We break briefly from the endless stream of draft rumor mongering for some Victor Cruz rumor mongering.
The Giants need to pay Cruz like a No. 1 wide receiver, because not doing that could lead to their offense playing without its top receiver this fall. That, in turn, will lead to losing.
Cruz, a restricted free agent who was given a first-round tender nobody bit on, reportedly wants to be paid something in the neighborhood of $11 million annually. That’s top wideout cash, and although given his drastic sway in receiving yardage between 2011 and 2012 (he had 444 fewer yards this past season) there’s some dispute as to whether or not he’s elite or just really good, he still deserves to be paid top dog dough.
Or at least something in the vicinity of it, yet the Giants’ offer was stuck at $7 million annually for a long time. Now that’s reportedly changed.
Yesterday the New York Daily News reported that the offer currently on the imaginary table in front of Cruz sits at $8 million annually, and it contains between $15-18 million in guaranteed money. That’s swell, but it’s still a fair distance from Mike Wallace money. In fact, it’s in a whole different area code that’s located on an entirely different stratosphere.
Wallace will average $12 million annually over the life of his new contract with the Dolphins, yet he’s the same age as Cruz, and he’s coming off a season in which he had only 838 receiving yards. You’ll say that was a product of the Steelers’ offense shifting elsewhere, and you may not be wrong. But then I’ll point to Vincent Jackson, who’s three years older, and a year ago he was given a contract that paid him $11 million annually, despite being only a year removed from playing just five games and accumulating several layers of rust.
Or more recently we could use Dwayne Bowe as a barometer. The Chiefs are now set to pay him just over $11 million annually too after he was re-signed last month, and over the last two years he has 1,960 receiving yards to Cruz’s 2,628.
Pay this man.