Usually when an athlete isn't that happy with his contract, the dissatisfaction comes after he has outperformed it for a couple years. Or maybe for one year. But in almost every case, the unhappy athlete has played at least one game before pointing out how he is underpaid.
Victor Cruz signed a five-year, $43 million extension with the Giants last week. It didn't seem like a huge payday for player of his caliber, but it wasn't insulting either. On the surface it seemed like the team got a good deal, and Cruz got some stability heading into the final year of his contract.
And Cruz already seems remorseful over it.
Multiple reports, citing an interview Cruz did with Sirius XM Radio, said the Giants receiver sounded unhappy with the new pact ("Cruz whining" was the New York Post's headline). There was no word on if the ink had dried on that contract by the time Cruz was saying he was underpaid.
“I'm not going to lie, it’s tough. It’s tough,” Cruz said on Sirius XM Radio, via Newsday. “When you understand from a numbers standpoint, and the numbers you put up you feel like deserve a certain amount of money ... and you want your team to owe that to you.
“But I think playing in New York, you can't take that away,” he said. “You have to hold that up to an account at some point when you’re going through these negotiations. You ask yourself ‘Would you want to play for this amount in New York and play in the best city in the world and play football, and - I'm a hometown kid [from Paterson, NJ] - be close to home and your mom and your family? Or do you want to take a big pay day and go somewhere like Kansas City or Minnesota where your family might not be able to come as often as you want and you're living in a city you’re not too familiar with and it’s an adjustment for you?' So you have to take all those things into account as well.
“But I'm not going to say it's easy when you see guys getting these huge paydays and you feel like you're at the same caliber, if not better than some of those guys,” he said.
Don't expect a ton of sympathy when your reaction to being given a $43 million contract is, "It's tough."
We can't fault Cruz for being honest. He seems to understand the concept of a hometown discount that he willingly gave the Giants, and by all accounts he's not a bad guy. But between this and apologizing for his George Zimmerman tweet, it hasn't been the best public relations week for one of the NFL's stars.
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