After testing the waters of restricted free agency, Victor Cruz should be back with the New York Giants next season, being offered a new deal by the team that should keep him for a few more years and still leave him a window of one more big contract in his career, but there’s a chance Cruz is waiting for more.
Looking at two other slot receivers – Wes Welker and Danny Amendola, who switched teams this off-season, Cruz is going to be paid more than both of them. Their salaries with the Broncos and & Patriots are around $6 million a season. According to sources around the league, Cruz has been offered $7 million a season on a 3-4 year deal, with a sizable increase in his guaranteed money, which will also give him a chance when he’s 29-30, hopefully still a very productive receiver by then, to get another, final, big contract in the NFL.
So far, Cruz isn’t biting, waiting for something more, that he’s probably not going to get. The Giants value Hakeem Nicks more than they do Cruz, who showed that besides his speed and versatility is also easily slowed down if you manage to get physical with him early on. He might be thinking that putting up two consecutive seasons of more than 1000 yards earn him a right to make the kind of money Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson are, but at this point in free agency, there’s no one who’ll be giving him even Mike Wallace money, or the kind of offer the Giants are setting aside for him in their offer.
Because Cruz is a restricted free agent, it’s not only about the offer and the money; a team that wants him will have to give up a first-round pick as well. Despite being the Salsa king of New York for three months each year and his incredible breakout in the 2011 season, he’s probably not good enough to break the bank for, not to mention mortgage a franchise’s future.