Monday, July 8, 2013

New York Giants Got the Best of Victor Cruz

One of the most tenuous contract negotiations of the off-season finally came to an end Monday when the New York Giants signed wide receiver Victor Cruz to a 5-year extension worth $43 million. As long and drawn out as the talks were in the end it was Cruz that folded because he was tired of all the "back and forth."

Maybe after he listens to Jay-Z's new album his new agent can explain to him how he let the Giants get the best of him because this deal could not favor the Giants anymore than it does.

scott mecum/Flickr

Most folks will look at this day and think that Cruz did just fine getting a deal worth right around $8 million a season. What they may be forgetting is that Cruz wanted $10 million/season.

Now to you and I it may look like this guy is making a killing either way; he should be grateful for the deal that he has. As a restricted free agent he wasn't due any more than his tender which was less than $3 million. This way he has a guaranteed $15 million+ with the possibility of so much more as long as he doesn't get hurt.

And rather than take the Rod Tidwell approach and play through the final year of his contract he went the safe route and got paid. The problem is in the end ad he held out and dealt with all the questions about his contract this year he would have been paid much more and had more security in his contract.

It helped during his breakout season in '11 that the team had no running game--something they did have in '12. So while some may think that his dip in production was him coming back down to Earth after a stellar breakout season it was because the offense was more well-rounded. When that happens production dips.

The Giants are banking on David Wilson to continue to improve and take over the running back duties now that Ahmad Bradshaw is in Indianapolis. Should that happen than Cruz's stats will be similar to last season; if it doesn't he'll be a top five receiver this season.

And a very cheap one at that.

Where the Giants really got the best of him is in the structure. After the 2014 season his base salary is not guaranteed, and his contract essentially turns into a series of one year deals with him set to make $6.15 million in 2015, $7.9 million in 2016, $7.4 million in 2017, and $8.4 million in 2018.

Should they want to ditch him after the 2014 season it will cost the team around $6 million (less with each successive year). Yeah, that sucks, but teams have taken deeper hits to get rid of guys they think are over the hill.

In today's NFL the trend is to go younger. Colleges are turning out better and better players every season and thanks to the CBA owners don't have to pay them as much for the best years of their careers. Should Cruz lose a step or get injured it would not be a shocker to see them trade Cruz away prior to or after the '16 season and look to the draft for someone new.

Heck, by than Rueben Randle could be ready for prime time.

No comments:

Post a Comment