Amazing that the Giants actually strukc a deal that lowers his cap number for 2013.
'NFL Total Access' wonders whether Nicks or Cruz is the better Fantasy Football value.