The Giants and WR Victor Cruz agreed to a new 5 year extension today worth $43 million overall and $15.6 million in guarantees. The extension actually begins after the one year, $2.9 million tender he signed earlier this offseason, so in reality this is a 6 year deal.
The numbers are very similar to the 5 year, $47 million deal DeSean Jackson signed prior to last season. That deal also had $15 million in guarantees.
The deal does fall short of what another prominent slot WR, Percy Harvin, got this offseason. While the guaranteed money in those deals is very similar, Harvin's average annual value is north of $11 million a year.
Cruz had reportedly been seeking an AAV of around $10m, while the Giants had countered with an initial offer of around $7 mil per. This extension falls pretty close to the middle at $8.6 million. However, if you take into account the fact that Cruz will play for the $2.9 mil tender this season, the average value he'll play for over the next 6 years is $7.6 million, much closer to what the Giants wanted to pay.
For the Giants, this sets the stage for their upcoming contract showdown with Hakeem Nicks. The WR has already skipped some voluntary OTAs looking for a new deal and is set to be a free agent after this year. The team could look to get a deal done now, or with Cruz locked up, they can always franchise Nicks next year. That might be the smart option to see if he can actually stay healthy this season.
Question for discussion... Can Victor Cruz put up the same gaudy numbers now that he won't get to face Nnamdi twice a year?