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Giants, Victor Cruz Set to Resume Contract Talks; WR Expected to Seek $8-$10 Million per Year

January 3rd, 2013 at 9:45 AM
By Dan Benton

Both the New York Giants and wide receiver Victor Cruz wanted to workout a long-term deal before the 2012 season ended. Unfortunately, that didn't happen and talks between the two sides were cut off as they were too far apart on a deal.

'Victor Cruz makes the catch' photo (c) 2011, Kathy Vitulano - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

"It got tabled for a couple weeks, mainly because of the two sides agreeing to disagree at the same time," Cruz said on his weekly radio spot with WFAN. "So it had been tabled for a couple weeks, but now that the season’s over and the statistics are what they are, I think we’re going to get back and pick up the pen again and see what we can do."

With the 2012 season now in the history books, the two sides plan to resume their talks, and General Manager Jerry Reese said on Monday that "everything is on the table" in these negotiations. However, he wouldn't rule out the possibility of tendering the soon-to-be restricted free agent (RFA). But Cruz remains hopeful and confident the two sides can come together on a long-term deal; a long-term deal that is expected to seek $8-$10 million per year.

"I feel comfortable where we’re at," Cruz said. "I think I’ve done enough to show them I’m a good guy on and off the field, and that I’ve done everything positive up until this point to prove that I’m somebody that the organization will want to keep around for a long time. So I’m comfortable in that, I’m positive things will come around and a positive outcome will come out of all this.’’

To some extent, Cruz proved that his 2011 season wasn't a flash in the pan. He ended the year with 86 receptions for 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was also voted to his first Pro Bowl. But, there were also times where Cruz vanished, including a slump at the end of the season where he caught only 10 passes for 88 yards over the final three games.

It's clear that he's at his best with a healthy Hakeem Nicks opposite him, so the Giants have to make sure they don't back themselves into a corner with one by overpaying for the other. It's a very fine line that Jerry Reese will need to walk carefully.

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Tags: Football, Hakeem Nicks, Jerry Reese, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Victor Cruz

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87 Responses to “Giants, Victor Cruz Set to Resume Contract Talks; WR Expected to Seek $8-$10 Million per Year”

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  1.  GmenMania says:

    $8-10 million a year? Yikes! That’s a lot for a team with limited cap room. I don’t think there’s any way we can pay both Cruz and Nicks $8-10 million a year (Nicks will probably want close to what Cruz gets). JR has his work cut out for him.

    • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

      Tad bit much, indeed. It’s no wonder they stopped talking mid-season.

    •  jfunk says:

      This is precisely why people have been discussing the possibility of having to choose between Victor and Hakeem for a while. Despite it being easy to say “just sign them both…they HAVE to…” it’s simply not that easy.

      Both can make the argument they deserve top end WR money and that’s what’s being handed to them these days. Having two stud WRs isn’t an easy thing to do under the cap unless you’ve got one of them on his rookie contract.

    •  El1SaysEEZYMang says:

      Yea he does have his work cut out but in reality while Cruz is definitely a talent we have come to realize that he has a tendency to drop balls, he comes up with alligator arms in every game and was relegated to an above avg. WR in his second year starting once the leagued figured him out stick with Hakeem- better hands, can hit the home run too, and is way more physical w/ a whole lot less showboating. Hakeem is the only receiver on this team worth $8-10 mil. PERIOD!

  2.  GmenMania says:

    Repost:

    One good thing about this draft is that it is loaded with two of our positions of most need: O-line and linebackers, specifically ILBs.

    There are a bunch of solid ILBs who would be available in the second and third round. One guy is Khaseem Greene from Rutgers. A little undersized, but a tackling machine at OLB. Kinda like the Bucs rookie Lavonte David this year, who piled up 138 tackles on the outside. There’s also an ILB from Stanford who should go in the third round (forget his name). Look at the 3rd round rookie ILB in Seattle this year (Bobby Wagner). Was I think third in the league in tackles with 148, and made the Pro Bowl.

