Ralph Vacchiano of the NY Daily News, discussed the amount that Cruz signed for:
[The contract is] an impressive average of $7.6 million per year, which isn’t bad for a kid from Paterson, N.J., who made just $1.3 million in his first three NFL seasons after he arrived as an undrafted free agent out of UMass in 2010. His first NFL contract paid him league-minimum salaries and it included no signing bonus.Will Brinson, an NFL Writer for CBS Sports, on Cruz’s new financial stability:
Paul Schwartz from the New York Post, on where Cruz now ranks in salary and what it means for a kid from Paterson, New Jersey:
If he only ended up taking in $7.67 million a season, it's not the monster deal Cruz reportedly wanted.
On the other hand, it's still a deal that makes sense. Cruz, who hasn't made much money in his rise-from-nowhere career (relatively, anyway), gets financial security for life.
The average of $7.65 million for the six years makes Cruz the NFL’s 18th highest-paid receiver, well short of the $10 million per year bonanza Cruz initially was hoping for. But it’s not bad for a kid from Paterson, N.J., who nearly washed out of college at the University of Massachusetts, entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent and blossomed into a star essentially in his own backyard.
“It was very important, not just for the team and the Giants, but for my family being from here, for the people from Paterson, for the kids that look to me in this area, all of that played a part into this,’’ Cruz said.
Chris Burke, writer for Sports Illustrated Audibles, discusses Cruz in the coming season:
Cruz’s contract extension does not guarantee that he will repeat his successes from 2011 and ’12 (a combined 168 catches), nor does it ensure he will stay healthy. What it does do, however, is keep the Giants’ most productive receiver — and Eli Manning’s favorite target — from moping through the upcoming year. It also prevents the Giants from a contract/franchise tag standoff with Cruz next summer.Benjamin J. Block, a writer for Bleacher Report, on the future value of Cruz:
In order to truly comprehend Cruz's value, try to pretend that it's the year 2020 and someone asks you what Cruz really meant to the Giants offense seven or so years ago.Now that the Giants have locked up Cruz, they need to deal with the future of Hakeem Nicks’ contract. Jay Glazer from FOXSports.com, commented on the friendship between Cruz and Nicks:
The answer: Even by himself he was a dominant member of Big Blue's offense (see his individual stats), but he was nearly unstoppable when he had a healthy Nicks as a receiving threat on the outside.
Cruz, who said he received no phone calls from other teams when he was a restricted free agent, said he'll now try to convince Nicks to join him in signing a long-term deal."I'm definitely going to put the pressure on him to come back and see if he wants to play with me for the long haul," Cruz said. "We'll see if we can do this together for a couple more years."