Victor Cruz agrees to extension with Giants (UPDATE)
UPDATE: Monday, 4 p.m.
With the news already breaking, the Giants officially announced the re-signing of Victor Cruz Monday afternoon.
“We are pleased to have this behind us,” general manager Jerry Reese said in a statement. “Now Victor can focus on football. Training camp is approaching quickly, and we all have a lot of work to do to get back where we want to be.”
The Giants, including Reese and head coach Tom Coughlin had been reluctant to speak publicly about the negotiations with Cruz. Coughlin repeatedly stated during minicamps his only concern was with Cruz — and previously Hakeem Nicks, who also missed time in OTAs — falling behind in the offense.
“I feel relief,” Cruz said in a statement. “I feel I can just kick back and play football again.
“I think we’ll be OK in terms of coming into camp. Eli [Manning] and I have a great rapport. I think we’re going to get together on our own before camp starts.”
The offseason-long holdout of Victor Cruz has reportedly come to an end.
Jay Glazer of FOX Sports is reporting the Giants and Cruz have agreed to a five-year, $43 million extension after his tender runs out this season. He signed a $2.87 million one-year tender for 2013 as a restricted free agent. That brings the six-year total to $45.87 million.
Glazer reports $15.6 million is guaranteed.
Cruz sought an extension all offseason and held off on signing his one-year tender until the deadline to do so. Had he waited longer, the deal would’ve decreased. As a restricted free agent he was able to sign a deal with any team in exchange for the team’s No. 1 pick. The Giants would’ve been able to match. But the rest of the league found the prospects of a large contract and their top pick too much and he got no offers.
The fourth-year receiver did not attend any of the minicamp sessions this offseason. He could not be fined for missing mandatory minicamp as he had yet to sign his tender when it was held.
Cruz is coming off a Pro Bowl season in 2012 in which he had 86 receptions for 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns. He had 82 catches and 1,536 yards with nine touchdowns in a breakout 2011 campaign. He was named to the All-NFL Second Team as he set a franchise single-season record for receiving yards.
He was an undrafted free agent out of UMass in 2010 and made little-to-no contributions as a rookie. He played in just three games and had no catches.
But Cruz broke out as a star in 2011 and parlayed that into a host of sponsorships. He can be seen in Campbell’s Chunky Soup and Time Warner Cable commercials and even wrote a popular book about his ascendency.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.