    In the first round, an ILB who might be available when we pick is Alec Ogletree from Georgia. Incredibly talented, a little inconsistent, but good size, good play recognition, and great tackling = sky-high potential.

    OT is loaded too, with guys like Jake Matthews (TA&M), Taylor Lewan (Michigan), Eric Fisher (Central Michigan), and D.J. Fluker (Alabama) possibly available when we pick. Finding a OT in the draft should not prove very difficult if that’s the way Reese wants to go in the first round.

  3.  Krow says:

    It’s just not going to be the same without Victor Cruz around. I liked his salsa dance, though I have to admit that his clothing line was absolute garbage.

  4.  Krow says:

    When dealing with any player signing you have to look at the alternatives. It’s always a relative thing.

    Beatty … his reputation is that of a solid LOT with an upside yet to be fully realized. He’s not at the elite level. Should he want elite money then he actually reduces his value, and also brings into play truly elite FA LOTs.

    It’s going to be interesting to see how his contract negotiations unfold. And to a lesser extent the same can be said of Boothe.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      The thing is like QBs, LTs get paid a lot if they are above average. So while he won’t get Clady or Long money Beatty will get paid. His floor will be Gaither money.

      Boothe being a guard is in a completely different position. He’s not going to get a big offer. We might have to pay him 500k more than we expected but it won’t be a lot more like Beatty could possibly be.

  5.  Levito says:

    Yikes that’s a lot of money. I figured it would be closer to $7mm/year. Nicks is going to be expecting more than Cruz, for sure. I can’t imagine they’d have both WRs getting $10MM with a QB who’s getting around $20MM.

    If that’s really what he’s asking for, I assume he’ll just be tendered.

  6.  Dirt says:

    I agree with LUZZ re: Cruz: Reese has the leverage. Though I think his leverage is temporary, as I think teams would bid him up and part ways with a 1 for a proven, electric, young, high character playaker.

    He’s got about a month.

  7.  JimStoll says:

    8-10 would make him second only to eli on the payroll
    that could make Nicks and JPP really tough signings the following year

    •  Levito says:

      JPP was drafted before the new CBA, and in the top of the first round, so he’s on a 6 year deal (ending in 2016). So hopefully the cap goes up quite a bit by then. But it’ll definitely make Nicks a tougher sign.

  8.  GOAT56 says:

    I know this is sounds crazy but if Cruz is seeking that much then drafting another high round WR is not out the question. I can’t see JR paying him that so Cruz will have to except less. I think this year proved Cruz while a very good player isn’t the type of player you pay 8-10 mil for because he wasn’t the same when asked to be the #1 WR. Even if he were an unrestricted free agent I think that’s too much. But as a restricted free agent that’s definitely too much. Maybe a shorter term deal like 3 year 18-20 mil and 12 mil guaranteed is a good middle ground. That gives Cruz some security and guarantees over the next few years but that doesn’t lock him into a contract he feels under values him.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      I said a long time ago that the Giants would draft another wide receiver. This Cruz situation should come as no surprise to anyone. And he is not worth $8MM per year.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        I thought early in the season there wasn’t much chance we could sign both Cruz and Nicks long term. But from how the year developed Cruz proved what he was as a WR and Nicks showed his durability flaw. So I actally was thinking we could keep both players. But if they are going to overvalue themselves I rather pay Nicks that money. Because again it seems like we might have to decide between the two if Cruz is really looking for that type of money.

