Don’t you worry salsa fans, Victor Cruz is here to stay! 5 years worth a cool $43 mil with $15.6 mil guaranteed. Add that on top of the tender and that’s a 6 year $45.879 million deal total. It was rumored Cruz wanted to get number one wide out money, close to Mike Wallace’s $11 mil per year. Paying him an average of $7.6 mil per is a win for the Giants.
Now what does it mean for the rest of the team, especially Hakeem Nicks? Hakeem’s rookie contract comes to an end after this season in which he is only making $2.725 million. It was pretty well documented that the Giants said Nicks was their number one priority, but now that seems like it was a smoke screen, or bargaining chip in the Cruz deal. Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News reported something interesting about the Nicks situation:
The Giants would also like to re-sign Nicks at some point, but preliminary talks with his agent went nowhere, according to an NFL source, and in recent interviews Nicks has sounded very lukewarm about re-signing with the Giants before he becomes an unrestricted free agent next spring. The Giants do have the option of placing the “franchise tag” on him next March, but that likely would cost them about $11 million for 2014.
Now, for this season, this is a good thing for the Giants. There is no way he will be putting up less than 700 yards and only 3 TD’s. I can see him putting up numbers like he did in 2010 and 2011 with close to, or over 1,000 yards receiving. Nicks will be playing for a contract, and in contract years, players are known to go above and beyond to put the numbers up. Numbers mean dollars.
There is also a flip side to that scenario. What if Nicks is not able to put up the gaudy numbers in his contract year? Will the Giants be content with Cruz, Randle, and Murphy? Rueben Randle is poised to break out. Coaches love how he has been doing this off season, not to mention how he finished off last year. Add a pass catching tight end, a home run threat in Louis Murphy, and the improving run game, Nicks will have plenty of competition for yards and TD’s.
Bottom line here is that Victor Cruz is locked up until he is 32 years old. Hakeem is up next, but for now lets enjoy the wide receiving corps the Giants put on the field every week, they will be one of the best in the league.