The contention between Victor Cruz and the New York Giants was muted -- but it was definitely there. The organization risked losing their top receiver during the draft, as they gambled by placing a low-priority tag on him. Ultimately Cruz lasted through April, and with training camp looming it was time to get a deal done.
In his two years as a full-time starter Cruz amassed over 2,500 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns. At 26-years old he's still in his prime, and the contract will keep Cruz relatively young when it matures. The move ensures the Giants' offense retains its continuity, which is vital as Eli Manning rounds the corner into the second stage of his career.
The contract was fair, but the $43-million deal could impact the team's ability to keep free agents moving forward -- namely Hakeem Nicks. Cruz's fellow receiver is in a contract season, and if he can remain healthy in 2013 he'll be en route for a large contract extension too, which could be too much for the Giants to bear.
The NFL has had a rough month with off-field player issues, but Denver's director of player personnel Matt Russell has pulled them into the front office. Russell is expected to be charged with DUI, open container, and careless driving resulting in injury -- as a police officer was hit in the incident, resulting in minor injury.
Roger Goodell's personal conduct policy transcends players and effects front offices as well. It remains to be seen whether the league will take action against Russell.
While the New York Giants were able to reach an agreement with their star today, but the same cant be said for the Cincinnati Bengals. The team put their franchise tag on the star defensive end to keep him through 2013, but it doesn't look like sides will agree to keep him on the team.
The 26-year-old defensive end is coming of his best season as a pro. Johnson finished 2012 with 52 tackles, and 11.5 sacks.
In other off-field news, New York Giants' linebacker Dan Connor was released from jail Sunday as the player made the ill-advised decision to leave a switchblade in his luggage as he attempted to board a commercial flight. Connor was detained by TSA, and notified Philadelphia police.
He has no history of off-field issues, and this appears to be simply a bad decision. Connor will compete for a starting job in Giants' training camp.