  9.  demo3356 says:

    I Love Victor Cruz but Kujo has a better chance of making 8-10 mil a year as a Chubby Male fashion model than VC has of getting it from JR.. Kid is a great complimentary receiver but is NOT a true #1 WR and will be lucky to see a deal making 6-7 mil annually. I see 5 years 30-35 mil with a nice signing bonus built in a reasonably low salary the first 2 years

    •  fanfor55years says:

      By 2014 he’s the third best receiver on this team anyway. I love him too, but frankly if I absolutely HAD to choose 2-out-of-3 I’m going with Nicks and Randle and figuring I can find excellent slot receivers to eventually displace Jernigan (who would be the slot guy initially if they don’t get someone else to replace him by 2014, when I suspect the tagged Cruz will be gone after one more year with the Giants….unless he and his agent come down to Earth).

      •  demo3356 says:

        I’m not convinced hat some crazy team doesnt roll the dice and give up the first rd pick to add an electric charismatic young super star. There are plenty of teams with TONS of cap room and some with multiple draft picks

  10.  fanfor55years says:

    I’ll briefly return to Hixon, Bradshaw and Tynes and then forever hold my peace.

    It’s all about confidence and intangibles, two things that are part of the makeup of championship teams.

    Coughlin has confidence in Tynes, and from inside the 45-yard line, he should. The guy gets the job done. Any kicker who makes about 90% of his attempts and has shown the ability to do so in “big” situations is golden. Anyone who thinks a rookie is going to come in and command the same amount of confidence from the coaches and fans is almost certainly wrong. And now that the rules have changed Tynes’ kickoffs are not only a weakness, but have become a strength because of his ability, when asked, to place a high ball at about the 2-3 yard line outside the numbers. Of course he has to take a reasonable pay package, but if we’re talking simply about value to a team, Tynes has a surplus of that.

    Hixon is one of those guys who elevates himself well beyond a JAG because of a combination of versatility (kick returner, gunner, any of three receiver positions), brains (he knows the playbook inside out and knows how to get to the spot Eli expects him to be), and the intangibles that make him a favorite of the players and coaches. You NEED guys like Hixon to win championships. He’s like the terrific utility infielder on a baseball team who does all the little things that don’t often get noticed but gets the team an extra few wins each season. (By the way, a comparison to Tyree isn’t fair because he can do plenty that Tyree couldn’t, but it should be noted that when the Giants parted ways with Tyree their coverage teams suffered immediately and just recovered three years later, so let’s not rush to judge that as having been a brilliant personnel decision).

    Bradshaw? Yes, he isn’t what he was, physically, as a rookie. Yes, he is frequently hurt. But he’s as tough as anyone on a team that could use even more toughness, he plays more than well enough to go another two years as a part of a rotation led by Wilson (and would be a good fit as a lead back if Wilson is hurt and Bradshaw hasn’t been worn down from too many carries before Wilson’s injury), and he is an emotional leader on a team that I believe needs more of them to get past the lack of fire that has sometimes undermined them over the course of a season (and as for missing the playoffs three of the last four seasons, Bradshaw was not, and could not be, the emotional leader he has become before Brandon Jacobs, his “big brother” departed….just as Eli could not blossom until Shockey, Barber and Strahan). And on top of that, the guy is still very productive.

    Now, of course they all need to take reasonable salaries, or they will have forced their way off the team. But all three are quite valuable, and I expect all of them back.

    •  Dirt says:

      If all 3 come back and one of Cruz or KP walks, the team is:

      A) better off
      B) worse off

      •  fanfor55years says:

        Cruz cannot walk. At worst he will play for us one more year. But given Reese’s leverage he will probably be signed to a reasonable 2-3 year deal. If not, he’ll be a huge bargain in 2013 and gone in 2014.

        KP sounds like he’s leaving anyway and money isn’t the only issue. But of course I would keep him even if the cost was dumping all three IF the doctors could assure me that he will give me three more good years. I suspect that’s something they cannot assure me.

        So my answer is, “it depends”. In any case, all three are more valuable than you will admit. Let me turn around and ask you, if Hixon and Tynes would play for about 20% above veteran minimum and Bradshaw will play for $3.0MM, would you bring them back? Because that’s what I suspect we’re really talking about.

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