Wide receiver Victor Cruz is a rich man by most standards after signing a six-year, $45 million contract with the New York Giants, but he believes he could have been a lot richer. Cruz is content with the fact that he gave the Giants a "hometown discount," but he also told The Opening Drive that it was "tough" to sign for less money than he thinks he is worth:
"When you understand from a numbers standpoint, and the numbers you put up you feel like you deserve a certain amount of money ... and you want your team to owe that to you."
Cruz found himself in the rare position of being a former undrafted free agent that became a Pro Bowl player within his first three years. He was a restricted free agent that was holding out for a contract with the Giants until finally signing his $45 million deal earlier this month. Mike Wallace, an unrestricted free agent that signed with the Miami Dolphins this year, is making $12 million annually compared to the $8.6 million of Cruz.
But OverTheCap.com outlined some of the details of those contracts, pointing out that Wallace is a more highly-sought out outside receiver while Cruz is mainly a slot receiver. Cruz is making more than players such as Marques Colston and Wes Welker, while making about the same annually as the Dallas Cowboys' Miles Austin. He now becomes one of the highest-paid slot receivers in the NFL.
Still Cruz, who has 2,628 yards and 19 touchdowns over the last two seasons, decided that it was best to sign a long-term deal in New York so that he could remain close to his family while playing in "the best city in the world."
For a player that wasn't drafted three years ago, he's still doing pretty well.