Home » Unlabelled » Victor Cruz agrees to five-year, $43 million contract extension with NY Giants
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
The Giants’ star receiver, who just three years ago came to training camp as the longest of long shots, is now the highest-paid receiver in Giants history. After months of talks and endless speculation, Cruz and the Giants agreed to a blockbuster, six-year contract on Monday that, according to several sources, is worth more than $45 million and includes $15.6 million in guaranteed money.
As a giddy Cruz signed it on Monday afternoon, he said he was “smiling from ear to ear.”
“I think my deal is tremendous,” Cruz later said. “I think it’s definitely a great deal. I don’t want to be anywhere else. I don’t want to play anywhere else. Financially my family is set for the rest of my life. That’s all I could ask for.”
Cruz’s deal included a $9.5 million signing bonus and $43 million in “new money” above the $2.879 million he was already guaranteed in 2013 under the terms of his restricted free-agent tender, according to an NFL source.
That brought the total to $45.879 million and locked him up for the Giants through 2018, when he’ll be 32.
It’s an impressive average of $7.6 million per year, which isn’t bad for a kid from Paterson, N.J., who made just $1.3 million in his first three NFL seasons after he arrived as an undrafted free agent out of UMass in 2010. His first NFL contract paid him league-minimum salaries and it included no signing bonus.
Now Cruz’s average per year ranks him 18th among NFL receivers. But it’s also far below the $11 million per year he was believed to be initially seeking, according to several NFL sources. Even though Giants co-owner John Mara had publicly promised to make the 26-year-old Cruz “a very wealthy young man,” the Giants balked at paying him the going rate for a No. 1 receiver, especially with receiver Hakeem Nicks looking for a long-term deal and scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in March.
Cruz’s deal, which is essentially the same one the Daily News reported he was offered in June, does put him in line with the best slot receivers in the NFL. It exceeds the $6 million per year average the top slot receivers on the market — Wes Welker and Danny Amendola — got this year.
But Cruz held out for more, skipping the Giants’ offseason workout program and their minicamp, while telling friends he wanted to get the Giants up to an average of at least $9 million per season. With the Giants, according to a source, refusing to budge, Cruz blinked. And on Monday he said, “I just felt like it was time.