Victor Cruz and the Giants agreed to a five-year extension (USA Today Sports Images)
According to Glazer, the extension is "on top" of the one-year, $2.879 million restricted free agent tender that Cruz officially signed with the Giants in mid-June. If that is the case, the six-year total for Cruz would be worth $45.879 million, a $7.647 million per year average. It places his annual salary just above wide receivers Marques Colston of the New Orleans Saints ($7.26 million) and Stevie Johnson of the Buffalo Bills ($7.25 million) — who each recently signed contract extensions — but it's well below the $11 million Cruz was reportedly seeking earlier this offseason.
Glazer adds that Cruz will receive $15.6 million in guaranteed money early in the deal.
Cruz signed with the Giants as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Massachusetts in 2010 and played well in his first preseason, leading the Giants with 15 receptions for 297 yards and four touchdowns. A hamstring injury would force Cruz to the injured reserve list for most of his rookie season. But over the course of the 2011 and 2012 seasons, Cruz had 168 receptions for 2,628 yards and 19 touchdowns, earning second-team All-Pro honors in 2011 and a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2012. The Giants placed a "First Round" restricted free agent tender on Cruz, who skipped the team's offseason program, including a mandatory minicamp, before signing his tender on June 14.
Had Cruz not signed that tender by June 17, the Giants would have had the option to replace the $2.879 million tender with a "reduced" tender worth $630,000, the minimum base salary for a player with three accrued seasons.
With Cruz signed, the Giants can now turn their attention on wide receiver Hakeem Nicks — a former first-round pick scheduled to earn $2.725 million in the final season of his rookie contract. Nicks, who is arguably the Giants' most-talented receiver, broke a promise to head coach Tom Coughlin by skipping the team's offseason workouts. Nicks and his agent have been adamant that absence was not related to his contract, instead citing concerns about injuries. Nicks has battled foot and knee injuries over the last two seasons, including a broken foot during the 2012 OTAs.
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