Victor Cruz had been candid about wanting a new deal that was commensurate to his value for the longest time.
Then, the New York Giants wide receiver went silent after the end of this past season, not participating in any public negotiations and skipping out on the club’s voluntary offseason program.
He was finally rewarded today when the club extended him with a five-year deal worth $43 million. Adding the restricted free agent tender he had signed last month, Cruz is now locked up for six years at $45.879 million, and $15.6 million is guaranteed, according to Fox Sports.
It doesn’t come close to approaching the bar-setting deal for wide receivers that Mike Wallace received from the Miami Dolphins. But Wallace was on the free market and Cruz was an RFA. Cruz said he couldn’t play on the RFA tender of less than $3 million because it would have created a distraction.
“I wanted to have some security and positivity going into the season with the comfort of a long-term deal,” Cruz said, per the report. “I just felt like it was time. I'm done with the back and forth. What's on the table is a really good deal. I'm really excited about it and it's going to provide security for my family for a very long time. So I felt like today was the day.”
Now, the Giants can turn their attention to securing another one of Eli Manning’s top targets – fellow wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract. If Nicks can remain healthy, he’ll be coveted. Cruz wants him to stay put.
“I'm definitely going to put the pressure on him to come back and see if he wants to play with me for the long haul,” Cruz said. “We'll see if we can do this together for a couple more years.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune