Monday afternoon was a very exciting day for the entire New York Giants organization, the fans and most importantly, for Victor Cruz as he finally agreed to his long-term contract, which will pay him $45.879 million over six years; $15.6 of that is guaranteed, plus a $9.5 million signing bonus.
The deal getting signed on Monday ends four months of back-and-forth negotiations between Cruz and the team, which really all started when the Giants placed the first-round tender on him back in March. It also ends the fans who started to get a little fed up with the waiting, especially those who started to refer to him as greedy when he no-showed the team OTA's and mini-camp last month. It also puts to rest any chance of Cruz holding out when July 26 rolls around; the start of training camp for the Giants.
Shortly after the ink dried on the paper and the deal became official, the 26-year-old talked to Giants.com about what lead to him signing the deal and how he felt during the process and after it was all done.
What was this process like to get to this point?
"It was a long process, but it was a lot of patience and especially trying to understand the business part of the league. But it’s a long time coming put it behind me and play some football."
Was it tough reading the stuff in the papers about the guys being here and you not being a part of it?
"Yea, it was the toughest part not being here and reading the stuff in the papers. These are my brothers and the best is being here and building the chemistry with them I’m excited to be here, as are my teammates; they’re blowing up my phone. But yea, I’m excited to be back. In the end, it was like two boulders being lifted off my shoulders. I'm glad it's over, I'm settled and I look forward to retiring a Giant."
While you were away, you stayed in shape, tell us about some of the things you did.
"My trainers did a mock OTA, stretch, do some 7-on-7’s with a few local quarterbacks I used to work with. You know, of course tt wasn’t Eli, but I still got some work in that it helped get me enough where I could be, but I'll need to do more."
When asked about what he looks most forward to now that he is officially re-signed and back with the team, it was the ability to work with Eli Manning and get much needed reps in with the two-time Super Bowl MVP.
"I’d like to meet up with Eli before camp to throw the ball around, get a feel again and in a rhythm, get the terminology back into my brain so it’s an easy flow going into camp."
With the contract dispute officially over and done with, Cruz can in fact concentrate on football and look ahead to reporting to the Giants training camp, which will begin in 17 days. Over the last two years, Cruz was the team's leading receiver, as he hauled in back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and 19 touchdown receptions during that time.
Also with the deal done, it will allow the Giants to focus their efforts on eventually re-signing some of their own key players for the future like Hakeem Nicks and Jason Pierre-Paul, plus locking up rookie draft picks Justin Pugh and Ryan Nassib.
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