Last season, former Pittsburg Steelers’ wide out Mike Wallace held out till the end of training camp in late August. He signed the tender the Steelers’ originally offered him and had an “off” season despite putting up decent numbers for the team. The Steelers’ never thought of Wallace as a true number one receiver and refused to show him a long-term contract the Miami Dolphins, 5-year $60 million contract, signed him to this year. The New York Giants’ also don’t think that Victor Cruz is a true number one wide receiver and are reserving that kind of money for Hakeem Nicks’ contract at the end of this season. Could what Wallace went through last year be how the Cruz situation works out?
Last Monday, Giants’ head coach Tom Coughlin made headlines when he spoke about Cruz’s hold out situation on WFAN, and reported by New York Post, saying, “”It has to be a concern because when the restricted free agency period is over, you would hope that things would move fast. “
Cruz’s relationship with his sports agency, Roc Nation Sports, seems a little bit unusual. Roc Nation Sports is Shawn Carter’s (aka Jay-Z) new venture, which signed Cruz this past spring to represent him in contract negotiations with the Giants. Signing a big contract would be advantageous to both Cruz and Carter’s New York based fledging agency. For the past two years, Cruz has enjoyed his time playing for the Giants, gaining fame and wealth on and off the field. As one of the more public faces of the organization, how much ‘leverage’ he and Roc Nation has maybe somewhat limited since it is well known he wants to keep playing for the team and keep his lucrative ties with NYC metro area.
“What we want is exactly what I said the other day,” said Coach Coughlin, “We want a win-win. We want Victor to be proud to be a New York Giant, proud of his contract.” Hopefully, both sides will come to terms soon. The Giants’ are offering Cruz a multi-year contract for $7 million per season, the value the Giants’ see in Cruz being one of the top slot receiver in the NFL. But the longer this situation continues, the more it will hurt Cruz’s value to the team and the Giants’ chances this season.