When it comes right down to it, Victor Cruz thinks he’s worth more than the $45.879 million he is signed for over the next six seasons.
If that’s the case, maybe the New York Giants wide receiver should not have agreed to his contract extension last week. Right? Otherwise, it’s going to be a long road for him ahead.
Cruz talked about the situation during a visit on SiriusXM NFL Radio, admitting he took less than he originally wanted and less than what wide receivers are getting paid on the open market. It’s important to note that Cruz was a restricted free agent, far from being on the open market.
“I'm not going to lie, it's tough. It's tough,” Cruz said, according to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. “When you understand from a numbers standpoint, and the numbers you put up you feel like deserve a certain amount of money … and you want your team to owe that to you. But I think playing in New York, you can't take that away.
“You have to hold that up to an account at some point when you're going through these negotiations. You ask yourself, ‘Would you want to play for this amount in New York and play in the best city in the world and play football, and — I'm a hometown kid — be close to home and your mom and your family?’ Or do you want to take a big pay day and go somewhere like Kansas City or Minnesota where your family might not be able to come as often as you want and you're living in a city you're not too familiar with and it's an adjustment for you? So you have to take all those things into account as well.
“But I'm not going to say it's easy when you see guys getting these huge paydays and you feel like you're at the same caliber, if not better than some of those guys.”
Hopefully, Cruz will feel comfortable playing at home. If he doesn’t, this contract thing could eat at him for a while and he should be credited for doing a nice job of handling the situation over the last year-plus when he clearly was deserving of a raise.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune